Cedevita Olimpija is not just its senior team, part of the club are also teams in the youth categories, that are taken care of the basketball experts for development of the young players.

Basic pyramid of development in Cedevita Olimpija is the basketball school. In cooperation with other basketball schools, club organizes tournaments and games, where the major emphasis is on motivation, socializing and learning the basics of the basketball game. The result is secondary.

First selection of the youth categories is composed from the best and the most interesting individuals in the basketball school (players aged under 11) and the work of the children’s basketball school. A transition to the selection of U13 (younger pioneers) follows, in which the club takes part in the domestic championship with three teams. With older pioneers, there are two teams: one plays in the first Slovenian league, and the second, which is composed from the players that are younger, is playing in the second Slovenian league, with the mind of preparing the players for the transition to the first pioneer team. In this age group, the coaches already try to fill the team with the most talented players in Slovenia and from other countries. Most of the first pioneer team (U15) already plays for the cadet team in the qualifiers for the first cadet Slovenian league. Based on the result in the qualifiers, the cadet team continues its play in the first (A) or B cadet Slovenian league. The main purpose of the second cadet team is that players gain a lot of experience and play the highest possible number of games.

With the transition to the cadet category, most talented players start with individual training in the morning. Cadet A team is playing in the first cadet Slovenian league, and it consist from the players that have the most talent in the Cedevita Olimpija unit, and the players from elsewhere complete the roster. Most of the cadets are also playing in the U19 team. The players of the U19 team also play in the fourth Slovenian domestic league for seniors. Players, that are in their last year as a U19 players, are sometimes loaned to other basketball clubs that play in the first or second senior domestic league, so that they can gain an experience of playing in the senior league, and a lot of times, most of them continue playing for the senior team of Cedevita Olimpija.

Next to the competition in the domestic championships, the teams of the youth categories of Cedevita Olimpija participate in international tournaments. The U19 team is part of the qualifiers for the final tournament of the Euroleague U19, and also the Junior ABA League.

Many talented players grew in the youth teams of Cedevita Olimpija. One of them is Luka Dončić, who won the title of the European champions with the Slovenian national team in 2017, and now plays for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA.

The start of the 2018/19 season also brought back the second senior team for Cedevita Olimpija, which competes in the third Slovenian league in the 2019/20 season, and will also do that in the 2020/21 season. Another important step in the development of the young players is the cooperation between Cedevita Olimpija, and Cedevita Junior Zagreb, as well as KD Ilirija. Both teams represent the development center for young players, and they will get the chance to play at the senior level, where they will be able to gain necessary experience.

Main goals of work with the young players in Cedevita Olimpija:

  • To implement the systematic (annual) guidance of gifted children to basketball, as well as the initial stage of selection of the young players in age categories.
  • To enable the most gifted individuals to gain a top-level basketball creativity.
  • To prepare as many young and talented players as possible to play as a member of the senior team and to prepare them for the leap from the youth categories to the senior basketball.
  • To constantly search for the most talented young players from abroad and to include them in the club.
  • To further expand the cooperation with other Slovenian basketball clubs in the selection of highly talented Slovenian young basketball players.
  • To further expand the cooperation with Ljubljana’s elementary schools and basketball schools, and thus increase the base of talented children who could be directed towards basketball.


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