Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack the day prior, the team announced.
“We are absolutely devastated by Dejan Milojević’s sudden passing,” the Warriors said in a statement. “This is a shocking and tragic blow for everyone associated with the Warriors and an incredibly difficult time for his family, friends, and all of us who had the incredible pleasure to work with him.
“… We grieve with and for his wife, Natasa, and their children, Nikola and Masa.”
The 46-year-old Serbian coach was hospitalized in Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday night after he suffered a medical emergency at a private team dinner, according to the Warriors.
The men’s pro basketball team, BC Crvena zvezda Meridianbet in Serbia said Milojević died of a heart attack on in a post on its official X account on Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness that we received the news that the former golden member of the national team, coach in the coaching staff of the Serbian national team, a great basketball player, but also our great sports friend, Dejan Milojević, died of a heart attack,” the message read, according to a Google translation.
The NBA postponed Wednesday’s Warriors-Jazz game to an unspecified date due to a “medical emergency in the Warriors family.”
Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski said Milojevic “changed my life in such a short time” in a heartfelt message on X.
“The most important thing you ever told me was to just smile!” he wrote. “Your joy and laughs will forever be missed. Shine down on us from heaven. Rest In Peace Dejan Milojević.”
Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanović of Serbia also posted, “Pocivaj u miru Deki” on X, which when translated, reads: “Rest in peace Deki.”
Milojevic was a member of the Hawks Summer League staff in 2016, followed by the San Antonio Spurs in 2017, and the Houston Rockets in 2018.
Milojevic was in the middle of his third season as an assistant with the Warriors, and won a championship with the team in 2022, when they beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.
He was a highly respected big-man coach, who previously worked with reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokić.
Before that, Milojevic was the head coach of KK Budućnost in the Adriatic Legue in Montenegro for the 2021 season, during which he won the Montenegrin League Championship.
He served as the head coach for KK Mega Basket in his native, Belgrade, Spain for eight seasons from 2012-2020.
Milojevic had a 15-year playing career in Europe, which featured three straight Adriatic League Most Valuable Player awards from 2004-06.