Israeli handball rocked by death of Rishon’s Boskovic

"We express our sorrow and pain caused by this terrible tragedy," the Israel Handball Association stated.

February 3, 2019 18:17
1 minute read.
Novak Boskovic

Novak Boskovic (1989-2019). (photo credit: INSTAGRAM)


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There was shocking news in the Israeli handball world on Sunday, as Hapoel Rishon Lezion’s Novak Boskovic committed suicide at the age of 29. The circumstances of his death are still unclear at this stage, but Serbian news outlets were also reporting the incident.

According to information received by the Israeli authorities, Boskovic apparently killed himself by gunshot wound in front of his wife in Belgrade, but the full details are still unknown.

Boskovic also left behind a daughter who was born five months ago.

Just this past Friday, Boskovic played in his team’s match against Maccabi Kiryat Motzkin and then left the country. He scored the winning goal in Rishon Lezion’s 23-22 victory.

Following news of the incident, Rishon Lezion’s Sunday team training was canceled. Instead, the club assembled all the players for a joint conversation, informing them of what had happened.

A source with the club said: “Everyone is simply in total shock. There were no preliminary signs that this was going to happen. Novak always smiled, was always in a good mood and everyone loved him. We did nice things together last season, and in the last game he was the star of the game – and suddenly we got this horrible message in the morning. You cannot explain it.”

The Israel Handball Association released a statement saying: “In the name of the entire Israeli handball family, we express our sorrow and pain caused by this terrible tragedy, and we share the sorrow of Novak’s family and friends and the clubs for which he played in Israel and led to impressive achievements – Hapoel Rishon Lezion and Maccabi Tel Aviv.”

Boskovic – who was a member of the Serbian national team and played in the 2016 European Men’s Handball Championship – joined Rishon from Dinamo Bucharest in the right-back position last season, and helped lead Hapoel Rishon Lezion to a double (league and cup titles). Before that he also played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and won two championships and a cup. The league and cup committee postponed Maccabi Tel Aviv’s national league game, which was planned for Sunday night in Dimona.

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