Glamorous Ceremony of the 22nd Karic Brothers Awards November 25, 2019
Glamorous Ceremony of the 22nd Karic Brothers Awards November 25, 2019
For the 22nd time at the National Theater in Belgrade, the prestigious Karic Brothers Award was presented to famous people whose actions, innovations and personal efforts strongly influenced mankind.
The ceremony began with the quote “We can forgive but we must not forget” written on a large LED screen next to a discreet portrait of the late Patriarch Pavle, and the performance of the “Nocturne” Choir and the „Borislav Pašćan“ Youth Philharmonic Orchestra who performed Serbian National Anthem “God of Justice”. A minute’s silence has been honoured in memory of the Academician Vladimir Veličković and Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov, two remarkable men who left us in 2019, who were honored with the Karić Brothers Award in 2002 and 2007.
This year the awards were presented by Dragomir J. Karić and Loreana Nedeljković, and a welcoma speech gave Milanka Karić, founder and honorary president of the Karić Foundation, while Danica Karić, president of the Karić Foundation was with other members of the Karić family in the audience.
– The establishment of the Karić Brothers Award was a highly responsible and honorable act for our family. Our reward is a living endowment we leave as a testament to our descendants to guard and pass it on to their sons and daughters. From day one, we carefully selected our laureates, we had a gift to recognize the best of the best. It is no accident that we were the first to award the great Peter Handke in 2000, who only recently became a Nobel laureate. Then Novak Djoković at the very beginning of his career in 2007, and today he is the world’s first racquet. We were honored to have another Nobel Prize winner, Zhores Alferov, as a member of the Karic Brothers Award laureate family. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev also have greatly honored us. Today, our award brings together over 150 brilliant minds. Together we strive to do everything in our power to make this planet a much better and more decent place to live – said Milanka Karić.
She said that six new laureates are truly remarkable personalities of remarkable biographies and life stories. They are cosmopolitans, humanists, incredibly charismatic, fighters for truth and justice, ambassadors of peace, cooperation and friendship among nations, modern heroes and knights of honor. They know no boundaries. The world is their oyster. Every man, whether a king or a beggar, is equally valuable to them. Their most powerful weapons are love, art, knowledge, justice, truth and humanity.
–Our dear laureates, my family and I infinitely grateful to have you with us tonight. Let me convey to you the words of the founder of this award and our foundation, my Bogolyub, who sends his greeting with words: “You are the golden letters of a different Serbian history, beacons on the map of Europe and the world“. The Karic Family and the Karic Foundation congratulate you and welcome you to our large family. Cheers! – Milanka Karić said.
The names of past laureates, including Valentina Matviyenko, Patriarch Pavle, Patriarch Irinej, Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow and All Russia, Nikita Mihalkov, Marina Abramović, Danilo Bata Stojković, Ljubivoje Tadić, Velimir Bata Živojinović, Rade Šerbedžija, Dragan Bjelogrlić, Olja Ivanjicki, Siniša Kovačević, Ljubivoje Ršumović, Jovan Ćirilov, Ašhen Ataljanc, Bora Dugić, Vlatko Stefanovski, Emir Kusturica, Dragan Džajić and Dragan Stojković Piksi, testify to the importance of the Karic Brothers Award.
In the category of journalism and literature, the Karić Brothers Award this year’s laureate is Marilina Veca, journalist and writer from Rome. She has been diligent and persistent in revealing the real truth about the lives of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija for decades.
The Serbian Orthodox singers performed the track “Red Flower” after which the program hosts, Slavko Beleslin and Bojana Lilić, announced Václav Dvořák, a Czech film and TV director and political analyst who shot documentary „Stolen Kosovo“ about the fate of Serbs in Kosmet, and told the truth that many have been hiding and others have been lopsidedly informed with a distorted picture of reality. Dvořák is also the initiator of a petition for the Czech Republic to reconsider the recognition of the so-called Kosovo Independence. For the courage shown, benefection towards the Serbian people and for strengthening the Serb-French friendship, the Karic Brothers Award was presented to Jacques Hogard, colonel and former commander of French special forces in Kosovo and Metohija. Željko Obradović was presented the award for outstanding results in Yugoslavian, Serbian, European and world basketball and for raising and preserving Serbia’s reputation in the world, by Dragomir J. Karić in Turkey, on Serbian territory at the Consulate of Serbia in Istanbul, in the presence of Consul Ivana Pejović. – I am sorry that I wasn’t able to come to Belgrade to the fantastic awards ceremony. I am glad to be in the company of such important people the award winners who left a big mark behind. Once again, I would like to thank everyone who participated in any victory that I achieved as a coach.Thanks again to the Karić Foundation, you have moved me, this is a truly wonderful acknowledgment – Obradović said.
