Krešo Ćosić with Yugoslavia in 1970.
November 26, 1948|
Zagreb, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
May 25, 1995 (aged 46)|
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||212 lb (96 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
Krešimir "Krešo" Ćosić (Croatian pronunciation: [krěʃimir t͡ɕɔ̌ːsit͡ɕ]; 26 November 1948 – 25 May 1995) was a Croatian professional basketball player and coach. He was a collegiate All-American at Brigham Young University, and represented Yugoslavia internationally.
In 1996, Ćosić became only the third international player ever elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was also an inaugural member of the FIBA Hall of Fame. The Croatian Basketball Cup, and KK Zadar's home arena, are named after him.
Early club career
Ćosić was born in Zagreb, SR Croatia, on 26 November 1948, to Ante and Darinka Ćosić. He was raised in Zadar, and in 1965, he started his club basketball playing career, by playing with KK Zadar. While with Zadar, he won three Yugoslav League titles: in 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 the BYU Cougars. Ćosić accepted this invitation, and moved to the United States, in 1969. In his freshman year, he played in 12 games for the freshman team, averaging 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. In his sophomore year, he averaged 15.1 points and 12.6 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, making him the first non-American player to achieve that. In the 1972 NBA Draft, he was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers, in the 10th round (144th overall), but he opted to stay with BYU.
As a senior, he averaged 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, and again was given All-American honors, by the United Press International. His career college basketball averages were 18.9 points, and 11.8 rebounds per game.
Late club career
At the 1973 NBA Draft, Ćosić was picked by the Los Angeles Lakers, in the 5th round (84th overall). He rejected several professional offers from the NBA and ABA, and returned home to Croatia. Where again played with KK Zadar, from 1973 to 1976.
National team career
Ćosić made his national team debut for Yugoslavia, at the age of 17, after being called up to the senior team by head coach Ranko Žeravica. He won a silver medal at the 1967 FIBA World Championship. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, he won another silver medal.
In total, 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 had led Yugoslavia to a pair of FIBA World Cup gold medals, at the 1970 FIBA World Championship, and at the 1978 FIBA World Championship.
Following his playing days, Ćosić turned to coaching, and he led the senior Yugoslav national team to a silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and to bronze medals at the 1986 FIBA World Championship, and the 1987 EuroBasket.
During his time at Brigham Young University, Ćosić converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he 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 the former Yugoslavia. He translated the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, into Croatian. According to Nibley, Ćosić told him, "There are a hundred reasons why I should not join the Church, and only one reason why I should - because it is true." 
In the years following his career in basketball, Ćosić 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.
- The Croatian national basketball cup and KK Zadar's home arena are named after him.
- The Croatian landmark formerly known as Califfi Castle now bears his name in his honor.
- There is a square in Zagreb, Croatia that bears his name (Trg Krešimira Ćosića).
- There is a street in Zadar that bears his name.
- He was a 6× participant of FIBA All-Star Games, playing on the side of European Selection roster.
- He is one of top medalists of the FIBA World Cup, with 4 medals.
- He was named the FIBA EuroBasket MVP, in 1971 and 1975.
- He was named the Croatian Sportsmen of the Year, in 1980.
- He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame, in 1983.
- He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players, in 1991.
- He was awarded the FIBA Order of Merit, in 1994.
- He was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame, in 1996.
- He was inducted into Utah Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2001.
- he was awarded with the Croatian Lifetime Achievement in Sport, in 2002.
- 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 2006, he was enshrined into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
- In 2007, he was enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
- He was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors, in 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.
- "The day when basketball of Zadar got the shiniest pearl". aba-liga.com. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- Krešimir Ćosić. sports-reference.com
- Nibley, Eloquent Witness (2008, ISBN 9781606410035), page 261.
- 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 BYU Profile
- Todd Bluth. "Former BYU All-American's Jersey Retired", The Daily Universe (byu.edu), 6 March 2006
- Krešimir Ćosić Profile, Basketball Hall of Fame Web Page
- Kresimir Cosic at FIBA
- Krešimir Ćosić Profile, Fibaeurope.com
- Krešimir Ćosić Player Profile, legabasket.it (in Italian)
- Krešimir Ćosić Coach Profile, legabasket.it (in Italian)
- Krešimir Ćosić Profile, interbasket.net
- FIBA Hall of Fame Page on Krešimir Ćosić, halloffame.fiba.com
- Krešimir Ćosić: An Off-Court Story