BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Aleksandar Nikolic, a basketball pioneer in Yugoslavia who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998, is dead at 76.

He died Sunday night after a short illness. No other details were available.

Nikolic coached the Yugoslav national team from 1951-65, building it into an international powerhouse. Under Nikolic, Yugoslavia won its first international basketball medal, a silver at the 1961 European Championships.

Later, he created the ``Yugoslav school of basketball,'' which produced many coaches and stars who dominated non-NBA basketball, winning European, world and Olympic titles.

Nikolic was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at Springfield, Mass., in 1998.