The celebrated Greek musician Antonis Remos, who nurtures extremely close relationships with the Serbian people, is the recipient of the Karic Brothers Award in the category of culture and art. After his thank you speech Remos performed two songs, one by Željko Joksimović and other well-known „Mi Mou Thimonis Matia Mou”. In the category of scientific and research work this year the award went to one of the world’s most famous archeologists and the most respected Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, who gave a lecture a day earlier in the fully packed Kombank Hall, a gift to the citizens of Belgrade and Serbia from the Karić Foundation and the Embassy of Egypt.
At the end of the Award Ceremony, Milanka Karić presented a special award for peace, cooperation and friendship among peoples to all the 2019 laureates of the Karic Brothers Award. After the ceremony at the National Theater a gala reception was held for all the laureates and friends of the Karić Foundation at Villa Jelena.
ANTONIS REMOS (Αντώνης Ρέμος)
“My Heart Goes for Me” – the 2013 album title perhaps best depict such a fruitful solo career of Antonis Remos, success after success for more than a quarter of a century. The most popular and best-selling Greek singer says that he’d liked to be respected and remembered for his music. Indeed, the ballads he sings speak of love, and the sincere emotion emerging from every single verse, his unique, exceptional voice have been recognized not only in Greece, but also in Serbia, the Balkans, Europe and the world.
When the anonymous young man from Thessaloniki appeared in the Greek music scene back in 1995 and performed live next to great Greek artists such as Dimitris Mitropanos, Stefanos Korkolis, and Marios Tokas in Athens, a true miracle happened – the first sign of Remos’s great talent, as well as a confirmation that he was born under a lucky star. That’s all Sony Music Greece needed to offer him a contract right away.
The first album, simply titled “Antonis Remos”, in 1996, reached platinum in a few months and Antonis became the new idol of the Greek music scene.
His second album „Time to go below“ was released in April 1998, and for the first time, some of the most prestigious Greek composers had given their songs to Antonis Remos. The success was huge and for the second time in a row the album went platinum.
In the following years, success followed him every step of the way and he grew into one of the best Greek singers. Each of his next albums reached millions of copies.
Remos and Sakis Rouvas performed live together in Diogenis Palace and the double live CD release followed which became Remos’s best-selling album and one of the best-selling albums in Greece ever.
Performances with the most famous Greek artists followed. Antonis Remos performed live next to Yiannis Parios, Alkistis Protopsalti, Giorgios Dalaras and Tolis Voskopoulos. Three singers joined Antonis remos in his new and 3d album “Like a wind”, in three different songs: legend of Greek music Marinella, famous Giorgios Margaritis and the Italian artist Massimo Di Cataldo.
In March 2000, Remos performed the title song of the movie “Love is an elephant” written by Minos Matsas. The soundtrack went gold.
The golden year of Antonis Remos’s brilliant music career was certainly 2003 during which he had live perfomanses sharing stage with five other artists/composers each one for 45 nights all over Greece.
Already during summer of 2004, Mikis Theodorakis orchestra presented the composer’s music written for theater plays and films, with Antonis Remos as lead vocalist. In August of the same year, he sang at the Athens Olympic Games closing ceremony.
Good music knows no boundaries as shown by the world tour of May 2008 when Remos toured three continents with Sakis Rouvas.
In June 2011, after a public vote, Antonis Remos won the MAD Video Music Award in the category for the Best Text, for the song ” Cut Loans Now“ as well as for the Best Singer.
Also, Remos and his colleague, a Greek-Cypriot singer Anna Vissi, achieved great success with the show “One or Nothing” after which the Athenian evening takes on a whole new meaning while the title song from the play was named the duet performance of the year.
In early 2014, Antonis was involved in the show The Voice of Greece as a jury member.
Belgrade audience has had the opportunity to listen to Antonis Remos several times already, and his concerts were always in high demand. He loves Belgrade and has many friends here including Dušan Ivković, Željko Obradović, Vlade Divac, Žarko Paspalj and Dejan Bodiroga, as well as singer Tijana Dapčević, with whom he recorded a duet for the song “Give Me A Hug”.
