Croatian basketball legend Toni Kukoč is to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Split-native will be inducted into the Class of 2021 by the Hall of Fame’s International Committee, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced this weekend.
Kukoč will now join Dino Rađa (2018), Dražen Petrović (2002), Krešimir Ćosić (1996) and coach Mirko Novosel (2002) in the prestigious hall of fame. Croatia is now second, behind USA, with the most players in the hall of fame.
“I feel enormously proud and happy. It is a perfect ending to my basketball life as a player. I went to see my old Jugoplastika Split play last week. And entering the arena reminded me of the great team I was part of in the late 1980s and 90s. I love the fact this is happening while my parents are still alive, especially my dad, who is absolutely thrilled about this award. And I’m back as a cool dad again with my kids,” Kukoč told NBA.com from Croatia upon receiving the news.
Ceremonies will be held in September.
Kukoč, who has already been inducted into the FIBA international basketball Hall of Fame, was one of the first established European stars to play in the NBA, winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1996 and 3 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.
He won a number of accolades throughout his impressive career, including being a 3-time Croatian Sportsman of the Year, FIBA World Championship MVP, 4-time Mister Europa Player of the Year and a double Olympic silver medalist.
Kukoč currently serves the Chicago Bulls as Special Advisor to the President & COO.