Krešimir Ćosić

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For the Croatian politician, see Krešimir Ćosić (politician).
Krešimir Ćosić
Krešimir Ćosić 1970.jpg
Personal information
Born (1948-11-26)26 November 1948
Zagreb, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
Died 25 May 1995(1995-05-25) (aged 46)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
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
Playing career 1965–1983
Position Center
Coaching career 1984–1991
Career history
As player:
1965–1969 Zadar
1973–1976 Zadar
1976–1978 AŠK Olimpija
1978–1980 Sinudyne Bologna
1980–1983 Cibona
As coach:
1984–1985 Split
1986–1988 Yugoslavia
1987–1988 Virtus Bologna
1988–1991 AEK Athens
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 (26 November 1948 – 25 May 1995) was a Croatian[1][2][3] professional basketball player and coach who represented Yugoslavia internationally, a collegiate All-American at Brigham Young University, and 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 Summer 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 FIBA World Championship gold medals in 1970 and 1978.[7]


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.

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.


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.[7]



  1. ^ "Croatian Basketball Hall of Fame". 
  2. ^ "The Krešimir Ćosić Hall". 
  3. ^ "Famous people born in Zadar / Krešimir Ćosić". 
  4. ^ "A Dalmatian Sensation". 5 June 1995. 
  5. ^ "National Hero".  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.
  6. ^ Lakersweb Draft
  7. ^ a b Krešimir Ćosić.

External links[edit]