Alexander Gomelsky

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Alexander Yakovlevich Gomelsky
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Aleksandrs Gomeļskis, Александр Гомельский, Алекса́ндр Я́ковлевич Го́мельский
Coach, Sportsman
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Alexander Yakovlevich Gomelsky (Russian: Гомельский, Александр Яковлевич; 18 January 1928 – 16 August 2005) was a Soviet and Russian professional basketball coach. The father of Soviet and Russian basketball, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.

Alexander Gomelsky was awarded the Olympic Orderby the International Olympic Committee in 1998. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.


Coaching career

Gomelsky began his coaching career in 1948, in Leningrad, with LGS Spartak. In 1953, he became the coach of ASK Riga, leading the team to three Soviet Union League titles, and three consecutive European Champions Cups (EuroLeague), from 1958 to 1960.

In 1966, he was appointed the head coach of CSKA Moscow, where he coached until 1988, leading the club to 16 Soviet Union national league championships (1969-1974, 1976–1984, 1988), 3 Soviet Union Cups(1972, 1973, 1982), and one European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) title in 1971. He also led the club to two more European Champions Cup (EuroLeague) finals, in 1970, and 1973.

He also coached in Spain and France after the collapse of the USSR.

Soviet Union national team

Gomelsky coached the senior Soviet Union national team for almost 30 years, leading them to 7 EuroBasket titles (1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1979, and 1981), 2 FIBA World Cup titles (1967, and 1982), and the Summer Olympic Games gold medal in 1988.

He was originally the Soviet national team head coachin 1972, and was expected to coach the team at the 1972 Summer Olympic games, but the KGB confiscated his passport, fearing that, since Gomelsky was Jewish, he would defect to Israel. The Soviet team, with Vladimir Kondrashin as their coach, won their first Olympic gold medal that year, after a controversial game against the United States.


For merits in the development of sports and basketball was awarded:

  • Order of the Red Banner of Labor
  • Order of the Red Star
  • Order of Friendship of Peoples
  • 2 Orders of the Badge of Honour
  • Order of Merit (Ukraine) (2003)
  • Silver Olympic Order

Career achievements

Club competitions
  • EuroLeague: 4 (ASK Riga: 1958, 1959, 1960 & CSKA Moscow: 1971)
  • Soviet League: 19 (ASK Riga: 1955, 1957, 1958 & CSKA Moscow: 1969-1974, 1976-1984, 1988)
  • Soviet Cup: 3 (CSKA Moscow: 1972, 1973, 1982)
National team competitions
  • EuroBasket 1961:  Gold
  • 1963 FIBA World Championship:  Bronze
  • EuroBasket 1963:  Gold
  • 1964 Summer Olympics:  Silver
  • EuroBasket 1965:  Gold
  • 1967 FIBA World Championship:  Gold
  • EuroBasket 1967:  Gold
  • 1968 Summer Olympics:  Bronze
  • EuroBasket 1969:  Gold
  • 1970 FIBA World Championship:  Bronze
  • EuroBasket 1977:  Silver
  • 1978 FIBA World Championship:  Silver
  • EuroBasket 1979:  Gold
  • 1980 Summer Olympics:  Bronze
  • EuroBasket 1981:  Gold
  • 1982 FIBA World Championship:  Gold
  • EuroBasket 1983:  Bronze
  • EuroBasket 1987:  Silver
  • 1988 Summer Olympics:  Gold

Post coaching career

In his later years, Gomelsky was the president of CSKA Moscow. In 1995, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.

The EuroLeague's annual Alexander Gomelsky EuroLeague Coach of the Year award is named after him, and so is Alexander Gomelsky Universal Sports Hall CSKA.

See also

  • FIBA Basketball World Cup winning head coaches
  • List of select Jewish coaches
  • List of FIBA EuroBasket winning coaches
  • List of EuroLeague-winning head coaches


  • A. Ya. Gomelsky (1985). Team Management in Basketball (in Russian). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. Archived from the original on 24 February 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2007.


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