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Days of pride and glory: Jedinstvo Aida from Tuzla is European champion

Female basketball players of Jedinstvo Aide in a legendary match with Italian Primigi played in  Florence on 22 March 1989 won with 74:70 and won the title of the champion of Europe. Twenty six years later the club is at the new beginning with a young team competing in the championship of B&H. Although many would say that the current Jedinstvo BHT is not the former  Jedinstvo Aida, the cup intended intended for a European champion is still in the Club’s cupboard. 

Let’s get back to 1989 when Jedinstvo Aida sang its winning aria. On the way to the sports hall “Palazzo dello Sport del Campo” players from Tuzla played 15 matches recording 12 victories and 3 defeats. The team of Mihajlo Vuković was defeated by Dinamo from Novosibirsk two times and once by Primigi.

Before the super finals, even the greatest optimists did not believe that the team from Tuzla could find enough strength to fight back and to climb the top of Europe after being defeated in Vicenza (Italy) on 14th February 1989 with 77:52. 

Pessimists were disabused by Jadranka Savić, Ilvana Zvizdić, Mara Lakić, Vesna Pođanin, Dragana Jeftić, Smilja Rađenović, Razija Mujanović, Zorica Dragičević, Naida Hot and Stojanka Došić who were led by Mihajlo Miki Vuković and Zdravko Dugonjić.

The champions from Tuzla did not show up just like that. On 22nd March Mihajlo Vuković encircled his 16-year diligent work in Tuzla. He took over Jedinstvo Aida in 1977 when the were in the Second League of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the match in Florence, Primigi’s trainer Aldo Corno had to shake Mihajlo Vuković’s hand, although the Italian trainer had African American Janice Lawrence and Anita Blange and Renata Salverstini in his team. 

These famous names and the fact that Primigi was European champion five times did not help the Italian professional. Miki Vuković had Raza, Mara, Naida, Coja, Smilja in his team…in 1989 their childhood dreams came true when they won cup “Naroden sporta”, which was won only by Crvena Zvezda, out of all Yugoslavian clubs, ten years earlier.