Club Profile: Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana

Aug 31, 2020 by Print
Club Profile: Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana

Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana started its new chapter after the merger of two highly-respected clubs in the 7DAYS EuroCup. After a slow start, the team picked up steam and finished strong. Olimpija lost the Group C season opener at home versus Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul. Road losses against UNICS Kazan and Germani Brescia Leonessa followed before a 6-point loss at home against Nanterre 92 - its third defeat by 7 points or fewer. Olimpija dropped its Round 5 game at Joventut Badalona by 20 points, but roared back in the second half of the regular season with its first victory, beating Darussafaka 72-76 on the road. Olimpija then knocked off UNICS and Brescia in back-to-back home games to move to 3-5. In Round 9, Olimpia led by 24 at Nanterre, but ended up losing 90-87 and was eliminated from Top 16 contention. The team bounced back from the disappointment and finished the EuroCup campaign on a high note with a 22-point home victory over Joventut to finish 4-6. Domestically, Olimpija was the runner-up in the Slovenian Cup; it lost to Koper Primorska in the final. The team started the Adriatic League with a 10-3 record and was 13-8 when the remainder of the competition was ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


2019-20 EuroCup 4-6 Regular Season
2016-17 EuroCup 1-7 Regular Season
2015-16 EuroCup 6-10 Last 32
2014-15 EuroCup 7-9 Last 32
2013-14 EuroCup 8-8 Last 32

TOTAL: 66 26-40

This season will be the second chapter for this club after the merger in 2019, the first such instance of two clubs from different countries joining forces. Olimpija and Cedevita combined their respective rich histories and brought loads of silverware into this new team’s trophy room. Olimpija is the winner of 17 Slovenian League crowns and 20 Slovenian Cups. It traces its history back to 1946 and adopted the name Olimpija in 1954. The team was an early power in the Yugoslav League with Ivo Daneu leading Olimpija to six domestic titles between 1957 and 1970. Slovenia's independence started a new era of success that saw Olimpija conquer league and cup trophies for 10 consecutive years. Olimpija won the Saporta Cup in 1994 and Arriel McDonald and Marko Milic helped it to the 1997 EuroLeague Final Four. Over the years, Olimpija had a streak of 17 straight EuroLeague appearances and it won the inaugural Adriatic League in 2002, all while managing to land and develop young, promising players who went on to become stars, including Sani Becirovic, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Rasho Nesterovic and Jiri Welsch. Olimpija won the Slovenian League in 2009 and brought home its sixth straight Slovenian Cup in 2013 before going on a four-year trophy drought. During that span, Olimpija made its EuroCup debut in 2013-14, but it wasn't until 2016-17 that it got back to its winning ways with the Slovenian League and Cup double. Olimpija won its most-recent Slovenian League championship in 2018. Cedevita Zagreb was founded in the Croatian capital in 1991 under the name KK Botinec. The team reached the Croatian elite in 2002 and its ambitions rose when Atlantic Grupa took over in 2005 and the club changed its name to Cedevita. It shocked everyone by reaching the 2011 EuroCup semifinals; Dontaye Draper was named EuroCup MVP and Aco Petrovic EuroCup Coach of the Year. A year later, Cedevita won its first title, the Croatian Cup, led by veteran forward Matjaz Smodis. Cedevita made its EuroLeague debut in the 2012-13 season, which it finished with a 2-8 record. That turned out to be a title-free season, but the last such for Cedevita, which celebrated a Croatian double in each of the next five years. Cedevita made noise in the 2015-16 EuroLeague by reaching the Top 16. In 2019-20, the first season following the merger of the two teams, Olimpija struggled out of the gates in the EuroCup with a 0-5 record before closing the season with four wins for a 4-6 mark. The team also reached the final of the Slovenian Cup and was ranked fourth in the Adriatic League when the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the rest of the season. Now Olimpija will be looking to write another glorious chapter, its first following the merger.

Trophy Case

Cup of Cups: 1994
Adriatic League: 2002
SBA - Central European League: 1993, 1994
Slovenian National League: (17) 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2016-17, 2017-18
Slovenian National Cup: (20) 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017
Slovenian Supercup: (8) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2017
Yugoslav National League: (6) 1956-67, 1958-59, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1965-66, 1969-70