Belov Alexander - Soviet basketball player, Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, World and USSR champion, twice European champion, Olympic champion, member of the FIBA Hall of Fame, twice winner of the Cup of "Cup Winners" and, finally, the winner of the Universiade.
Alexander lived a short but incredibly bright and useful life. Once in the ranks of basketball players very young, he managed to become a legend for 10 years of playing career. Belov Alexander died very early, but many long-livers can envy his achievements. Today we will get acquainted with some facts from the biography of this great athlete.
Way to basketball
Alexander was born on November 9, 1951 in the city of Leningrad. In basketball, he hit a very surprising way. A young coach at the time - Vladimir Petrovich Kondrashin - went to schools and sought out talented children there. Once he met a ten-year old Alexander Belov. The coach immediately saw in it a huge potential. To convince Alexander to try himself in basketball, Vladimir Petrovich had to work hard. Surprisingly, Kondrashin was in fact the only coach of Alexander in his entire career.
At 16 Belov Alexander spent his first serious game for the Leningrad "Spartak". His height was exactly 2 meters, which, by the standards of basketball, is not at all a lot. Nevertheless, due to the special mobility, excellent leap and strategic thinking, the guy surpassed the higher opponents. In the attack, he successfully defeated opponents and threw in a ring from different distances. However, the main task of Alexander was to defend his ring.
According to Alexander Gomelsky, thanks to an excellent jump, Belov always found himself in the right place. The basketball player jumped so well that he seemed to hang in the air. Becoming a defensive stance, he occupied the main space under the shield, depriving the opponent of the chances of a successful attack. In addition, Alexander had a subtle flair and always built the right strategy, Gomelsky noted.
Career in the national team
When Belov was 17 years old, Gomelsky called him to the USSR team. A year later at the European championship the young player became a real sensation. By this time he had successfully spent three seasons in the big leagues and could take on the leadership role in the national team if necessary. During the final match of the championship, in which the USSR team played against the Yugoslav team, Alexander Belov practically decided the outcome of the match, scoring 3 minutes in 8 minutes. The USSR national team became the world champion for the first time.
In 1970, at the championship of the Soviet Union, "Spartacus" showed a new, from the point of view of tactics, a game that was built from protection. Then the team of CSKA for the first time felt serious resistance. "Spartacus" became the bronze medalist of the championship, but for him it was a victory.
The arrival of Kondrashin in the national team
At the World Championship in 1970 in Yugoslavia (the first in the history of the championship, which was held in Europe), the USSR national team won bronze. After such a failure, Vladimir Kondrashin became the coach. For seven years of his coaching the team scored several brilliant victories, the main one of which was the championship at the XX Olympic Games in Munich.
When Kondrashin came to the team, for Belov struck a high point. In 1970 he became the champion of the Universiade. Despite the fact that the basketball community did not consider this tournament to be particularly prestigious, the victory in it was expensive, because the US team became the opponent of the USSR in the final.
To the European championship of 1971, Belov Alexander, whose photo was kept to this day, was much more confident, because he got special support from the coach. The tournament went to the national team with a cheer and gave it a victory. Belov earned a game for an average of 8.5 points.
Almost immediately after the European Championship, the Soviet team began preparing for the Olympics. Here they were to meet with the strongest rival on the planet - the American team, which never lost at the Olympics.
As expected, the teams of the USSR and America met in the final game. The match was very tense. Soviet players led in the count from the start, but by the end of the game the Americans approached them, and the score became 48:49. The ball was in the hands of the Soviet team, and until the end of the game there was only 38 seconds. Our players needed to conduct an attack or just keep the ball to the final siren. When the remainder of the meeting was 12 seconds, the ball was in Belov's hands, he tried to attack the ring, but did not hit.
After the Olympics, Alexander Belov became famous not only in the Soviet Union, but also abroad. In America he dedicated fan clubs. But most importantly – basketball player invited to play in the NBA. For political reasons it was impossible. Belov continued to bring titles and glory to his club and the national team of the USSR. In 1973 was gold at the world basketball festival and the victory Cup "Winners ' Cup". The next year was the world championship.
The 1974 World Cup was very tense for the team of the Soviet Union. In the final match the team was supposed to defeat America with a break of at least 4 points. The starting team of the Soviet team was very unexpected. Kondrashin brought spare players to the playground, as well as Alexander and Sergey Belov (namesake). The logic of this decision was not only in surprise, but also that the three players from the five were defenders. As a result, the USSR team won with a score of 105: 94. Alexander Belov in this championship brought the team an average of 14.6 points per game. The coefficient of realization of penalties was 74.9%. He was excellent in defense and attack, for which he was awarded the title of the best center championship.
USSR Championship 75th
In 1975, "Spartacus" again won the Cup of "Cup Winners". But the main basketball event of the year was the team's championship at the championship of the Soviet Union. Leningradians have been waiting for this victory for a very long time. For 5 years, "Spartacus" consistently received silver. Belov Alexander was particularly pleased with this victory.
