Basketball players in wheelchairs and sports journalists back to back in Ada Ciganlija

On the occasion of 100 years of basketball in Serbia, Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation organized the event “Basketball Without Borders” at Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade, together with the Singidunum Crvena Zvezda Wheelchair Basketball Club, and with the support of the United States Embassy in Belgrade,. 

Our most well known journalists had the opportunity to try “3 on 3” basketball in wheelchairs, back to back with the best basketball players in this sport, under the leadership of the captain of the national team Željko Ćirković alongside Vlada Kuzmanović, the celebrated basketball player of Serbia. On the basketball court specially adapted for people with disabilities, after a short training the coaches showed the participants a few tricks, after which our media representatives had the opportunity to take part in the game themselves.

“The Foundation, with its founder Vlade Divac, used the opportunity this year, when 100 years of basketball in Serbia was being celebrated, to promote sportsmanship and the importance of team cooperation, and especially to appeal to young people to get involved in sports as much as possible, to give them the adequate support and motivation to achieve their goals. We would like to thank the US Embassy in Belgrade with whose support we organized this event. The Foundation also helps people with disabilities, both through direct assistance and through projects encouraging employment and entrepreneurship among this group, this is an ideal opportunity to promote these great basketball players and show how barriers are easier to overcome when you are in a good team,,” said Ana Koeshall, director of the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation.


“Since the American Red Cross volunteer arrived in Serbia 100 years ago with a basketball in his suitcase, the love for this sport in Serbia has grown to a level that I’m sure was unimaginable. Today we want to shine a light on a segment of basketball that receives less attention, but certainly shows the world perhaps the most important aspect of sports - that there are no obstacles for teamwork, for making dreams a realization and for achieving great results with effort and motivation,” said Holly Zardus, cultural attache of the USA Embassy.

The wheelchair basketball club Singidunum Crvena Zvezda has been achieving great results for the 22 years since the beginning,  and in 2019 they won their first medal when eight players joined the Serbian National team at the European Championship in Sofia, where they achieved a historic placement in the B division. In the 2022/2023 season, they are part of the International “NLB Wheel” league, where they are defending the third place they won the previous season.

“I am glad that at this event for 100 years of basketball in Serbia, the choice fell on basketball players in wheelchairs, and I thank the Divac Foundation for the opportunity to participate again. My interest in this sport started when I realized how much talent these guys have and how much effort they need to put in compared to other athletes. That’s when I got the desire to open a door for them and help make all of this available and affordable,” said Vladimir Kuzmanović, sports analyst and famous basketball player.

The event was organized  in partnership with the Red Cross of Serbia, who through their campaign “Your life is in your hands” aimed at athletes, presented the provision of layman first aid and reminded of the importance of timely response in case of sudden cardiac arrest.

Prof. Dr. Dragan Radovanović, President of the Serbian Red Cross, pointed to the fact that the number of cardiac arrests on sports fields has increased in the last two or three years and added: “Through the campaign “Your life is in your hands”, the Red Cross educates citizens, and especially sports workers, in providing timely first aid”. 

This event is just one in a series organized by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation on the topic of 100 years of basketball in Serbia, with the support of the US Embassy in Belgrade, where we get to know Serbian basketball through the great and interesting stories of those who wrote and are continuing to write its history.

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