Partizan received a news today that their former player and captain, the legendary Dejan Milojević, suffered a severe heart attack during dinner in Salt Lake City, where he was with his NBA team. Later in the day, confirmation came from America that one of the greatest fighters that basketball courts in Serbia and the region have ever seen had passed away. The club expressed their condolences to the Milojević family.
Dejan Milojević was a part of the KK Partizan team at the beginning of the 2009/10 season. Despite Partizan quickly reacting and bringing in power forward Lawrence Roberts from Crvena Zvezda and gradually building a team that went to the Final Four in Paris, Milojević had plans to rest, rehabilitate, and continue his career. At the time, he was 32 years old and had plans to play again, as he admitted in an interview for Mozzart Sport. He had no specific injury, but his joints were worn out due to his age. He mentioned experiencing great pain after training, once his knees cooled down. He didn’t want to put Partizan in a difficult situation and decided to focus on rehabilitation and train recreationally. He believed it wasn’t too late for him to return, comparing himself to Michael Jordan who also took a break at a similar age and then returned to play at a top level. However, he couldn’t handle the mental pressure of the obligations anymore, such as the daily training sessions, matches, and traveling.
KK Partizan expressed their condolences to the Milojević family. Ostoja Mijailović, the president of Partizan, stated that he was deeply saddened by the news of the untimely departure of the great Dejan Milojević. He described him as a true fighter and an exemplary person whose character inspired many young players who later became basketball idols. He extended his condolences to the Milojević family and all the people who held Dejan close to their hearts. The details of Dejan Milojević’s funeral will be announced at a later time.