Special colaboration he developed with Željko Joksimović led to joint performances, among which is the famous performance of Serbian traditional “Djurdjevdan” at a concert in Athens. He says that he shares similar emotions as well as the love for music with Serbian musicians. “I am always so happy to hear one of my songs in Serbia. There are also a lot of Serbian songs in Greece that are sung in Greek.”
For outstanding talent confirmed by his long fruitful career, for the bridges of friendship and cooperation he builds with music, Antonis Remos is rewarded tonight the Karic Brothers Award for his outstanding achievement in the Arts.
DR ZAHI HAWASS
Exploring the world beneath the surface, hidden deep in the labyrinths of the past, Dr. Zahi Hawass turned archeology into the art of reading and interpreting the history of ancient Egypt. He is probably the only man in the world who can answer the questions that inspire and drive the imagination. The excavations and investigations into the fate of Ramses III, the secret of the the Pyramid of Khufu(Cheops), then his search for the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, the long-lost tomb of famous lovers Antony and Cleopatra, sparked global interest around the world. He inspires young archaeologists and gives meaning and importance to their calling.
The mysteries of the past have been surfacing for decades in our understanding of Egypt thanks to the research of Dr. Hawass. Unlike his film counterpart Indiana Jones, everything that determines Dr. Hawass’ work is preceded by impressive knowledge, patience, dedication as well as dreams.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, born May 28, 1947, the world’s foremost Egyptologist, was Secretary General of the Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and the first Egyptian Minister of Antiquities, Director of Excavations at Giza Pyramid Plateau. He has also worked at archeological sites in the the Nile Delta, the Libyan Desert, the Upper and Lower Egypt.
Dr. Zahi Hawass has gained a special reputation by lecturing around the world, with numerous books he published and documentaries on ancient Egyptian civilization.
“I feel like the ‘king of the pyramids’ because I spent most of my life discovering – the secret door of the pyramids, the Tombs of the Pyramid Builders – that’s why they named me the ‘king of the pyramids’. We have discovered a lot and the discovery of another 70 percent of this treasure awaits us, ”he announced during last year’s visit to Serbia.
In his search for truth he published more than 40 books and 150 works on ancient Egypt. Among the most popular titles are the books ” Secret from the Sand”, ” The Valley of the Golden Mummies”, as well as the world bestseller ” The Legend of Tutankhamun”.
Deeply concerned about the conservation and protection of Egyptian precious heritage, Dr. Hawass returned more than 6,000 stolen and alienated artifacts to Egypt and trained more than 1,000 young archaeologists in museology and excavation techniques. He has also initiated the construction of 22 new museums in Egypt, including the Grand Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
The Egyptian Mummy Project, which used modern forensic techniques such as CT and DNA analysis, was also initiated by Dr. Hawass.
Over the course of his long career he has been presented with numerous awards and honors. As a recognizable face of the world’s leading science programs: National Geographic, History Channel, Discovery Channel and BBC, for a special on ancient Egypt, he received an Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2006. Earlier, in 1998, the President of Egypt bestowed on him the First Class Award for Arts and Sciences for the restoration of the Sphinx, and he also received the Pride of Egypt Award from members of the foreign press in Egypt. Time magazine chose him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in 2006. He was made an officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters, a goodwill ambassador, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences granted him a Silver Medal and membership in the academy, and in 2008 he received the rank of commander in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. In April 2017, Dr Hawass was named as New Ambassador for Cultural Heritage by International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development (an affiliate organization of the United Nations).
In an exclusive interview with Danica Karić Stojiljković, Dr. Hawass confirms: “Mummies are magical. Their magic brought Hollywood to Egypt. I believe in drama. Drama-free history is unacceptable. Because of my passion about archeology, my words reached the hearts of people all over the world. ”
The greatness of work and the scientific importance of one of the most influential archaeologists of today is recognized in Serbia as well. That is why tonight, the Karic Brothers Award for outstanding achievements in scientific and research work joins all the awards that Dr. Zahi Hawass, an archeologist known for his charisma, has received so far.
The well-known Czech author, film director Vaclav Dvorak, has learned from his own experience that the path to the truth about Kosovo and Metohija is a long and difficult one. That did not unhinge him in pursuit and efforts to persistently convey the truth he came up with while making the movie “Stolen Kosovo”. The fate of his movie is similar to the fate of the topic the movie is talking about.
