100 years of basketball in Serbia


Commemorative postage stamps

Year of issue: 2023

In stock


Basketball was invented in 1891 by Springfield College professor James Naismith, and his colleague William Weiland, a professor of folklore and folk sports from Oakland, an emissary of the American Red Cross, while demonstrating American sports games in Europe, brought constructions for basketball baskets and balls to Belgrade in 1923. This event marked the birth of one of the greatest basketball superpowers in the history of the sport. Weiland gave basketball courses to high school students, physical education teachers and members of the Sokol organization, then the largest sports organization. Weiland left, the baskets remained in the Second Men’s Gymnasium, and basketball started to be played more massively and increasingly better. In 1940, 170 male and female players in four age categories took part in the All-Sokol Rally in Borovo, and the first clubs were formed on the eve of the war, as sections of football clubs. Basketball continues to live even during the war. In September 1941, the Belgrade Championship was organized, and in the spring of 1942, the Serbian Basketball and Volleyball Association was founded, which registered 23 clubs. The President of the Association was a student of Weiland’s course from 1923, Svetislav Bata Vulović, and during the occupation, over 15,000 people watched the matches, which were played in Tašmajdan and Kalemegdan. Already in 1945, the national teams of Belgrade, male and female, played their first international match - against the national team of Sofia. The first European competition for our basketball players was the European Championship in Prague in 1947, and the first appearance on the world stage was at the first World Basketball Championship in Buenos Aires in 1950. The rest is history. From then until today, Serbian basketball is one of the best in the world. This is evidenced by countless awards and countless legendary names who, with their sports achievements, wrote the name of Serbian basketball in golden letters in the global history of this sport.

Professional cooperation: University Library Svetozar Marković, Belgrade

Artistic realization of the issue: MA Jakša Vlahović, academic graphic artist

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