Sergei Belov, a Soviet basketball great who helped his team beat the United States in the epic 1972 Olympic final in Munich, died Oct. 3 in Perm, Russia, where he coached a local team. He was 69.
His death was announced by CSKA Moscow, the team he played with for 13 seasons. No cause was given.
Mr. Belov scored 20 points in the 51-50 win over the United States in Munich, a gold-medal game in which the Russians scored the winning points as time ran out. The clock had been reset in the final seconds after the Americans thought they had won. The Americans refused to accept their silver medal. It was the first game the U.S. men’s basketball team had lost in Olympic competition, dating to 1936.
Mr. Belov, a shooting guard, was widely considered one of the best non-American players of his generation. He also won three Olympic bronze medals — in 1968, 1976 and 1980 — and led the Soviets to two world championship titles.
Mr. Belov lit the Olympic cauldron at the 1980 Games in Moscow and coached the Russian national team from 1993 to 1999 before moving to Perm to coach the Ural-Great basketball team.
“Mr. Belov was a great figure in European basketball’s history and an example of excellence who helped paved the way for the growth of the sport we all love,” said Jordi Bertomeu, president of Euroleague Basketball.
After playing for CSKA Moscow, Mr. Belov later coached the club for three years, leading it to two titles. In 1992, he became the first international player inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was inducted into basketball’s international Hall of Fame in 2007.
Belov’s death came on the same date that Soviet Olympic teammate Alexander Belov died in 1978. Alexander Belov, no relation, scored the winning layup against the Americans in Munich after catching a court-length pass with time running out.