Original title: Bili smo prvaci sveta
Number of episodes: 24
Broadcast: September 2014
TV station: National Televison of Serbia
Produced by: Intermedia Network
Executive production by: Cinnamon Production
Created by: Zvonimir Šimunec
Produced by: Dejan Petrović
Directed by: Ivica Vidanović
Writing credits: Aleksandar Miletić i Zvonimir Šimunec
Edit by: Stojan Stojanović, Aleksandar Simović, Srđan Ristić
Music by: Kiki Lesendrić, Dragutin Čulić, Aleksandar Serdar, Irina Kakhiani, Adam Skorupa, Stefan Bode, Pierre Gerwig Langer
Bora Stanković, Srđa Kalember, Pavle Kostić, Aljoša Žorga, Beno Hvala, Bogdan Tanjević, Boris Kristančić, Božidar Boža Maljković, Čedomir Stojićević, Damir Šolman, Dragan Kapičić, Dragoslav Ražnatović, Dragutin Čermak,Geza Pastor,Giuseppe Pino Gjergja, Isidoro Maršan, Ivo Daneu, Jovan Kosijer, Jovan Tanurdžić, Lajoš Engler, Ljiljana Šaper, Lubodrag Duci Simonović, Marjan Preževšek, Mirko Novosel, Nemanja Neca Đurić, Nikola Plećaš, Pero Zlatar, Petar Skansi, Radiša Mladenović, Radmilo Mišović, Radovan Rašović, Ranko Žeravica, Ratko Tvrdić, Slobodan Rica Gordić, Srđan Šaper, Veljko Bulajić, Vlada Stanković,Vladimir Anzulović, Vladimir Cvetković,Vojislav Bubiša Simić, Zagorka Žeravica, Zvezdana Popović, Miloš Oparica.
Here are the four visionaries Nebojsa Popovic, Bora Stankovic, Radomir Saper and Aleksandar Nikolic who made a sport meant for “affluent ladies and gentlemen”, the best collective good from the Balkan region.
Time will show that there were few domains where the South Slavs were so superior, shattering all logical assumptions regarding how and way we make ground breaking achievements. The four of them had answered to every question. Without experience they defined challenges, outlined a great future and placed the master seal on the patent which in the following decades will spread across the world: The Yugoslavian basketball school.
If someone had special inspiration, inspiration bordering art, pass only visible to the protagonists, the passer and receiver, it was the Yugoslav way of playing. Building the very foundations of a new sport, they didn’t view the cross Atlantic game as a finished product which one mast accept or reject. Instinct told them that it has to do with something which needs to be adopted with determination and centralized social environment. They had enough wisdom to neutralize the neurotic speed and American grandiosness, protecting themselves from the accusations that it would have dangerous heretic effects on the youth of FNR of Yugoslavia.
We could have guessed that the new American sport could be so well received in a Balkan country; the NBA dominated America, whilst Yugoslavia dominated the rest of the world. The four of them from ’45 until ’70 and the triumph in Ljubljana, starting off as players, then coaches and finally, officials, went through all the phases from playing in dusty and muddy clay courts to reaching the gold at the World Championship in 1970.
The circle of basketball friendship spread rapidly like an irrepressible virus. Belgrade, Zrenjanin, Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Ljubljana…
How and to what extent? We’ll see in the series!