Tanjevi?, in November 2007.
|Born||13 February 1947|
Pljevlja, PR Montenegro, FPR Yugoslavia
|Nationality||Bosnian / Italian / Turkish|
|NBA draft||1969 / Undrafted|
|Career highlights and awards|
|As head coach:
|FIBA Hall of Fame as coach|
He is best known for being KK Bosna's head coach when the club became the top-tier level European-wide champions by winning the FIBA European Champions Cup in the 1978-79 season as well as for coaching the Italian national team to the gold medal at EuroBasket 1999. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2019.
Tanjevi? was born on 13 February 1947 in Pljevlja, PR Montenegro, FPR Yugoslavia. In 1951, four-year-old Bogdan was brought to Sarajevo, SR Bosnia due to his Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) officer father Strahinja Tanjevi? getting reassigned there. Growing up in Sarajevo, he spent most of his summers back in Montenegro in his grandfather's village on the slopes of the Ljubi?nja mountain near Pljevlja. Attending Veselin Masle?a primary school in Sarajevo, young Bo?a got involved with basketball at the FIS outdoor courts alongside friends such as Uglje?a Uzelac and Davorin Popovi?.
Tanjevi? began playing basketball at the hometown ?eljezni?ar Sarajevo.
In parallel with his university studies in Belgrade, young Tanjevi? played basketball at OKK Beograd on a team alongside established players Radivoj Kora?, Trajko Rajkovi?, Slobodan Gordi?, and Miodrag Nikoli?.
In summer 1971, he parted ways with OKK Beograd, agreeing principal terms with KK Oriolik, a Yugoslav First Basketball League (top-tier) club from Slavonski Brod that had just finished its second-ever top-tier season in 11th place (out of twelve) and was in the process of putting together its roster for the upcoming top league campaign. However, within a month of signing for Oriolik, instead of going to Slavonski Brod, Tanjevi? decided to abruptly end his playing career at the age of twenty-four by taking the head coaching offer at KK Bosna, a second division club from Sarajevo.
Despite a four-year run with the Yugoslav national junior (under-18) team, having made the final cut for several FIBA Europe youth competitions from 1964 until 1966 under head coach Ranko ?eravica, Tanjevi? wasn't able to make the next step and earn a spot on the Yugoslav full squad.
Tanjevi? received his first call up for the Yugoslav junior national team by its head coach ?eravica in 1963 when he was only sixteen years old. Tanjevi? later talked of his surprise to have gotten his debut considering he played for a "provincial lower-league club KK ?eljezni?ar Sarajevo", commending ?eravica for not favouring players from big established clubs over those from smaller ones.
In spring 1964, sixteen-year-old Tanjevi?, still with ?eljezni?ar at the time, made the Yugoslav junior team for the European Championship for Juniors in Naples in April 1964. As the youngest player on that roster, he had to fight hard for his spot until the very last training camp game, just edging out Sta?a ?or?evi? of Radni?ki Belgrade for the 12th roster spot. Consisting of youngsters most of whom wouldn't later go on to notable basketball careers (Ljubi?a Janji?, Anton Bra?un, Ljubi?a Stankovi?, Sr?an Skuli?, Miljenko Valci?, Slobodan Jeli?, Tihomir Pavlovi?, Jurica Kosta, Danko Ho?evar, Mom?ilo Pazmanj, and Andrej Brenk), the Yugoslav team lost 3 of its 5 games at the championship. Tanjevi? got very little playing time, without managing to score a single basket at the competition.
In summer 1966, 19-year-old Tanjevi?, now an OKK Beograd player, was selected for the Yugoslav junior team sent to the European Championship for Juniors in Porto San Giorgio on the Italian Adriatic coast in late August 1966. Unlike two years earlier when he mostly sat on the bench, this time Tanjevi? actually got a bit of playing time on a roster alongside players that would go on to reach great heights in the game of basketball such as Kre?imir ?osi?, Aljo?a ?orga, Duci Simonovi?, Damir ?olman, Kosta Grubor, Dragi?a Vu?ini?, Dragan Kapi?i?, etc. Yugoslavia made it to the final, but suffered a 21-point blowout by Soviet Union in the gold medal game. For his part, Tanjevi? appeared in all five games Yugoslavia played at the championship, recording a modest output of 2.4 points per game.
