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Croatia marks 30th anniversary of Dražen Petrović’s death

Croatia marks 30th anniversary of Dražen Petrović’s death

(Photo credit: Grad Šibenik)

Dražen Petrović, one of Croatia’s greatest sportsmen, tragically passed away 30 years ago today. 

On 7 June 1993, Petrović, who was just 28 years of age, was killed in a car accident in Germany after returning from playing for Croatia in Poland the previous day.

Known as “Basketball’s Mozart,” he was born in Šibenik on October 22, 1964. At a young age, he made a name for himself playing for the local club Šibenka before moving to Zagreb to play for Cibona. He later joined Real Madrid and helped them win titles.

Dražen’s success continued when he moved to the Portland Trailblazers and then the New Jersey Nets. He was voted the Best European Basketballer in History and was known for his impressive scoring abilities. He achieved remarkable statistics and was a key figure in the rise of European players in the NBA.

In addition to his club success, Dražen also won medals in Olympic basketball and earned gold and bronze at the FIBA World and European Championships. He had an illustrious career and left a lasting impact on the basketball world.

In Šibenik, where he grew up, the 30th anniversary of his tragic death is being commemorated all day today. 

With a fitting program that includes laying flowers and lighting candles at Dražen’s monument in Baldekin, numerous Šibenik residents, as well as delegations from the City of Šibenik, Šibenik-Knin County, sports clubs, and associations, will remember the basketball Mozart.

Film about Dražen Petrović "Naš mali” set to premiere 

Drazen’s grave at Mirogoj cemetery (Photo: SpeedyGonsales/CC BY 3.0)

As part of the “30 Years Without Dražen” event, a basketball tournament featuring U-20 national teams will begin in the sports hall at Baldekin. The participating countries are Canada, Montenegro, Czech Republic, and Croatia. The event “30 Years Without Dražen” is organised by the Croatian Basketball Federation, OKK Dražen Petrović, and the City of Šibenik.

On Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the Barone Fortress, a film titled “Naš Mali” (Our Little One), by author Ivana Guberina, will be premiere. The event is organised by the Cultural Association “Šibenska kartulina” in cooperation with the City of Šibenik, Šibenik Tourist Board, and the Cultural Fortress Institution. The film screening begins at 8:30 p.m.

Details about the film here. 

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