While in Kosovo in 2004, Dvorak soon realized that information from the southern Serbian province reported by the Czech media was nowhere near true. “We were presented witha completely different picture of reality and events. I realized that everything was a lie, that everything was being abused and turned against Serbia. So, I wanted to make a movie that would let the truth come out and be seen.”
“Stolen Kosovo” treats the new “Orwellian” concept of humanitarian bombardment and discusses the outcome of such a cynically proclaimed “humanity.” With a professional documentary approach, the film captures the most significant events in the 20th century Serbian history, starting with the Balkan Wars, until Tito’s decision not to let expelled Serbs to return to Kosovo and Metohija, while giving their homes generously to the Albanian poor. NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, everything that preceded the aggression and everything that remained as a consequence – are the main themes of the film.
Czech television repeatedly delayed broadcasting it several times, claiming the documentary was “unbalanced” and marked with “pro-Serbian bias“. The director responded that the same could be said for “Holocaust documentaries that did not reflect other party views“. The movie is available online, where it captures huge ratings.
Vaclav Dvorak was the initiator of a petition to introduce the topic of Kosovo into the Czech public sphere, demanding that the Czech Republic reconsider the decision to recognize the independence of the so-called Republic of Kosovo:
“Barbarism that is incomprehensible to the civilized world still is very much visible on the Albanian side. Endangerment of Serbs and non-Albanians, the apparent and un acceptable usurpation of their property, the cruel audacity of the aggressor. I most admire the people who despite the oppression returned to their homes, started all over again resisting the hardships life has imposed on them. These people should be helped in every way, not just in words.”
Undeterred in the marathon battle for the truth about Kosovo, Dvorak launched internet newspaper „Kosovo Online“. Confronting lies about Srebrenica and the suffering of Srebrenica Serbs fed to the global public by the western media for more than two decades, he started to prepare material for a movie with a working title “Srebrenica – Facts and Lies” and hopes to premiere in 2020, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the events in Srebrenica.
Vaclav Dvorak was born in 1948, lives and works in Prague. He graduated from The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague or FAMU and his graduation film “Nelson 34” on the disaster of the brown coal mine has won multiple festival awards. His documentaries on Picasso, Einstein and Josef Kainar (a late Czech poet, lyrics writer, dramatic author and translator, but also a musician, illustrator, artist and journalist) also have attracted a lot of attention.
His work on Czech television stood out like “Portrait of the Square”, then a TV film about Jaroslav Hasek, as well as part of the series “Chronicle of our lives”. He led the film crew on the Ecuadorian Geological-Botanical Expedition from which some extraordinary works arose.
Vaclav Dvorak is chairman of the „Civil Society Friends of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija” as well as the Independent Media Association. He is the editor-in-chief of an independent web daily and media advisor to a Member of the European Parliament.
Recognizing the true director’s signature, unique humanity as well as the importance of the long-standing dedicated struggle for truth, the Karic Foundation honours the “Karic Brothers“ Award to Vaclav Dvorak for outstanding achievements in film and television art.
“From the first moment Kosovo and Metohija were for me a fight for truth and justice: it was my life, my blood, my hope, my anger.”
When a petition was submitted to the Italian Government in February 2019 requesting to review the recognition of the so-called state of Kosovo, among thousands of others thre was a name hiding a 20-year-old committed to uncovering the truth about the lives of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija after the arrival of KFOR peacekeepers. A signature bearing the personal touch, a way of thinking about the experience of a community, is a debt of honor and belongs to Marilina Veca.
Acknowledging the recognition of Kosovo as the utmost shame, Marilina Veca openly warns with sincerity and professional integrity, “The part of the international community recognizes Kosovo as a state, in fact it is a bandit nest where there is absolutely no law, especially not for Serbs.”
Talks she had with Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, especially with families of abductees, whom she considers primarily invited to speak about “the so-called Kosovo statehood established by NATO bombs,” make the substantive core of her oeuvre: “Kosovo lost”, “Landscape of the Soul”, “Prison under the Open sky “and “Wolf’s heart”. Dramatic reports of the history of violent deaths, confessions of terror and suffering as well as the survival of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, have reached the dormant Europe through the weeping voice of Marilina Veca.
She was the first to reveal the story about the victims of depleted uranium in Kosovo and Metohija among Italian soldiers, the first to warn about the human organs trafficking from abducted Kosovo Serbs. ”More than 2,000 Serbs went missing before the eyes of so-called international community and no one seems to care. So I had an overwhelming desire to tell the world what I heard from the families of the missing. ”
In the apocalyptically devastated world presented in “The Head of the Hydra”, she talks about human personification of indifference, pointing to a thin line between indifference and guilt. Drawing inspiration from the narrative fragments of Auschwitz survivor, Jean Améry – A Forgiving and Forgetting World has condemned me, not those who committed horror – Marilina Veca chooses not to forgive and not to allow the right to forget. Thoroughly contesting the tradition of indifference seems as the only hope for the forgotten.
Maria Lina Veca is a journalist and publicist with a degree from the Sapienza University of Rome and a specialization in paleography at the Vatican Secret Archives. Since 1993 she has been a meticulous chronicler of the military actions and ethnic conflicts. She has followed the Ibis Mission in Somalia and has been engaged in “Balkan scenario” since 1999. Her books, “The Somalia Scandal – The Anatomy of a Lie,” as well as “Moro Could Be Saved” – are the experimental workshop of journalistic unrest in contemporary society.
Marilina Veca converted to Orthodoxy and was named Vukosava.
As president of the non-profit organization, in colaboration with the UNESCO-supported “Arc of Peace” project, she supports and aids various peace projects while organizing humanitarian aid for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija enclaves.
By opposing privileged interpreters of contemporaneity, Marilina Veca had the strength to bring to light the truth about terrible crimes against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, and provided a well-rounded and convincing testimony of our time (storm of life).
For perseverance in truthfulness, freedom of mind and uncompromising dedication to meeting the standards of the profession, for a knightly attitude to the truth as a legacy for the future – the Karic Foundation honors Marilina Veca the Karic Brothers Award for Excellence in Journalism.
The history of Franco-Serbian diplomatic relations was marked by close alliances during World War I and World War II until France’s involvement in the 1999 aggression against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At the most difficult times for Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija in June 1999, during the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army – one name lit up the sky, a name that will remain remembered for its officer’s honor and humanity – the name of Colonel Jacques Hogard, Commander of the French Special Forces.
“The time of our troop deployment from Kosovo and Metohija was a time of chaos …. Colonel Jacques Hogard showed up in a middle of all that. At the entrance to Kosovska Mitrovica KLA terrorists blocked a long column of Serbian people, women and children in vehicles. The column was attacked from all sides. Colonel Hogard arrived and stopped the bloodshed, arranged for some people to be transported by helicopter and others to continue the journey by escorting them to Kosovska Mitrovica …. That’s why he is an honorable man and a true soldier. ”
IN GRAPHICS !!! : From the „War Diary“ by General Nebojša Pavković, Commander of the Third Army in 1999.
Decisiveness and sobriety in moments of war horror, as well as a shrewdness in reaction based on the immediate experience of civilization sinking and collision with evil – are the qualities of exceptional officers. Colonel Hogard is a descendant of General Jacques Hogard, a naval infantry officer, a WWII veteran and wars of Indo-China and Algeria, himself son of Emile-Louis Hogard, officer of the African Army, a nephew of General Pierre Louis de Bénouville, a hero of the Resistance and Companion of the Liberation. Inspired by his father’s stories about the tradition of Franco-Serbian friendship, he testified to Serbian officers during the negotiations on the entry of French troops into Kosovo and Metohija that he did not come as an enemy but as a soldier in the line of duty:
“I quickly became aware that my main job was to protect human lives. When those who consider themselves soldiers are attacking a helpless nun, as the KLA did, what is left for man to do besides to protect her and confront the attackers? And that’s what we did from the beginning. They plundered people of their property, emptied entire cities in just one night, as they did in Vučitrn. It was killing on a large scale. I hope that soon their leaders will be brought to justice. The fact that KLA was a privileged interlocutor of the EU is a distortion of history, a violation of international law and a decline of our civilization. ”
Deeply defeated by the feeling that he was on the wrong side of the conflict in 1999, Colonel Hogard retired from the French army the following year. Today, he runs two consulting and security companies.
“Europe has died in Pristina”, an authentic and personal Kosovo-Metohija memory and the cognition of Colonel Hogard, is a widely read book in France. The bitter sludge of war experience begins with a sentence by François Mitterrand addressed to Bernard-Henri Lévy back in January 1993: “As long as I am alive, never, listen to me well, never will France wage war against Serbia.”
