Alexander Gomelsky
Personal information
Born(1928-01-18)18 January 1928
Kronstadt, Leningrad Oblast, RSFSR, Soviet Union
Died16 August 2005(2005-08-16) (aged 77)
Moscow, Russia
NationalitySoviet / Russian
Career information
Playing career1945–1953
PositionPoint guard / shooting guard
Coaching career1949–1991
Career history
As player:
1945–1948SKIF Leningrad
1949–1953SKA Leningrad
As coach:
1949–1952Spartak Leningrad (women)
1953–1965Rīgas ASK
1970–1979, 1985–1986CSKA Moscow
1988–1989Tenerife AB
1990–1991CSP Limoges
Career highlights and awards
As a head coach
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach
FIBA Hall of Fame as coach

Alexander Yakovlevich Gomelsky (Russian: Александр Яковлевич Гомельский; 18 January 1928 – 16 August 2005) was a Russian professional basketball player and coach.[1] 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 Order by the International Olympic Committee in 1998. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.

Playing career

Gomelsky played club basketball in the Soviet Union. He played with SKIF Leningrad, from 1945 to 1948. He finished his playing career with SKA, where he played from 1949 to 1953.

Club coaching career

Gomelsky began his coaching career in 1949, in Leningrad, with the women's team of LGS Spartak. In 1953, he became the coach of Rīgas ASK, leading the team to three Soviet Union League titles (1955, 1957, 1958), and three consecutive European Champions Cups (EuroLeague), from 1958 to 1960.

In 1970, he was appointed the head coach of CSKA Moscow, leading the club to 8 Soviet Union national league championships (1971–1974, 1976–1979), 2 Soviet Union Cups (1972, 1973), 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 shortly before the dissolution of the USSR.

National team coaching career

Gomelsky was the long-time head coach of the senior Soviet Union national team, leading them to 6 EuroBasket titles (1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1979, and 1981), 2 FIBA World Cup titles (1967, and 1982), and the Summer Olympic Games gold medal in 1988.

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.

Individual awards

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

Career achievements

Club competitions

National team competitions

Post coaching career

Grave of Gomelsky at the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow

In his later years, Gomelsky was the president of the Russian Basketball Federation and 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.[2]

Every year the Gomelsky Cup is organized by CSKA in honor of its legendary coach.

Personal life

The Gomelsky family has been a driving force behind development of the Soviet/Russian basketball. Gomelsky's younger brother, Evgeny, is also a well-known basketball coach, and his son, Vladimir, also worked as a basketball player and coach. His son Gomelsky [Alexandre] ran a sports association school in his father name, leading to several female Olympic basketball players. He was survived by his four sons and four grandchildren. His wife Tatiana, also a basketball player and coach, died from cancer.

See also



  1. ^ YIVO | Sport: Jews in Sport in the USSR Archived 29 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.
  2. ^ Professional Basketball Club CSKA Moscow. Retrieved on 31 October 2016.