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 »  Home  »  In Memoriam  »  Drazen Petrovic 1964-1993 distinguished Croatian basketball player and the greatest European player of all times
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Drazen Petrovic 1964-1993 distinguished Croatian basketball player and the greatest European player of all times
By Darko Žubrinić | Published  06/24/2013 | Sports , In Memoriam , Education | Unrated
Elected the world's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

Dražen Petrović - the greatest European player of all times

Dražen Petrović initially achieved success playing professional basketball for Croatian clubs Šibenka and Cibona, and in Europe (Real Madrid in Spain) in the 1980s before joining the American NBA in 1989. Petrović died in a car accident at the age of 28. Petrović earned two silver medals and one bronze in Olympic basketball, a gold and a bronze in the FIBA World Championship, and a gold and a bronze in the FIBA European Championship. He earned four Euroscar Awards, and was named Mr. Europa in basketball twice. In 2002 he was elected to the world's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dražen with Croatian Coat of Arms.

Honorary Citizen of Šibenik since 1994… Cibona Zagreb’s sports arena is named after him (Basketball Center Dražen Petrović)… The Croatian Post edited a commemorative stamp of the Republic of Croatia in his honor… as did the Croatian Olympic Committee issuing gold coins with his image... In Lausanne, outside the IOC’s Olympic Museum, there is a monument featuring his image… Dražen Petrović is also known as the ‘Genius from Šibenik’, the ‘Mozart of Basketball’ or simply as ‘Amadeus’… Source FIBA Hall of Fame

If you visit Zagreb, don't miss to see

Dražen Petrović Memorial Center
Trg Dražen Petrović 3
10000 Zagreb

Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tel. +385-1-4843-146

Biography of Dražen Petrović

Drazen Petrovic was born in Sibenik October 22, 1964. Raised along side his brother Aleksandar (Aco) by parents Biserka and Jole Petrovic, Drazen had a happy childhood. He enjoyed many activities including time in a chorus and long summer days on the seaside in his hometown of Sibenik.

He found basketball following the footsteps of his brother. But his passion grew into a fanatical devotion. While he would play regularly with his friends on the local open basketball court, he spent countless hours alone in the same spot refining his shooting skills. In his quest for continuous improvement, he drew admiration and respect from his peers, coaches and growing legions of fans. This set the stage for his pioneering career that followed soon after.

Drazen's serious approach to the game was sometimes camouflaged by his wide and sincere smile. But as his skills improved so did the expectations he put on himself. His personal drive developed in to fine leadership skills on the court and translated into many defeats for opposing teams. From his breakthrough performances in Croatia with Sibenka and Cibona teams to representing his homeland in international competition, Drazen became known as the Croatian Mozart. A title he earned by turning basketball into an artform.

He set new standards for the game across borders, first in Spain for Real Madrid and later with the Portland Trailblazers and New Jersey Nets of the NBA. Fans stood up to take notice of the mighty "Petro". However, his legend is now frozen in time.

He died in a car accident on June 7 1993, on the highway in the vicinity of the German town of Ingolstadt, one day after his last game in a Croatian national team jersey at the qualifications tournament for the European championship in Wroclaw.


Dražen Petrović was extremely popular in Madrid, Spain, where he played for Real Madrid.

Dražen Petrović on Croatian postage stamps. Photo by Ekrem Eck Spahich.

Besides Dražen Petrović, there are also some other great basketball players originating from Croatia:

Monument in honour of Dražen Petrović in his native city of Šibenik, Croatia.
Many thanks to Mr. Marko Gulin for providing us with the photo.

Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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