In 1971, twenty-four-year-old Tanjevi? got named as head coach of KK Bosna, a club playing in the second-tier Yugoslav Second Federal League.
The appointment happened quite abruptly as Tanjevi?, an active player still, had just agreed on the terms of his transfer to KK Oriolik from Slavonski Brod. Having a whole month before going to Slavonski Brod to finalize the transfer and sign the necessary paperwork, Tanjevi? spent time in Sarajevo by frequenting KK Bosna's daily summer training sessions, a second-tier club with a batch of young players preparing for its upcoming Second Federal League season. Quite unexpectedly, within weeks, young Tanjevi? got offered the head coaching position at Bosna by the club's brass who liked the young man's vocal nature and enthusiasm. After months of wrangling during which he had to re-arrange different details of his personal and professional lives, he decided to quit playing basketball at the age of twenty-four and take the unexpected head coaching offer.
Inheriting a roster of youngsters such as nineteen-year-old ?arko Varaji?, Ante ?ogi?, Ro?eni Krvavac, twenty-one-year-old center Zdravko ?e?ur, Jovo Terzi?, twenty-two-year-old Mirsad Milavi?, Milan Pavli?, Slobodan Pejovi?, and Aleksandar Nada?din, Tanjevi? brought in twenty-two-year-old guard Svetislav Pe?i? from Partizan Belgrade and Bruno So?e, also arriving from Belgrade. Furthermore, the head coach sought to establish authority over players only a couple of years younger than him. To that end he re-hauled the training regiment, instituting practice sessions twice a day while introducing strict discipline.
The new approach produced immediate results as the club managed to gain promotion in Tanjevi?'s first season. The promotion was secured in dramatic fashion in a single-game playoff against city rivals KK ?eljezni?ar because the two clubs sat atop the Second League's west division, having split the regular season home-and-away series, so it was decided that a single game (the so-called majstorica) would determine which team gets promoted. Played on 28 April 1972 in front of 7,000 spectators at the Skenderija Hall, only two weeks after the same venue hosted the iconic Yugoslav partisan film Valter brani Sarajevo premiere, the game was a tense affair. KK Bosna, that saw its 25-year-old head coach Tanjevi? suit up and play 20 minutes after a whole season of not playing competitive basketball, ended up winning 65-59. It was a historic success for KK Bosna that prior to Tanjevi?'s arrival spent 16 seasons stuck in the Second Federal League, unable to overcome the last hurdle before the top-tier First Federal League.
Over the summer of 1972, preparing for its first ever top-flight campaign, the newly promoted club pulled off a remarkable coup by bringing in eighteen-year-old top prospect Mirza Deliba?i? from Sloboda Tuzla, in the process beating out bigger Yugoslav clubs such as KK Partizan for the youngster's signature. The signing was preceded by a year-long recruitment courtship that culminated during the summer. Knowing Partizan already managed to get KK Sloboda's agreement to release Deliba?i?, Bosna management intensified their direct approach to the player on two fronts -- Bosna sports society president Vuka?in "Vule" Vukalovi? made frequent visits to Deliba?i?'s parents cajoling them with financial terms while the team's young coach, only 7 years Deliba?i?'s senior, essentially stalked the player during his training camp for the upcoming European Championship for Juniors in Zadar, eventually befriending and persuading him that Bosna would be the best fit for him. Just before the season began, Bosna also brought in Ratko Radovanovi?, a tall and raw sixteen-year-old from Nik?i? who hadn't even played organized basketball up to that point, however, liking the teenager's size and motor skills, Tanjevi? believed he could be molded into a good player, a move that would pay dividends a few years later.
