|Peter Vilfan in action during his active days|
Peter Vilfan is a member of the middle generation of Slovenian basketball players, which unites Slovenian and former Yugoslav basketball and the only one of the three ambassadors of EuroBasket 2013, who had the honour to play for both the Slovenian and the Yugoslav basketball national team and was an important member of both.
From Maribor To Jugoplastika, Olimpija And Partizan.
He started his rich basketball career in his hometown Maribor, where he played for a local club in the second Yugoslav league until he received the opportunity to play for the big names of Yugoslav basketball such as Smelt Olimpija Ljubljana, Jugoplastika Split and Partizan Belgrade. He quickly became a fans' favourite everywhere he played due to his undisputed talent, as well as inspirational and attractive style of his game.
Record Holder At Partizan For Points Scored In A Single Season
Strangely enough for a player of his qualities, he never won any trophies at club level in Yugoslavia, although he used to be one of the best players in the Yugoslav league at the time and for instance still holds an all-time record for points scored in a single season by any Partizan player with 1008 points, that he scored in 1985/86 season, the only one that he spent with the Belgrade black and whites.
Six Big Events In A Yugoslav Jersey And Four Trophies
However, his trophy case is not empty at all, thanks to the very successful era that he went through with Yugoslavian national teams, both in youth categories and with the senior team. He wore the senior Yugoslavian national team's jersey from 1978 until 1983, appeared 121 times and is today the third Slovenian by all-time appearances for Yugoslavia.
His senior international career could not start better, as he took the gold medal already as a debutant in the senior national team at the FIBA World Championship in Manila, Philippines in 1978. For a variety of reasons, this is also his favourite trophy that he won in his career. Altogether he played for the "Blues" ("Plavi") at six big events, winning four medals. Besides the one from 1978, he also won a bronze medal at the FIBA World Championship in Colombia in 1982, another bronze at EuroBasket 1979 in Italy and a silver medal at EuroBasket 1981 in Czechoslovakia.
The First Captain Of The Slovenian National Team
Even though EuroBasket 1983 was his last big event, his international career was not over at this time. After the independence of Slovenia, he put on his national team jersey again, this time the Slovenian one. He was the first captain of the Slovenian national team, which played its first game on 20th May 1992 against Croatia. Altogether, he appeared 11 times for Slovenia, scoring 74 points wearing green.
|Peter Vilfan happily took on the job to promote EuroBasket 2013|
Head Coach, Board Member, Commentator, Basketball School Owner
Even after his playing days, Vilfan remained active in the world of basketball. He founded the first Slovenian youth basketball school, which is named after him. Since 1991 he is a basketball commentator for Slovenian national television and the Slovenian channel Sportklub. He even tried himself in the role of head coach at Smelt Olimpija in 1995 and also became a board member of Union Olimpija later.
His Daughter Played For Slovenia Too
Perhaps you already know that basketball is a family thing in Slovenia, and the Vilfans are no exception. His daughter Anja Vilfan Ilievski is a former national team player and has appeared eight times for her country. She is also married to F.Y.R. of Macedonia point guard Vlado Ilievski, who used to play in Slovenia for Union Olimpija Ljubljana. Vilfan also has two grandsons, who might one day become as good as he used to be.
Today, Peter Vilfan is a member of Slovenian Parliament, who at the same time enjoys promoting basketball in Slovenia and abroad in the role of a EuroBasket 2013 Ambassador.