Legendary Russian basketball coach dies

The legend of Russian basketball Alexander Gomelsky died on Tuesday. The president of the Moscow basketball club CSKA and a celebrated coach he was 77 year old. Gomelsky had been suffering from cancer since 1998.

Gomelsky wrote several books on basketball, intended both for sports professionals and laymen. His efforts to develop the sport earned him many national and international awards, including the prestigious Olympic Order.

Gomelsky was born in 1928 in the northwestern Russian town of Kronstadt. He studied sports coaching in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and worked as a coach of SKA Leningrad, ASK Riga and CSKA Moscow before his appointment as head coach of the national squad in 1958. His twenty-year leadership of the Soviet team brought them eight European titles, two World titles, and a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He won the national title Coach of the Year four times during his career.

The last month Gomelsky spent in hospital fighting the cancer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolence to the Gomelsky family as were said in President Administration to RIA Novosti.

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