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Club Profile 2012-13: Crvena Zvezda Diva Belgrade
Jul 18, 2012
Crvena Zvezda Diva Belgrade returns to the Eurocup after a two-year hiatus looking to resume its place as a showcase for the best and brightest in Serbian basketball and as a legitimate threat to win every night. One cannot discuss great teams in the cradle of European basketball without bringing up Crvena Zvezda, which translates as Red Star. It was among the most-crowned teams in the former Yugoslavia and always commanded attention wherever it played. The club was founded in 1945 and immediately dominated a country that would soon claim basketball as its main sport. For an entire decade, from 1946 to 1955, Zvezda won 10 straight titles and assured its place in the history books. With basketball's rise in popularity came plenty of challengers, and Zvezda waited until 1972 for the next domestic title, then 21 years again for another. But of all the great clubs who won in the interim, to this day none can claim as many titles as Zvezda. There was also a European title, the 1974 Saporta Cup, and three Yugoslavian Cups to boast. In the modern era, Zvezda has remained strong. It picked up its first trophy in years by winning the 2004 Serbia and Montenegro Cup in stirring fashion, after a weekend full of overtime games. In its ULEB Cup debut, Zvezda was eliminated from the playoff hunt on the last day of the regular season. Once Milan Gurovic arrived in 2005-06, things got even better. The superstar forward led Zvezda to the ULEB Cup quarterfinals in 2006 and 2007, where it lost against eventual champions Dynamo Moscow and Real Madrid, respectively. Zvezda also advanced to the Serbian League finals both years, but archrival Partizan stood in the way to success. In its last two Eurocup campaigns, Zvezda was among the Last 16 and in 2010 only missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. After two relatively quiet seasons, last year, under Coach Svetislav Pesic, Zvezda fought its way to the finals of both the Serbian Cup and playoffs and despite losing both to mighty Partizan, proved it was again a force to be reckoned with. Now Zvezda will lean on its great fans, rich history and hungry players to challenge for victories and trophies this season.