In 1912, on this day the famous Serbian-American basketball player and coach Mladen G. Sekulovich1 was born in Chicago, Illinois.
The offbeat dreams of immigrantsHe was raised in Gary, Indiana where by 1931, he was the star of the Emerson High School basketball team. Due to his high level of contact he broke his nose twice while playing, taking elbows to the face which resulted in his trademark bulbous nose. After graduating, he left for the University of Arkansas where he won an athletic scholarship despite initial resistance from college officials because of his refusal to play any sport besides basketball.
After turning professional he launched a three decade long career with the San Francisco Warriors and was frequently to be seen coaching kids in the city. The end came abruptly in 1977 with a bad sequence of results following the resignation of his diminutive Belarusian-American star player Issur Danielovitch, Junior2 (pictured, left). The coach himself graciously accepted the outcome, having known for many years that his role was to support great players, rather than to lead from the front. Sekulovich's father agreed, in fact he was delighted about his son's career being in San Francisco, as he had intended to settle the family in that city, but had to change his plans as he had arrived on the day of the 1906 earthquake.
Returning to his home city of Chicago, his son continued to play a meaningful coaching role in the community, working with some of the NBA Stars of the future, most famously the African-American Barry Soereto3 (pictured, right).