BYU Basketball Set For Game In Croatia At Home Of Kresimir Cosic
Aug 22, 2023, 9:42 PM | Updated: 9:46 pm
PROVO, Utah – Only four BYU basketball players have their jerseys hanging in the rafters at the Marriott Center.
NIT Champions from the 1950s, Roland Minson and Mel Hutchins, are the most recent to see their uniforms lifted in the Marriott Center. Then there’s the 1981 Naismith Player of the Year, Danny Ainge. And the great Kresimir Cosic.
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Cosic is a BYU basketball legend. He played for the Cougars from 1970 to 1973. Throughout three seasons at BYU, he averaged a double-double, 19.2 points, and 11.6 rebounds per game. Cosic became one of the first great European players in the United States.
He left a legacy that those around BYU hoops will never forget, even after almost three decades since his passing to cancer in 1995.
BYU basketball’s current foreign tour showcases that legacy. Head coach Mark Pope lined up events and a game in Cosic’s hometown of Zadar, Croatia.
BYU basketball will face KK Zadar
BYU will have a game on Wednesday, August 23, at 11 a.m. (MT)/7 p.m. (Central European Summer Time) against KK Zadar. The club that Cosic began his basketball with growing up in Croatia.
KK Zadar’s home venue is called Kresimir Cosic Hall.
“We’re going to Krešimir Ćosić’s, Zadar, Croatia,” BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope said. “We’re playing KK Zadar in Kresimir Cosic Arena. We’re going to work the Kresimir Cosic Basketball Camp. We’re having a meal with his extended family and taking some gifts and memorabilia for them. It’s going to be super special.”
Looking forward to playing a team that shares a connection with BYU Alumni, Krešmir Ćosić! pic.twitter.com/lBHn46Z2LB
— BYU Men's Basketball (@BYUMBB) August 23, 2023
Along with Cosic’s impact on the court at BYU, he was viewed as a great ambassador for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints away from the floor.
Pope wants this trip to Zadar to be an opportunity for his group to better understand Cosic’s legacy for their individual lives.
Kresimir Cosic impact on and off the court
“Krešimir Ćosić, in so many ways, is exactly the perfect example for our guys,” said Pope. “Because what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to be a great team. We want to be the best in the country. That’s what we’re trying to build. And I want that to be the third or fourth or fifth or sixth most incredible thing these guys accomplish in their lives.
“You think about what Krešimir did [at BYU] as a basketball player. Then what he did as an ambassador to the whole world in an area of the world that was getting torn to pieces, he was one of the voices standing up, trying to bring some sense to what was incredibly senseless. I’m so excited for our guys to learn more about him on this trip and capture that vision of the impact they can have on the world, too, because that’s why we’re here. We’re here to win; we’re here to win huge. More importantly, we’re here to grow incredible young men who change the world.”
Ćosić is among the few basketball players selected twice in two different NBA drafts. In the 1972 draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected him in the 10th round. Then the following year, the Los Angeles Lakers picked Cosic in the fifth round. But he opted to play for KK Zadar instead.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.
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