Otar Korkia

Last updated
Otar Korkia
Otar Korkia.jpg
Otar Korkia, during a basketball game
Personal information
BornMay 10, 1923
Kutaisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
DiedMarch 15, 2005(2005-03-15) (aged 81)
Tbilisi, Georgia
NationalitySoviet / Georgian
Listed height1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Listed weight93 kg (205 lb)
Position Center
Number7, 10
Coaching career1958–1970
Career history
As player:
1943–1946 Dinamo Kutaisi
1947–1958 Dinamo Tbilisi
As coach:
1958–1962 Soviet Union U20
1962–1967 Dinamo Tbilisi
1968–1970 Cambodia
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As head coach:

Otar Korkia (Georgian: ოთარ ქორქია, Russian : Отар Михайлович Коркия; May 10, 1923 in Kutaisi – March 15, 2005 in Tbilisi) was a Georgian professional basketball player and coach. He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players, in 1991. He was also named the Best Georgian Basketball Player of the 20th Century, and the Best Georgian Sportsman of the 20th Century. [1]

Georgian language Official language of Georgia

Georgian is a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians. It is the official language of Georgia. Georgian is written in its own writing system, the Georgian script. Georgian is the literary language for all regional subgroups of Georgians, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Kutaisi Place in Imereti, Georgia

Kutaisi is the 3rd most populous city in Georgia, traditionally, second in importance, after the capital city of Tbilisi. Situated 221 kilometres west of Tbilisi, on the Rioni River, it is the capital of the western region of Imereti. Historically one of the major cities of Georgia, it served as the capital of the Kingdom of Georgia in the Middle Ages, and later as the capital of the Kingdom of Imereti. From October 2012 to December 2018, Kutaisi briefly was the seat of the Parliament of Georgia as an effort to decentralise the Georgian government.


Playing career

Club career

During his club career, Korkia played with Dinamo Kutaisi, from 1943 to 1946, and with Dinamo Tbilisi, from 1947 to 1958. [2] He won three USSR League championships, in the years 1950, 1953, and 1954, and two USSR Cups, in 1949 and 1950.

Sports club organization for the purpose of playing one or more sports

A sports club or sporting club, sometimes athletics club or sports society or sports association, is a group of people formed for the purpose of playing sports.

BC Kutaisi 2010 is a Georgian professional basketball club, which competes in the Georgian Superliga.

BC Dinamo Tbilisi

BC Dinamo Tbilisi is a professional basketball club that is based in Tbilisi, that plays in the Georgian Superliga. It is one of the oldest and most successful basketball clubs of Georgia and the former USSR, having won numerous national titles and the 1962 FIBA European Champions Cup (EuroLeague). The club's traditional colours are blue and white, but for sponsorship reasons, they currently play in orange and white strips.

National team career

Korkia was a member of the senior Soviet Union national basketball team, which won the silver medal at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games. He played in seven games during that tournament. [3] He later became the captain of the senior Soviet national team.

Soviet Union national basketball team national sports team

The Soviet national basketball team was the basketball side that represented the Soviet Union in international competitions. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the successor countries all set up their own national teams.

Basketball at the 1952 Summer Olympics was the third appearance of the sport. 23 nations entered the competition.

Captain (sports) member of a sports team

In team sport, captain is a title given to a member of the team. The title is frequently honorary, but in some cases the captain may have significant responsibility for strategy and teamwork while the game is in progress on the field. In either case, it is a position that indicates honor and respect from one's teammates – recognition as a leader by one's peers. In association football and cricket, a captain is also known as a skipper.

He also won gold medals at the 1947 EuroBasket, the 1951 EuroBasket, and the 1953 EuroBasket. Additionally, he won the bronze medal at the 1955 EuroBasket.

Coaching career

Korkia was the head coach of Dinamo Tbilisi, when the club won the FIBA European Champions Cup (later called EuroLeague) championship, in the 1961–62 season. He was named an Honored Coach of the USSR, in 1967.

A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than other coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manager", as in association football and professional baseball. In other sports such as Australian rules football, the head coach is generally termed a senior coach.

The EuroLeague, known as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for sponsorship reasons, is the top-tier European professional basketball club competition, organized by Euroleague Basketball since 2000.

The 1961–62 FIBA European Champions Cup season was the fifth season of the European top-tier level professional basketball club competition FIBA European Champions Cup. It was won by Dinamo Tbilisi, after they beat Real Madrid, in the first ever single game EuroLeague Final, by a result of 90–83, in Geneva, Switzerland. For the first time, only one finals game was played, on a neutral court, due to the unstable political situation at the time.

Titles won


The USSR Premier Basketball League, or Soviet Union Premier Basketball League, was the first-tier men's professional basketball league in the former Soviet Union. The league existed from 1923 to 1991, as the top professional basketball league of the Soviet Union, and from 1991 to 1992, as the top professional basketball league of the CIS. In the years 1924, 1928, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1956, 1959, 1963, and 1967, the league was contested by regional teams, rather than individual sports clubs.

The USSR Basketball Cup, or Soviet Union Basketball Cup, was the national basketball cup competition of the former Soviet Union. The first USSR Cup was held in the year 1949, and the last one was held in the year 1987. The competition was not held every year, as it was only contested 11 times between the years 1949 and 1987. However, it was initially held every year between 1949 and 1953.

EuroBasket European basketball tournament for national teams

EuroBasket, also commonly referred to as the European Basketball Championship, is the main international basketball competition that is contested quadrennialy, by the senior men's national teams that are governed by FIBA Europe, which is the European zone within the International Basketball Federation.

Head coach

Personal life

Korkia's nephew, Mikheil, was also a well-known senior Soviet national basketball team player.

See also

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  2. Boris Khavin (1979). All about Olympic Games (in Russian) (2nd ed.). Moscow: Fizkultura i sport. p. 306.
  3. Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Otar Korkia Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC . Retrieved 15 June 2018.