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Slovenians became enthusiastic about basketball as early as 1905 when they started playing korball in schools and gymnastic clubs. However, the true beginnings of modern basketball date back to the year 1921. Ciril Hočevar, a physical education teacher and member of the Sokol Maribor society, was the true pioneer of basketball in Slovenia. In order to prepare for entrance exams for higher education in Prague, he had to master the rules of basketball, as it was a highly developed and played sport in the Czech republic. Upon his return, he brought his basketball knowledge to Slovenia.

Three rows of female basketball players in blue sports uniforms.

A whie board with a basketball hoop among the trees.

The awakening of the basketball spirit

The people of Maribor started playing modern basketball, developed by Dr. James Naismith and introduced to Europe in 1892, as early as 1921, thus popularizing this sport among the rest of the Slovenian population. With the establishment of FIBA (International Basketball Federation) in 1932, basketball was included in the official program of the Olympic Games in Berlin (1936). In former Yugoslavia, basketball was introduced by students who played it in high schools and clubs, such as the Sokol Association, which was widespread throughout the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The first official game took place in Ljubljana in 1945 between the First Gymnasium (Vegova) and the Fourth Gymnasium (Bežigrad). One of the players in these games was Bogdan Mueller, who later represented Yugoslavia internationally.

White, blue and red flag of Slovenia with an emblem and a basket ball.


After World War II, basketball experienced a rapid rise. On January 15, 1950, the Basketball Association of Slovenia was established, with Tine Benedičič serving as its first president. They had 19 clubs and 603 members. The first Slovenian to play for the Yugoslav national team was Mirko Amon in 1950, followed by Boris Kristančič, Bogdan Mueller, Jože Zupančič, Marjan Kandus, and Ivo Daneu, who played significant roles in the Yugoslav national team over the next four decades, with Ivo Daneu as the leading figure. Daneu led Yugoslavia to numerous medals in European and world championships, and in 2007, he was rightfully inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

A woman's face with a basketball pattern.


Did you know that Škofja Loka is the birthplace of Slovenian women's basketball? Yes, you read that right!

The Ursuline sisters led physical education at Škofja Loka Castle, and it was there that girls began playing basketball. In 1936, during a physical education class, Professor Angela Bahovec introduced a new game she had learned in England called basketball. On May 15, 1993, after several decades of training, the first Slovenian women's national team made its debut. They defeated the Georgian team with a score of 82:61, and by mid-November 2020, they were already on their way to qualifying for the European Championship the following year. The team has already participated in the European Championship twice: first in 2017, where they finished 14th, and then in 2019, where they claimed 10th place. Progress!

Let's keep our fingers crossed that this year they will once again make history with an excellent performance!