Euroleague Team - Union Olimpija Ljubljana - ULEB
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League Slovenia
President Joze Mermal
Address Celovška 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
Phone + 386 61 314 170
Fax + 386 61 301 334
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The History of
Union Olimpija

In Slovenia, basketball is synonymous with the name Olimpija. The basketball club, which today is called Union Olimpija, was founded in 1946 as a section of the Svoboda Physical Culture Society. The first basketball game was played the same year against Udarnik and Olimpija came out on top with the score of 37:14. Late in 1946, the club was renamed Enotnost and was known by that name until 1954 when this pre-eminent club of sport games assumed the name of ASK Olimpia. Later various sponsors were associated with the club, which meant that the name of the sponsor had to be added to the name Olimpia. Thus in the period for 1977 to 1978 the club was called Brest Olimpija, then Iskra Olimpija (1979-1982) and Smelt Olimpija (1984, 1984-1996). Since 1997 the club has been called by it current name UNION OLIMPIJA.

The first basketball games were held in the Tabor arena, and since 1951 the matches were held on the famous sand court beneath the palace of Cekinov grad, in a grove of linden and chestnut trees. In 1954 the basketball court was asphalted, and in 1952 basketball moved to a court djacent to Cekinov grad. In 1965 the arena of Hala Tivoli was built at this very location, and in 1970 the World Basketball Championships were hosted there. Olimpija conquered its first title of national champion of the then Yugoslavia as early as 1957. On that occasion, the following players were on the team: Janez Bajc, Primaz Brisnik, Ivo Daneu, Bogo Debevc, Matija Dermastija, Igor Jelnikar, Marjan Kandus, Peter Kralj, Boris Kristancic, Lujo Lampic, Miha Lokar, Rudi Pertot, Joze Podboj, Sasi Poljsak, Janez Skrjanc and Stane Fugina as Technical Manager. Before Slovenias's independence, Olimpija won the Yugoslav National Champion title five times (1959, 1961, 1962, 1966 and 1970).

Throughout its history, the club produced several outstanding players who took part in the Olympic Games and world and European championships, while as many as twelve Olimpija's players won medals at these competitions. They were Ivo Daneu (8), Vinko Jelovac(8), Jrij Zdovc (4), Peter Vilfan (4), Aljosa Zorga (3), Vital Eiselt (3), Borut Bassin (3), Tine Logar (1), Miha Lokar (1), Joze Papic (1), Radisav Crucic (1) and Marjan Kandus (1).

A new era for the club began with the gaining of Slovenia's independence. Union Olimpija at that time won eight national champion titles and seven Slovenian Cup titles. In the international arena, 1993/94 was the club's best season when Smelt Olimpija conquered the European Cup, 15 March 1994 in Lausane, Switzerland. In the final match the club defeated Spanish Taugres by score of 91:81. The following players were the scores on that occasion: Horvat 36, Daneu 2, Razic, Hauptman 27, Tusek 8, Kraljevic 6, Gorenc 10, Nosov, Durisic 2. The team was coached by Zmago Sagadin. The 1996/97 season was also a time of outstanding success as the team from Tivoli advanced to the final four and captured third place in Euroligue. Coached by Zmago Sagadin, the following players were on the team in Rome: Jaka Daneu, Slavko Duscak, Gregor Hafnar, Dusan Hauptman, Darren Henrie, Roman Horvat, Ivica Jurkovic, Marijan Kraljevic, Arriel McDonald, Marko Millic, Radoslav Nesterovic, Vladimer Stepania and Marko Tusek.

Two European-level coaches and former Olimpija players are Slobodan Subotic (coach of Greek champion Panathinaikos) and Vinko Jelovac (coach of Israel's Maccabi from Tel Aviv).

Union Olimpija is turning into one of Europe's finest basketball centres. The fundamental goal of the selection and training of young athletes is to produce good quality basketball players for the needs of the club's team. With our first team, we strive to become a permanent fixture in Euroleague, Europe's most prestigious club-level competition.









Cup of Cups


National Championship
Ex Yugoslavia
8 Championships

National Cup
7 Championships


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