- First NBA D-League head coach born outside of North America -
TULSA, Okla., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 - The Tulsa 66ers, proud affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, have named Darko Rajakovic (DAR-ko Rahj-a-KOE-vich) as their head coach, it was announced today by Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Rajakovic, a Serbian-native, becomes the first head coach born outside of North America in NBA D-League history.
“We are pleased to welcome Darko to the Thunder organization,” said Presti. “We value his diverse basketball background and embrace the European influence that he will have on our development program in Tulsa.”
The 33-year-old comes to Tulsa after spending the past three years as the head coach of Espacio Torrelodones in the Spanish EBA League.
Rajakovic began his coaching career at 16 years old with BC Borac Cacak (Serbia) as the youngest coach in the team’s history. At the age of 19 he joined Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) to coach the Under-20 and Under-18 teams. Rajakovic spent eight years with the club, winning two National Youth Championship titles.
The Serbian has been active in many international tournaments and events including Basketball Without Borders, NBA and FIBA Camp and the Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy, in 2003 and 2004.
Rajakovic speaks Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian languages as native, but is also fluent in English, Spanish and basic Greek.