Krešo Ćosić, 1970
26 November 1948|
Zagreb, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Died||25 May 1995
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|NBA draft||1973 / Round: 5 / Pick: 84th overall|
|Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|FIBA Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
He was a collegiate All-American at Brigham Young University who represented Yugoslavia internationally, and is a member of the 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.
In 1996, Ćosić became only the third international player ever elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
He made his national team debut for Yugoslavia at the age of 17 after being called up by Ranko Žeravica, and won a silver medal at the 1967 FIBA World Championship. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, he won another silver medal. While with Zadar he won three Yugoslav League titles: 1965, 1967 and 1968.
In the summer of 1968 Ćosić was in a European team with Finnish player Veikko Vainio. Vainio, a student at Brigham Young University, told him about life in college and invited him to play for BYU. Ćosić accepted this invitation and moved to the United States in 1969. In his freshman year he played 12 games, averaging 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. In his sophomore year he averaged 15 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, leading BYU to the 1971 WAC Championship.
In his junior year he again led his team to the WAC Championship, averaging 22.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game and being awarded All-American honors by the United Press International, the first non-American player to do so. In the 1972 NBA Draft he was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 10th round (144th overall) but opted to stay with BYU.
As a senior, he averaged 20.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and again was given All-American honors by the United Press International. At the 1973 NBA Draft he was picked by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 5th round (84th overall). He rejected several professional offers and returned home to Croatia with KK Zadar.
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.
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.
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. He was survived by his wife, Ljerka, his two daughters and his son Krešimir.
- On 4 March 2006, Ćosić became just the second men's basketball player to have his jersey retired by BYU (the other was Danny Ainge).
- In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame.
- Croatian national basketball cup and KK Zadar's home arena are named after him.
- The Croatian landmark formerly known as Califfi Castle now carries the name of this basketball superstar and Churchman.
- There is a square in Zagreb, Croatia that bears his name (Trg Krešimira Ćosića).
- A street in Zadar carries his name.
- One of top medalists of FIBA's World Championships (4 medals)
- multiple participant of FIBA All-Star Games, playing on the side of European Selection roster
- FIBA's 50 Greatest Players: 1991
- 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors: 2008
- "Croatian Basketball Hall of Fame". www.eurobasket.com.
- "The Krešimir Ćosić Hall". www.dalekovod.hr.
- "Famous people born in Zadar / Krešimir Ćosić". www.tzzadar.hr.
- "A Dalmatian Sensation". www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com. 5 June 1995.
- "National Hero". www.ldschurchnewsarchive.com.
- Stankovic, Vladimir. "Kresimir Cosic, a player ahead of his time". EuroLeague.
- "KRESIMIR COSIC". Brigham Young University.
- Lakersweb Draft
- Krešimir Ćosić. sports-reference.com
- Harmon, Dick (8 June 2015). "Kresimir Cosic honored in Croatia, teammate on hand for celebration". Deseret News.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Krešimir Ćosić.|
- Krešimir Ćosić at BYUCougars.com
- Todd Bluth. "Former BYU All-American's Jersey Retired", The Daily Universe (byu.edu), 6 March 2006
- Krešimir Ćosić profile, Basketball Hall of Fame webpage
- Krešimir Ćosić profile, Fibaeurope.com
- Krešimir Ćosić profile, interbasket.net
- FIBA Hall of Fame page on Krešimir Ćosić, halloffame.fiba.com
- Krešimir Ćosić: An Off-Court Story