For years, basketball has been a synonym for success in Serbia. We’re talking with the General Secretary of the Basketball Federation of Serbia, Dejan Tomasevic, who’s been, for eight years now, proposing and ordering, creating and constructing, thinking and designing, organizing and implementing … creating magic with his team in Sazonova 83 street, at the headquarters of the Basketball Federation.
How difficult is to be the first operative of an institution like the Basketball Federation of Serbia (KSS)?
For decades KSS has been the most organized association in Serbia and what always set it apart from others were not only good basketball players and coaches but also good sports officials who are created through the work in the Federation and the organization of great sports events. We have become a serious company, with many projects and companies we cooperate with. Apart from funds that are extremely important for the functioning of the Federation, we also gained experience from our business partners. One of the most important things in our system is the organization of sporting events. We’re organizing the biggest sports event in Serbia this year – the European Basketball Championship for women (June 27 – July 7). In addition to try and win some of the medals, the main reason we wanted to organize this event is for a large number of people from the KSS to get the experience and knowledge they can then use to further advance in this business.
It is not a secret that this is the way the Secretary-General advanced in business too…
I’ve been in the Federation for eight years … When I was finishing my career as a player and thinking about where I wanted to go next, I thought about the KSS and told that to the people who then led the Federation. To represent the Federation like ours takes will and dedication, but also requires both knowledge and, above all, the experience that I acquired as vice-president for competitions over several years.
You are very present and influential in FIBA …
Historically speaking, the KSF has very good cooperation with FIBA and FIBA Europe, which is reflected in the fact that a large number of our people are involved in and working with FIBA. At this moment, besides the new Secretary General Andreas Zagklis who is Greek, two of the most important men there are Zoran Radovic and Predrag Bogosavljev, and we have a very good cooperation with. I think that the reputation the KSS has with FIBA is based on good sports results, big basketball names – both players and coaches, but also sports officials. The KSS idea is to have representatives on the FIBA and FIBA Europe boards and in various commissions. This will be the main focus, because this year elections are scheduled for FIBA Europe, and later, during the World Cup in China for FIBA.
You were born in Belgrade, how much did you miss Serbian capital while you living in Europe?
I had the privilege of living in the two most beautiful countries in Europe – Spain and Greece where I made friends and where I played for top clubs … When I stopped playing professionally, my wife and kids and I decided to return to Belgrade. I never regretted that decision. Our city is the most beautiful in the world and I wanted my children to grow up in it and I wanted to continue living here after I finished playing basketball!
What is your favorite place in Serbia, where do you prefer to go on vacation and recharge your batteries?
When we decided to return, we spent a year preparing the two of our children who were born in Spain and lived in Greece for it by bringing them almost every weekend to Serbia and Montenegro. We visited all the monasteries and beautiful places. If there is something that I would have to single out, that is the beauty of the monasteries in Central Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro. Love for church life was crucial for our return to Serbia.
Finally, your vision of the future and plans?
At this point, of course, the priority is the European Basketball Championship, and then the World Men’s Championship in China. What is currently very trendy and what I’m working on in Federation is 3×3 basketball. We are trying to achieve a remarkable result in this plan as well. Of course, there is work with selections … We are trying to create a system and in some way organize the clubs in Serbia. We know that the situation is not great and that it is in some way connected with the economy of our country. What troubles us all is the conflict between FIBA and Euroleague, which is reflected in our ABA League, but I think that the respect that both sides have for the KSS will help solve this and we will work on that with other basketball associations.
By: Dejan Kontić