He was the core of a glorious team, led by a wonderful coach - Vladimir Kondrashin. He became the creator of the main number of victories of the Leningraders. Alexander Gomelsky - CSKA coach and the most implacable opponent Kondrashin - once remembered how during the game with "Spartacus", when the final was a few seconds, and all the strong players of the Leningrad team left the field for violations, he asked his wards whether they could they play against one Belov. The answer was positive, but the result was the opposite.
XXI Olympic Games
At this Olympics the USSR team repeated the unpleasant history of the games in Mexico City: it lost one match, than put a cross on the prospect to reach the final. The notorious Yugoslavs became the abusers of the Soviet team. As a result, our team won the second place on the podium. Despite this, Belov's figures were, as never before, high. For 6 games and 128 minutes on the site, he brought the team 94 points and became the best player of the team. On average, he earned 15.7 points for the game, made 5.2 rebounds and sold 88.9% of free throws.
"Look at the scoreboard!"
Belov Alexander, whose achievements give more than an eloquent characterization of this athlete, was a player, which in the world basketball is not so much. He did not care who and against whom to play. High game intelligence and technical talent allowed the guy to find a common language with anyone. Addition of the image of the greatest player was Alexander's extraordinary artistry. He bathed in the love of the fans and drew in their ovations vital energy.
Alexander Belov - basketball player, who sometimes allowed himself an imposing behavior. He could play in public against the interests of the team. Of course, the player allowed himself this only in the event that his team was clearly in the lead. Once, when "Spartacus" fought with a weak opponent and won him two score points, Belov literally strolled around the court, not burdening himself with a struggle for victory. Spectators always expected a beautiful game from him, so they did not like that idol philonite. From the rostrum, cries like "Let's play!" Began to be heard. After another appeal from the fans, Belov turned in perplexity towards the screamer and said: "Look at the scoreboard!" This phrase was remembered by Soviet basketball players and fans for a long time.
Health problems and wedding
After the Olympic Games in Montreal in the life of Alexander began a dark streak. Health began to fail the basketball player, and he literally on every game asked the coach a few minutes of respite because of severe pain in his chest.
At that time Belov met with the famous basketball player Alexandra Ovchinnikova. In its arsenal was a world and European championship. Between them broke out wonderful feelings, which at least somehow distracted Belov from health problems. Training bases of men's and women's teams were in different places, so the couple often could not meet. As Alexander Belov's wife later recalled, the trainer Kondrashin seemed to have specially promoted their meetings. The girl was very reserved and modest, so she beneficially influenced the explosive nature of Belov. But this is only Alexandra's assumption. Perhaps, the thoughtful coach thought first of all that Belov would not be distracted from distracting from the problems. In April 1977, the couple consolidated their union officially.
In early 1977, there was a case, which, most likely, led to a complication of the disease of a basketball player. "Spartacus" went to play in Italy. At customs they found a bag with prohibited substances, which was attributed to Alexander Belov. The press sparked a huge scandal out of this. As a result, the athlete was deprived of the title of Master of Sports, kicked out of the USSR team and banned from playing for Spartak.
Soon A. Gomelsky invited Belov to CSKA. He was able to return the player titles and place in the team. Belov refused, because he could not betray his own club and coach, who gave him a ticket to a big sport. Almost a year, Alexander was completely excommunicated from basketball. For a player of this level, so early withdrawal from a beloved sport became a real test.
Return to Sports
Only in December 1977 Alexander Aleksandrovich Belov was able to return to the "Spartacus". And in August 1978, he was again invited to the national team to prepare for the World Cup. The basketball player could not go to the tournament. By this time his health had greatly worsened. Just a few days before the start of the charges, Belov was put in a hospital.
An athlete's property
Later A. Pinchuk, a writer and journalist, who was highly respected by V. Kondrashin as a basketball observer, will note that human life is measured not by years, but by what the person managed to do, and Belov is the most vivid confirmation of this. Given how much Alexander had, one can argue that his life was not at all short. Not every centenarian can boast of such successful and full years.
Most importantly, what has succeeded Belov, as Pinchuk says, – the love of the fans who greeted the athlete with unprecedented enthusiasm. “The medals, the titles, overseas travel – all this is secondary, and the recognition of those for whom play is priceless,” concluded Pinchuk.
For his short, but incredibly rich sports career Belov has become:
- Honored Master of Sports of the USSR.
- Olympic Champion.
- Prize-winner and world champion.
- Prize-winner and champion of Europe.
- Two-time winner of the Cup of "Owners of Cups".
- Eight-time winner and champion of the USSR.
- The winner of the Universiade.
- The owner of the Intercontinental Cup and the Nations Cup.
- The winner of the Junior European League.
- Member of the Hall of Fame FIBA (posthumously).
- The owner of the Order of the Badge of Honor.
This is such an inspiring and yet sad biography for this basketball player. Alexander Belov is an amazing sportsman, who knew how to bring to the panic the most titled opponents with his charm. His dashing game and inimitable artistry were remembered by the world basketball for many years.