Playing their debut season in the country's top-tier competition, Tanjevi?'s young Bosna team finished in 12th spot (out of 14 clubs) with a 10-16 record. Though in the end they avoided relegation comfortably, it wasn't without a fight, at one point recording nine straight league losses, all of which was considered disappointing. During the season's low point, after finally ending the nine-game losing streak, the level of deflation among the team's fans was such that Tanjevi? got approached by Oslobo?enje journalist Kemal Kurspahi? with an offer of addressing the public directly via an op-ed of sorts in the city's only daily newspaper -- Tanjevi? accepted, penning a piece urging fans not to give up on the team and boldly predicting a league title in the 1976-77 season. With the skillful young players on its roster led by the country's most sought-after young talent Deliba?i?, many expected Bosna to be more than just mere relegation battlers. Deliba?i? who contributed with 15.8 points per game over the 26-game season, already the target of criticism over his shaky defensive displays throughout the season, publicly admitted disappointment with the team's overall performance as well as his own in particular while expressing confidence that the team still has title potential.
The following season, 1973-74, the team made remarkable progress with a 14-12 record that was good enough for the 4th spot (their record was identical with KK Partizan and Radni?ki Belgrade, but Bosna had a better head-to-head record). It was another historic result because it meant that Bosna would compete in Europe the following season for the first time in its history.
After coaching the Yugoslavia junior national team and winning gold at the European Championship for Juniors during summer of 1974 in Orléans, 27-year-old Tanjevi? went away to serve his mandatory Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) stint, temporarily handing the head coaching position at Bosna over to Luka Stan?i? from Valjevo who took over for the entire 1974-75 season.
The combination of Tanjevi?'s absence and the pressures of playing in Europe reflected badly on team's domestic league performance as Bosna finished the season in somewhat disappointing 7th place with a 12-14 record. On the other hand, they posted notable success in the FIBA Kora? Cup, making the quarterfinals where they got eliminated over two legs by Ranko ?eravica's FC Barcelona -- after winning by eight points 81-73 at home behind Varaji?'s 24 points, Deliba?i?'s 16 (though he fouled out in 32nd minute), Pe?i?'s 15, and ?e?ur's 13 in front of a 7,000-strong raucous crowd at Skenderija on 5 February 1975, they couldn't hold on to the lead away a week later, losing by fourteen 80-66.
With Tanjevi?'s return from the army, the team also returned to form, finishing the league in 3rd spot with an 18-8 record, just behind Partizan and Jugoplastika.
Having been groomed by Tanjevi? over the previous years for a main role at the center position, the season saw the full maturation of lanky nineteen-year-old Ratko Radovanovi? who contributed with 13.3ppg, largely joining Deliba?i? and Varaji? as the team's main offensive threats and squeezing center Zdravko ?e?ur out of the squad in the process. Though liking ?e?ur's hustle and willingness to sacrifice his body, Tanjevi? largely considered him a liability due to his continual lack of fitness and looked to decrease the team's reliance on him under the basket by bringing up young Radovanovi? who in addition to better agility also had a height advantage over ?e?ur.
Bosna led the league comfortably most of the season. With three games to go until the end, they were top of the table, two games ahead of the second-placed Petar Skansi-coached KK Split (Jugoplastika) that was coming to Sarajevo for a scheduled league game between two teams. Bosna won their previous contest in Split during first half of the season by 15 points. Going into the Sarajevo game, KK Split players seemed conciliatory, already pronouncing Bosna new champion in their press sound bytes. Bosna players, on the other hand, brimmed with confidence having just recorded a big away win versus KK Partizan, another title contender, on their home court in Belgrade. However, in what was something of an upset, KK Split pulled out a notable away win at Skenderija, getting within only one game behind Bosna. Next fixture, second last of the season, saw Bosna go to play KK Zadar away and lose, which combined with Split winning meant a tie at the top. The final week changed nothing as both teams won their respective games, finishing with identical 23-3 records.
The league title was thus decided in a single-game playoff at Belgrade's Hala Pionir where despite leading for most of the second half, and even having an 8 point lead with three minutes to go, Bosna ended up losing 98-96 courtesy of Damir ?olman's last second buzzer beater -- a crushing defeat along with a feeling that they let the title slip through their fingers.
Managing to put the pain of the previous season behind them, Tanjevi?'s Bosna team led the league from beginning to the end of the season, winning it comfortably in the end with a 23-3 record, two games ahead of second-place Ranko ?eravica-coached KK Partizan's 21-5.
