Krešimir Ćosić

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For the Croatian politician, see Krešimir Ćosić (politician).
Krešimir Ćosić
Personal information
Born (1948-11-26)November 26, 1948
Zagreb, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Died May 25, 1995(1995-05-25) (aged 46)
Baltimore, Maryland
Nationality Croatian
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Career information
College BYU (1970–1973)
NBA draft 1973 / Round: 5 / Pick: 84th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Pro career 1965–1983
Position Center
Career history
1965–1969 Zadar
1973–1976 Zadar
1976–1978 Olimpija (AŠK/Brest)
1978–1980 Virtus Bologna (Sinudyne)
1980–1983 Cibona
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
FIBA Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Krešimir Ćosić (November 26, 1948 – May 25, 1995) was a Croatian[1][2][3] professional basketball player who represented Yugoslavia internationally, a member of FIBA Hall of Fame and Basketball Hall of Fame. He was also a notable church leader and missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the deputy ambassador of Croatia to the U.S. in Washington, D.C.[4][5]

Basketball career[edit]

He was born in Zagreb and raised in Zadar, where he started his basketball career in 1965, playing for KK Zadar. He came to the United States to play college basketball at Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1973. In the 1972 NBA Draft he was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 10th round (144th overall). The following year at the 1973 NBA Draft he was picked by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 5th round (84th overall).[6] He was the first foreign player to earn All-American honors from the United Press International, garnering them in 1972 and 1973. After his college career, he rejected several professional offers and returned home to Yugoslavia.

Ćosić played in four Olympic Games: 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980 in Moscow when he led his team to the gold medal. He previously led Yugoslavia to a pair of World Championship gold medals in 1970 and 1978.

Coaching[edit]

Following his playing days, he turned to coaching, and led the former Yugoslav team to a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and two bronze medals at the 1986 FIBA World Championship and 1987 EuroBasket. In 1996 Ćosić became only the third international player ever elected to the world's Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball.

Church life[edit]

During his time at the Brigham Young University, he converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and later served as the LDS presiding priesthood holder in post-communist Croatia. He was baptized by Hugh Nibley, one of the LDS church's most celebrated scholars. Ćosić also introduced the LDS Church to Yugoslavia. He translated the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants into Croatian.

Death[edit]

Krešimir Ćosić bust at Mirogoj

In the years following basketball he worked in the United States as a Croatian diplomat at the embassy in Washington, D.C., having helped secure the land where the embassy now stands. Ćosić died in Baltimore, Maryland in 1995 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Croatian Basketball Hall of Fame". www.eurobasket.com. 
  2. ^ "The Krešimir Ćosić Hall". www.dalekovod.hr. 
  3. ^ "Famous people born in Zadar / Krešimir Ćosić". www.tzzadar.hr. 
  4. ^ "A Dalmatian Sensation". www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com. June 5, 1995. 
  5. ^ "National Hero". www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com. 
  6. ^ Lakersweb Draft

External links[edit]