|Daneu during the World Championship in 1970, a perfect ending to great international career|
Ivo Daneu is a former captain of the Yugoslav basketball national team and the oldest amongst the three ambassadors of EuroBasket 2013, which is with no doubt the biggest sporting event in his homeland Slovenia, since its independence.
Six Yugoslav Championship Titles With Olimpija
Although he retired from playing basketball already 41 years ago, he is still well known throughout the former Yugoslav territory and beyond as one of the best European players ever to play basketball. His successful career started in his hometown Maribor in 1949, where he played for Branik the following seven years.
Later he moved to AŠK Olimpija Ljubljana, the biggest Slovenian club that played in Yugoslavia's first league, which was a logical decision for a player of his kind. He took the club from the capital to all six Yugoslav national championship titles that the club managed to claim in its history (in 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966 and 1970).
Played For Only Three Clubs
Today it seems kind of unusual that a player of such quality played for only three clubs in his career and that he never played for any foreign club. During his club career he received some opportunities to play for some powerhouses of European club basketball, such as Real Madrid, but he refused to go abroad, because he loved to play in his home country. He did not care about the money or fame, he could gain in Madrid and remained faithful to his Olimpija for which he played until 1970, when he lifted the Yugoslav trophy for the last time.
After that, he retired from club basketball and started his short coaching career. He was in charge of Olimpija's first team for one season and after that decided to return to the court once again and put on the jersey of KK Rudar Trbovlje in 1972.
Magnificent Ending Of A Great Career - World Champion In Front Of His Home Fans
However, he paved his way to become a legend with great performances in the jersey of Yugoslavia. For the "Blues" ("Plavi") he played 209 international games between 1957 and 1970 and brought home eight medals from big events. His favourite is the silver medal from the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968, while the undisputed crown of his international career came in 1970, when Yugoslavia hosted the FIBA World Championship, with the Final Round being played in Tivoli Hall, Ljubljana.
Daneu did not shine individually in the decisive match against the USA, which his team won with (70:63), but scored two important shots at the end of the game and afterwards lifted the world championship trophy as the captain of the legendary team. This was the end of his international career, an ending most players can only dream of.
Yugoslav Sportsman Of The Year, Member Of The FIBA Hall Of Fame
For any sportsman from a country with such a rich sporting tradition like Yugoslavia it was an amazing honour to be named sportsman of the year, which Ivo became in 1967, the same year that Yugoslavia won the silver medal at the FIBA World Championship in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was not forgotten after the end of his career either, since he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991 and was later, in 2007, enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
|Ivo Daneu at the official EuroBasket 2013 Draw in Postojna Cave, carrying out his ambassador duties with a smile|
Son Jaka Followed His Footsteps
Ivo Daneu succeeded in passing the love for basketball to future generations too, at least within his own family. His son Jaka Daneu played basketball professionally for Union Olimpija Ljubljana, Czarni Slupsk and Slovan Ljubljana. He was a member of the Slovenian national team which played its first international game on 20th May 1992 against Croatia and has worn the national team jersey for seven years, until 1997. Today, Jaka is an assistant coach at Union Olimpija Ljubljana.
Played His Part For Slovenian Independence
After the end of his basketball career, Ivo Daneu got involved in politics too. On 4th October 1990 he had the opportunity to be the first to propose the plebiscite about independence of Slovenia as a member of Parliament. Today he is promoting the biggest sporting event in Slovenia since that day in the role of a EuroBasket 2013 Ambassador.