Simultaneously, the same two teams made the FIBA Kora? Cup final played in late March 1978 in Banja Luka's Borik Hall -- Bosna's first-ever European final. In a game of great quality in front of 6,000 fans, the score at the end of regulation was tied 101-101, requiring overtime in which Bosna succumbed 110-117 to Partizan team that got a great contribution from its stars Dra?en Dalipagi? and Dragan Ki?anovi? with 48 and 33 points, respectively.
The crown of Tanjevi?'s rich sporting career came on 5 April 1979, at Palais des Sports, in Grenoble, when KK Bosna, under his command, became the FIBA European Cup Champions (EuroLeague) champions, by winning the 1978-79 FIBA European Champions Cup.
Tanjevi? signed a three-year contract with ASVEL in July 2001.
In March 1969, Tanjevi? married Jasna Selimovi?, a basketball player herself who played for ?KK ?eljezni?ar and ?KK Vo?dovac during her career, even making the Yugoslavia national team. The two met and began dating in Sarajevo while both played within the KK ?eljezni?ar system, for its men's and women's teams, respectively. Their wedding ceremony took place in Belgrade where 22-year-old Tanjevi? at the time simultaneously pursued world literature studies at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy and played basketball with OKK Beograd while Selimovi? played with ?KK Vo?dovac. The couple has two daughters and a son. Though temporarily residing in different cities throughout Europe due to Tanjevi?'s various head coaching jobs, his family's primary residence since 1986 has been in Trieste, Italy.
In 2006, Tanjevi? came out in support of Montenegrin independence, becoming part of the pro-independence campaign organized by Milo ?ukanovi?'s Movement for Independent Montenegro; Tanjevi?'s face appeared on billboards urging the citizens of Montenegro to vote 'Yes' at the referendum.
In a 2013 interview for a Slovenian TV station ahead of EuroBasket 2013 being held in Slovenia, Turkish national team head coach Tanjevi? expressed a nostalgic sentiment towards Yugoslavia, stating: "I don't have a country anymore, because my country was Yugoslavia in every sense. Even today I think we were stronger together. My homeland has been stolen. You've got these seven countries now, but I don't have my own and neither do the two and half million of those who used to declare as Yugoslavs. And I used to be an extreme Yugoslav. Literally an extremist".
During spring 2018, Tanjevi? publicly voiced his support for longtime Montenegrin leader Milo ?ukanovi? ahead of the upcoming Montenegrin presidential elections via appearing in ?ukanovi?'s campaign video: "Being a very political man ever since my youth -- I'm reading all the newspapers cover to cover -- and having followed the events on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the last 20 years, I think that Milo ?ukanovi? is the best, the smartest, and the right man to be the president of the republic. To those who [negatively] bring up Mr. ?ukanovi?'s longevity on the political scene, my answer is: 'Imagine the United States of America with Barack Obama in a 16 or 24-year term instead of just 8 and image how much better the world would be. And then give a thought to why the most developed country in the world [the People's Republic of China] is currently in the process of amending its own constitution so that Xi Jinping can remain its leader'".
In late December 2019, Tanjevi? signed a petition calling on the European Union institutions to condemn the public demonstrations taking place in various towns throughout Montenegro against the religious law passed by the ?ukanovi? authorities. Referring to the protests as "Serbia's attempt of returning Montenegro within the same state with Serbia" and "a Greater Serbia nationalist attack that's supposed to set the stage for a new attempt of overthrowing the Montenegrin leadership after it successfully defended itself from the joint Serbia-and-Russia-organized October 2016 coup attempt", the petition calls on the political figures in the international community to condemn "Serbian attempts at destabilizing Montenegro, a country with an unwavering direction for the civil society, Euro-Atlantic integration, protection of minorities, and good relations with its neighbours". The petition further expands to directly point the finger at Serbia's current official political leadership in Belgrade, the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the local Montenegrin oppositional parties for being the "strategists, financiers, organizers, and logistical support providers for the destabliziation of Montenegro, which has once again become the victim of the regenerated policies of Slobodan Milo?evi?". Finally, the petition places the above-mentioned institutions in the same context and continuity with the "Serb genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass war crimes, and crimes against the humanity in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo".