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KK Union Olimpija is a professional basketball team that is based in Ljubljanamarker, Sloveniamarker. The team currently competes in the Premier A Slovenian League, the Adriatic League, and the Euroleague.


When a country of 2 million people generates as many great players as Slovenia, there has to be some magic at work. In the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, the magicians wear the green of Union Olimpija, a club that has become known as something of a talent farm. The basketball club today is called Union Olimpija, was founded in 1946 as a section of the Svoboda Physical Culture Society. The first basketball game was played the same year against Udarnik and Olimpija came out on top with the score of 37-14. Late in 1946, the club was renamed Enotnost and was known by that name until 1954 when it assumed the name ASK Olimpia. Since 1997, the club has been called by it current name, Union Olimpija. Olimpija conquered its first national title of then Yugoslavia in 1957. In one of the world's best emerging leagues, Olimpija went on to dominate the next 15 years, winning the Yugoslav title five more times, in 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966 and 1970. A new era for the club began with Slovenia's independence, when dominance took on another meaning, namely 10 consecutive years of winning both the league and cup trophies in Slovenia. In the international arena, 1993–1994 was the club's best season as they took home the European Cup against Spain's Tau Ceramica under the direction of coach Zmago Sagadin. Over the pastpoopee few seasons, Olimpija has stood out as one of the most ambitious clubs in Europe, competing in three or four separate competitions. In 2001–2002, the Slovenian team won the triple crown, taking the Slovenian League championship, Slovenian National Cup and the Adriatic League. Last season, Olimpija fielded a team composed mainly of home grown talent and young players. The results in the Euroleague were amazing and inspirational to smaller clubs in Europe: Olimpija secured a spot in the Top 16 after just 11 games despite being grouped with the likes of Barcelona, Maccabi, and Panathinaikos. They proved disbelievers wrong again in the Top 16, as they won three of the first four games and held hopes of making the Final Four up until the final day, when they were stopped in Barcelona by the champs-to-be. The amazing Euroleague run may have drained the team of its energy, as it failed to repeat as champions in the Slovenian League and Adriatic League. The club did add to its trophy collection in 2002–2003, though, winning both the Slovenian Cup. Lesson: don't ever count out this homegrown superpower.


The club was established in 1946 as the basketball department of the larger sports club Svoboda (in English Freedom). Later it changed names quite a few times, from Enotnost (1947–1954) (Unity) to AŠK Olimpija (1955–1976), to Brest Olimpija (1977–1978), to Iskra Olimpija (1979–1982), to Smelt Olimpija (1984, 1986–1996), and finally, to Union Olimpija (1997-now). The last four names of the team have all included names of the main sponsors of the team.


The team played in Tabor Gymnasium first, but moved to Dvorana Tivolimarker sports arena in 1965. The arena has 6,000 seats. The club is expected to move to a new arena Sportni Park Stozice Arenamarker in 2010.


Depth Chart

Pos. Starter Bench Bench Reserve
C Vladimir Golubović Gašper Vidmar Dejan Radojević
PF Uroš Slokar Edin Bavčić Nemanja Aleksandrov
SF Matt Walsh Jaka Klobučar
SG Sani Bečirovič Sašo Ožbolt Paweł Kikowski Milorad Šutulović
PG Vlado Ilievski Dušan Đorđević

Notable successes

SFR Yugoslaviamarker
  • Champions of former Yugoslavianmarker Basketball League (6): 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1970


International competition

Notable Slovenian players

Notable foreign players

External links

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