Boban Jankovic: The tragic moment that changed his life


Written by El-Khoury

A moment of frustration and anger in the Panionios-Panathinaikos match was to determine forever the life of the Serbian basketball player, Boban Jankovic.

It was a cursed game (Somebody put a bad eye) on that day between Panionios and Panathinaikos in which Boban in an outburst of anger, a completely unthoughtful moment, injured himself and was stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of his life… On 28/06/2006, he left this world, and Goleador remembers and will never forget one of the most tragic stories that shocked the whole Greek country!

The first steps in basketball

Slobodan, or Boban, as he became known, Jankovic was born on December 15, 1963, in Serbia. He made his first basketball steps at the Red Star, in 1980. At the age of 17 he showed his great talent and became an integral part of the Serbian team. In the 1990-1991 season he played for Vojvodina and the following season his mentor, Vlado Djurovic, persuaded him to follow him to Panionios and make a career there. In the summer of 1992, his decision was positive to play in Europe, specifically in Panionios.

His career at Panionios

Boban Jankovic managed to become one of the most loved players who ever went through the Greek championship and connected his life with Panionios, even if he did not manage to play for a long time with the blue and red jersey. In the 1992-1993 season, he had the following teammates: Fani Christodoulou, Chris Hugaz, Giorgos Bosganas, Giorgos Gasparis and the coach of Panionios Vlado Djurovic.

The tragic accident, the unfortunate moment…!

The match Panathinaikos – Panionios, on April 28, 1993, was fatal for the player with an unexpected dramatic final. In the indoor stadium of Nea Smyrni, the match was in the 32nd minute. Panionios was on the attack, Jankovic was charged with an offensive foul (his 5th in the match) on Albertis. A few seconds later, unable to contain his nerves, frustration, and anger over his foul, he hit his head hard on the base of the Basket. He instantly collapsed on the floor…

It was the moment that shocked the fans who watched the match on the field or on TV, changing Jankovic’s life forever. Shortly afterwards, he began to feel his arms and legs trembling as he was taken to hospital, but nothing could reverse the situation. He was paralyzed from the waist down and was confined to a wheelchair until the end of his life.