Panathinaikos Athens has named Serbian national team coach Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic as its new head coach. Djordjevic, 47, was a legendary point guard and a Euroleague, EuroBasket and world champion as a player. He guided the Serbian national team to the silver medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup last season. Panathinaikos will be his first post at a club since Benetton Treviso in 2011-12 and his first Euroleague post since he coached Armani Jeans Milan a decade ago.
The son of a coach, Djordjevic was already playing for Partizan Belgrade when he was 16 years old. His game-winning “Miracle in Istanbul” three-pointer in 1992 lifted Partizan to its only Euroleague title. He teamed with the great players of his generation to help Serbia dominate international basketball for a decade with three EuroBasket gold medals, the 1998 world championship and a silver medal from the 1996 Olympic Games. His career saw Djordjevic suit up for Milan, Scavolini Pesaro and Fortitudo Bologna in Italy, Portland in the NBA, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. He also won the Korac Cup three times and a total of five national championships in Yugoslavia and Spain. Djordjevic was honored as one of the Euroleague’s 50 legends from its first 50 years at the 2008 Final Four in Madrid. After he retired as a player in 2005, Djordjevic coached at both Milan and Benetton and has found his greatest success on the bench with Serbia.