Great from 1st Soviet Team to Take Olympic Gold Dies

Great from 1st Soviet Team to Take Olympic Gold Dies

(AP) Former Soviet great Sergei Belov dies at 69
MOSCOW
Sergei Belov, the Soviet basketball great who helped his team beat the United States in the epic 1972 Olympic final in Munich, died Thursday. He was 69.

His death was announced by CSKA Moscow, the team he played with for 13 seasons. The club said Belov died in the Ural Mountains city of Perm, where he coached a local team. No cause was given.

Belov scored 20 points in the 51-50 win over the U.S. in Munich, a gold-medal game in which the Russians scored the winning points as time ran out. The clock had been reset in the final seconds after the Americans thought they had won. The Americans refused to accept their silver meda

Belov, a shooting guard, was widely considered one of the best non-American players of his generation. He also won three Olympic bronze medals _ 1968, 1976, 1980 _ and led the Soviets to two world championship titles.

Belov lit the Olympic cauldron at the 1980 Games in Moscow and coached the Russian national team from 1993-99 before moving to Perm to coach the Ural-Great basketball team.

Belov won 11 titles with CSKA Moscow and later coached the club for three years, leading it to two titles. In 1992, he became the first international player inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into basketball’s international Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ivan Dvorny, a fellow Olympic gold medalist, described Belov as a “man of great will who was fully dedicated to basketball.”

Belov’s death on Oct. 3 came on the same date that Soviet Olympic teammate Alexander Belov died in 1978. Alexander Belov, no relation, scored the winning layup against the Americans in Munich after catching a court-length pass with time running out.

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