ŠIBENIK, 22 October 2021 – Croatian basketball great Dražen Petrović, widely recognised as the greatest player to ever come out of Europe, would have turned 57 today.
Born in the Dalmatian town of Šibenik on 22 October 1964, Petrović was just 28 years of age when he was killed in a car accident in Germany after returning from playing for Croatia in Poland on 7 June 1993.
Šibenik has once again paid tribute to the late great on his birthday today. A huge 5 x 7 metre replica of Dražen’s No.4 singlet from his former club KK Šibenika was put up in the centre of Šibenik, to mark his birthday.
The singlet was sown by Šibenik designer Karmen Herceg.
On Friday and Saturday, a series of events will take place to mark the late great’s birthday. Players from the club KK Šibenika will lay wreaths in his honour on Friday and 57 balloons will be let off into the air.
On Saturday, October 23, the basketball tournament ‘Memory of Dražen’ will take place featuring the teams BC Split, BC Alkar, BC Sonik – Puntamika Zadar and OKK Dražen Petrović. The matches will take place in the hall of Petar Krešimir IV Elementary School from 9.30 am to 1 pm. The event is organised by OKK Dražen Petrović.
Also on Saturday, for the sixth time, the ‘Šibenik Ten’ and ‘Dražen’s Four’ Croatian Road Running Championship will be run. The start of the ten-kilometre race of the ‘Šibenik Ten’ is scheduled for 11 am, while the ‘Dražen’s Four’ will run from 12.30 pm. The start of both races will take place on the Šibenik waterfront. Starting at 9.30 am, also on the Šibenik waterfront, a children’s race will be held.
Voted the Best European Basketballer in History, Petrović enjoyed an illustrious career with the New Jersey Nets, averaging 20.6 points in 36.9 minutes on the floor, and nearly leading all NBA guards in field goal percentage (51%). He did not miss a single game.
Dražen also won Olympic basketball medals, as well as a gold and a bronze at the FIBA World and European Championships.