Zagreb, 25 May 2020 - One of the greatest Croatian athletes of all time - Krešimir Ćosić - left us too early, on this day exactly a quarter of a century ago. Although Zagreb native by birth (1948), his basketball career began in Zadar, where he grew up and established himself as a player in the late 1960's.
From 1969 to 1973, he successfully competed for Brigham Young University team in the U.S. state of Utah. Although his successful basketball skills, with a height of impressive 211 centimeters, soon aroused the interest of NBA clubs, Krešo decided to return to Europe and continue playing amateur basketball. Again he became a member of basketball club Zadar, then Ljubljana's Olimpija, Italian Sinudyne from Bologna and - in the final years of his active career – of Cibona. He made more than 300 appearances in the jersey of the national team of the former state and won almost everything that could be won. His collection includes 14 medals from major competitions, including two gold medals from World Championships and three gold medals from European Championships. He also climbed the Olympic pedestal as many as three times, winning one gold and two silver Olympic medals. He also won Olympic silver as coach.
As true patriot, he used his reputation to support the recognition of the independent Republic of Croatia, working since 1992 as Minister Counselor at the Croatian Embassy in Washington (USA). After a short and severe illness, Krešo Ćosić died on 25 May, 1995 in Baltimore (USA). He was the third non-American in the history to be inducted into the prestigious Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, USA, posthumously in 1996. In his honor, since 1998 the national basketball bears his name.
He was in many ways great, unique, unrepeatable! The memory of him was recently revived in the autobiographical book "Play, believe, live!", which took its rightful place on the shelves of the COC Library. (COC/VK)