Shakespeare asked what’s in a name, and while his romanticized implied answer is, basically nothing, we know that name does have its weight. Name can serve as a voucher of your credibility or a summary of your achievements. In sports, your name gets associated with other names, those of your team, the country you are playing for, etc. In other areas of life, the weight of your name might not be as substantial, but in sports, characterized by passionate fandom and inordinately high emotional investment, from players and fans alike, your name can close just as many doors as it can open. This is why story of Predrag Sasa Danilovic is a great illustration of how to make sure that your name, and those related to you, is not a hindrance but a boon.
For you to understand why Predrag (in the US usually known as Sasha Danilovic) is a perfect example of how one can transcend their background and former associations; and without disowning them, move on to greater things, first we need to provide you with his short bio.
It should be immediately noted that most serious athletes will change a number of teams and even countries during their career, but Predrag’s story is a tad more unique. His first serious contact with basketball came very early, while he was still in primary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia. It didn’t take long for him to get noticed by Dusko Vujosevic, the current coach for one of the most popular Serbian (and indeed Yugoslavian) basketball teams at the time. At his insistence, Predrag moves to Belgrade at age 16, and in 1988 plays his first game for the team. This was going to be first of his many daring transfers, but Partizan was to remain closest to his heart.
Until year 2000 when he stopped playing, Predrag Danilovic played for a number of teams, including two in the NBA (Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks) helped his representation win 4 European Basketball Championships, and earned numerous accolades.
However, his retirement from the court wasn’t his retirement from basketball. Since 2000 to 2004 he acted as the deputy general manager for his team, Partizan, and did so good of a job that he was appointed as general manager from 2007 to 2015. And this is where the story really gets interesting.
Even though most of his career revolved around one team, his exceptional results, both on the court and in the offices and conference rooms earned him enough respect and trust from the general sports community in Serbia, for him to be chosen to be the president of the Basketball Federation of Serbia near the end of 2016.
In a country that is mostly divided between two teams, Partizan and Crvena Zvezda, where years of exploitation from the government have left the people somewhat paranoid and mistrusting, and where former allegiances are not something easily forgotten, this is a grand achievement indeed. Even though he did win the favor of the nation with his contributions to the success of the representation, for someone to be elevated to the position in which he is in charge of both his former team and his life-long competitors, without fear of him being biased and exploiting the position, is a rare thing, especially so in a country like Serbia.
The way that Sasa Danilovic is going to handle his new responsibility is yet to be seen, but even getting this far is an amazing success, with the most interesting part being the fact that he didn’t get there because of his former glory as much as despite of it.