Interpreting the historical-cultural dimension of Franco-Serbian friendship, Jacques Hogard has no dilemma: “Serbia should set an example for France. You have preserved the nation, culture, tradition, nature, religion. We are infected with mundialism. Serbia of today bears a resemblance to the land of Asterix and Obelix. You are now the unbreakable Gauls of Europe! ”
Jacques Hogard learns Serbian, often comes to Serbia and enjoys friendly hospitality.
His aid to the Serbian monasteries in danger and sacrifice in the protection of the Orthodox population brought him the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church – the Order of Saint Sava. For his outstanding courage and heroism, the President of France honored Colonel Jacques Hogard with the Legion of Honor and the President of the Republic of Serbia with the “Milos Obilić” medal.
Tonight, we modestly repay this discerning and far-sighted hero by rewarding him the Karic Brothers Award for benefaction – for promoting and strengthening peace, cooperation and friendship among nations.
ŽELIMIR ŽELJKO OBRADOVIĆ
Generaly considered as the best and greatest European basketball head coach of all time, winner of nine European Cups with five different clubs, started playing basketball in Borac Čačak. The history of European basketball in recent decades has been well written in one striking „script“ by Želimir Željko Obradović.
“I was most affected by basketball in 1973. It was the European Championship in Barcelona, where Čačak’s Dragan Kićanović played remarkably for the National Basketball Team. That made me to start thinking more about basketball and devote myself to it.”
In 1984, he left Borac Čačak and joined Partizan Belgrade, building his playing career for seven years. At age of 28 he played fot the National Team at the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics, and won a silver medal. He also brought home a gold medal with the National Team from the 1990 FIBA World Championship hosted by Argentina.
At the invitation of Dragan Kićanović and Moka Slavnić, at the age of 31, he assumed the coaching position at Partizan. By the end of the first season, he had won the first of nine European titles. That’s when the career of, now, legendary coach Željko Obradović began to take off. He often points out that he is grateful to Dragan Kićanović, Prof. Aca Nikolić and Dušan Ivković for his coaching career.
And it was he who, as Assistant Selector for National Team, won European gold for Yugoslavia in 1995. He led the National Basketball Team to the Olympic silver in 1996 Atlanta, World gold in 1998, European gold in 1997 and bronze in 1999.
While he was a Partizan Belgrade coach, he won 1992 FIBA European League and two years later but as a coach of Spanish Joventut in 1994 and with Real Madrid one year later.
As a head coach of Panathinaikos Željko Obradović has achieved unprecedented success in the history of European basketball – five EuroLeague titles from 2000 to 2011. He won 11 Greek League championships and seven Greek Cups with the Athens-based club.
In the season 2006/07 Obradović achieved winning the highly coveted Triple Crown with Panathinaikos and won the Alexander Gomelsky EuroLeague Coach of the Year award of Europe’s premier level basketball league 3 times. In summer 2013, he signed a two-year contract with the Turkish club Fenerbahce that, under his leadership, made five straight EuroLeague Finals Four appearances.
Željko says that the hardest thing is to stay on top and defend the title because the best have much less room for progress, unlike those who would like take their place. Yet he continued to be on the top, on the very throne of European basketball for decades. He points out that the ‘club must be healthy from the inside’ to be able to make good results.
He bases his life philosophy on the advice of his father – „respect others if you want them to respect you.“
A man worthy of respect has never forgotten his roots. Together with his school friend, Željko Obradović rebuilt the basketball court next to the Ratko Mitrović Elementary School in Čačak, where he made his first basketball steps, convinced that playgame is something that no child should be ever denied.
Serbia’s Basketball Coach with the most trophies won, Željko Obradović, has supported the “Lions for the Eagles” campaign to preserve the Eastern Imperial Eagle (known as Crusader Eagle), the Symbol of the Serbian Coat of Arms. Among the many awards he has received for his work are the Lifetime Achievement Award honored by Serbia’s Sports Association and was declared Honorary Citizen of Athens.
Although he says that the coach’s bread is of nine crusts, still every training time is his joy, the game in particular, that’s where he draws strength.
“The moment I don’t feel that pleasure anymore, I’ll probably stop coaching. I believe that every training, every game and every day of one’s life gives a person a chance to be better.”
The Karic Foundation rewards the best coach in the history of the European basketball, Željko Obradović, the Karic Brothers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sport.