Jurica new
Jurica Golemac has had an illustrious career as a player and a coach. He brings wealth of experience for the new ABA League franchise, Dubai Basketball, in the new season. Image Credit: Source: ABA League

Dubai: Dubai Basketball, a new franchise that will take part in the ABA (Adriatic) basketball League, has appointed Jurica Golemac as the new head coach. Golemac, a seasoned basketball professional with a wealth of experience both as a player and coach, is set to bring a fresh and dynamic approach to the team. His arrival marks a significant step forward for the club, reflecting the club’s commitment to excellence and ambition to elevate the performance on the court.

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Salem Bin Dasmal, President of Dubai Basketball, said: “Golemac’s arrival marks a significant milestone for our club and we are excited to support his vision and leadership as we embark on this exciting journey together.”

Djordje Djokovic, Vice-President & CEO, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Golemac as the first head coach of Dubai Basketball in our inaugural ABA season, and we are confident that his extensive experience and leadership will set a strong foundation for our team’s success.”

A stellar playing career

Born in Slovenia, Golemac quickly rose through the ranks to establish himself as a formidable player in European basketball. His career spanned several top-tier leagues, including stints in Italy, Greece, Germany and Slovenia. He is known for his versatility, having played both as a forward and centre, demonstrating exceptional skill, intelligence and leadership on the court.

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Golemac has won multiple domestic league titles and his ability to perform consistently at a high level earned him respect and admiration across the European basketball community. Notably, his time with Panathinaikos in Greece saw him compete at the highest levels of European basketball, including the prestigious EuroLeague.

Transition to coaching

After retiring as a player, Golemac transitioned into coaching, bringing his deep understanding of the game and strategic acumen. His coaching record is equally remarkable. He has a proven track record of improving team performance and fostering young talent. His tenure at Cedevita Olimpija in Slovenia stands out, where he led the team to several notable victories and significantly improved their standings in both domestic and international competitions.

Dubai Basketball will take part in the 16-team ABA League, which runs from September to May. The Dubai outfit will compete against some of Europe’s top clubs like Partizan and KK Crvena Zvezda, who defeated Partizan in the final to clinch the coveted title last month.

While the Dubai club will be playing their matches away in Europe, the emirate will see some top-class action during the home legs. All the 15 teams will come to Dubai, allowing fans to watch some of the continent’s prominent names showcasing their talents at the Coca-Cola Arena during the nine-month season.

Dubai Basketball will take on defending ABA League champions KK Crvena Zvezda when the new season begins in September. Image Credit: Source: ABA League

Momentous occasion

“Our ultimate goal is to reach the EuroLeague, but now we are taking our first step towards reaching that target. About three weeks ago, we signed with the Adriatic league, which is one of the greatest regional leagues in European competition,” Djokovic told Gulf News last week.

Golemac’s arrival marks a momentous occasion for Dubai Basketball. His extensive experience as both a player and a coach provides him with a unique perspective that combines tactical expertise with an empathetic understanding of players’ needs. Golemac is expected to instill a winning mentality and a culture of discipline and hard work within the team.

Aligning perfectly to Dubai club's vision

His coaching philosophy emphasises a strong defensive foundation, quick transitions and versatile offensive plays, which are all areas where Dubai Basketball aims to improve. Golemac’s strategic approach and ability to adapt to different game situations will be crucial in navigating the challenges of the upcoming season.

Moreover, Golemac’s track record in player development aligns perfectly with Dubai Basketball’s vision of nurturing local talent while competing at the highest levels. His mentorship will be invaluable to the young players, who will benefit immensely from his experience and insights.

Dejan Kamenjašević General Manager, said: “With Jurica Golemac’s appointment as our first head coach, we are poised to build a competitive and dynamic team that will make a significant impact in our debut ABA season, while also helping us as a club to build a healthy foundation for the future.”