|Intro||Basketball player and coach|
|Was||Athlete Sports coach Basketball coach Basketball player|
|Birth||28 October 1924, Sarajevo, Sarajevo Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Death||12 March 2000, Belgrade, Belgrade City, Serbia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (aged 75 years)|
Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар "Аца" Николић; 28 October 1924 – 12 March 2000) was a renowned Yugoslav basketball player and coach. He is considered to be so instrumental and important to the game's development in the country, that he is often referred to as, The Father of Yugoslav Basketball.
Aleksandar Nikolić died on 12 March 2000, in Belgrade, He is buried in the Alley of the Greats, in Belgrade, Novo Groblje ("New Cemetery"). Hall Aleksandar Nikolić is named after him, in his honor.
Though his parents were from Brčko, Nikolić was born in Sarajevo, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes due to his mother visiting her sister and suddenly going into labour. Having a wealthy father Đorđe Nikolić, who had him when he was 62 years old, meant that young Aleksandar enjoyed a privileged upbringing. After spending the first few years of his life in Brčko, Nikolić, still an infant, got brought to the capital Belgrade where his parents moved to and where he ending up growing up.
He studied medicine and law at the University of Belgrade, graduating in 1946.
Nikolić was nicknamed, "The Professor", "Iron Sergeant", and, "The father of Yugoslav basketball". He was a professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Sport and Physical Education. The future coaches taught by Nikolić include Božidar Maljković, Dušan Ivković, Bogdan Tanjević, Želimir Obradović, etc.
However, Nikolić always had a real passion for basketball. As a player, he competed for Partizan (1945–1947), Crvena Zvezda (1947–1949), Železničar Čačak (1949–1950), and BSK Beograd (1950–1951). He won the Yugoslav League in 1947, 1948, and 1949 with Crvena Zvezda. Nikolić was a member of the Yugoslav national basketball team, during the late 1940s, playing 10 games.
After his playing career was over, he became involved with coaching, both with Serbia-based clubs, and those in Italy, notably Ignis Varese. Nikolić was the head coach of the Yugoslav national squad, between 1951 and 1965, and later between 1977 and 1978. During this time, he coached two future Hall of Famers in Borislav Stanković and Krešimir Ćosić. Under his leadership, Yugoslavia won the 1978 FIBA World Championship and 1977 FIBA European Championship; silver medals in the 1963 FIBA World Championship, 1961 FIBA European Championship, and 1965 FIBA European Championship, and a bronze medal in the 1963 FIBA European Championship.
Nikolić was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, and into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2008, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors.
In popular culture
- In 2015 Serbian sports drama We Will Be the World Champions Nikolić is portrayed by Marko Janketić.