Federation Focus: Croatia

22.02.2013

10 YEARS FIBA EUROPE

The Croatian Basketball Federation (Hrvatski Kosarkaski Savez/HKS) was established in December 1948 as part of the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia. After the breaking up of the Balkan country, HKS became an independent federation on 17 November 1991, affiliating with FIBA shortly after, in January 1992. HKS is managing the sport of basketball in Croatia, from youth development programmes to the national leagues and all national teams.

Having contributed to the rich basketball history of Yugoslavia, it did not take long for Croatia to write the first chapter of their own. In 1992, the men's national team made it all the way to the Olympic Final, facing the one and only US Dream Team. The Croatians fell to their star-laden opponents, 85-117, but proudly accepted the silver medal. The late Drazen Petrovic had previously starred in Yugoslavian national teams, and once more underlined his leadership and talent in Barcelona, finishing as Croatia's top scorer and the tournament's second best overall with 24.6 points per game.

Split star Toni Kukoc at the 1991 EuroLeague Final Four, where Split completed their third consecutive Euroleague victory
Split star Toni Kukoc at the 1991 EuroLeague Final Four, where Split completed their third consecutive Euroleague victory. Kukoc spent 13 years in the NBA, winning three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls.

The team went on to win three bronze medals in the following three years, two at the European Championships in 1993 and 1995 and one at the World Championship in 1994. Croatia were carried by the likes of Dino Radja and Toni Kukoc, who had made a name for themselves early on in their careers. Both were part of the legendary Jugoplastika Split side that won were crowned triple Euroleague champions. Split had followed in the footsteps of Cibona Zagreb, the first Croatian club to win Europe's elite club competition. Led by Drazen Petrovic, the team clinched the title in 1985 and defended it in 1986.

In 1980, KK Monting Zagreb won the Ronchetti Cup, being up to date the only women's club from the territory of modern Croatia to clinch an international title. Women's basketball has been on a rise in Croatia in recent years. Last summer, the senior women's national team wrote history after reaching their first Olympic Tournament. Men's youth national teams have added to the accolades with six medals in the past five summers; and with talents like Mario Hezonja and Dario Saric ready to enter the limelight at senior level, the future of Croatian basketball looks promising.

 

STATS & FACTS

Date of foundation: 19 December 1948
President: Danko Radic
Secretary General: Zeljko Draksic
Homepage: www.hks-cbf.hr

Registered players:
- U18 Men: 9,960
- U18 Women: 5,460
- Senior Men: 2,820
- Senior Women: 1,750
Non-registered players: approximately 3,000
Registered clubs: 305
Registered coaches: 850

 

Gold Medalists Croatia
Croatia clinched their last gold medal at the U18 European Championship in 2012, with Dario Saric being named tournament MVP.

NATIONAL TEAM MEDALS & TITLES

1992 Olympic Games: Tournament for Men in Barcelona (Spain): 2nd place
1993 European Championship for Men in Berlin, Karlsruhe, Munich (Germany): 3rd place
1994 World Championship for Men in Hamilton, Toronto (Canada): 3rd place
1994 European Championship for Junior Men in Tel Aviv (Israel): 2nd place
1995 European Championship for Men in Athens (Greece): 3rd place
1995 European Championship for Cadets in Setubal, Siexal, Almada (Portugal): 1st place
1996 European Championship for Junior Men in Auch, Lourdes, Tarbes (France): 1st place
1998 European Championship for Junior Men in Varna (Bulgaria): 2nd place
2000 European Championship for Junior Men in Zadar (Croatia): 2nd place
2001 European Championship for Cadettes in Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria): 3rd place
2001 World Championship for Young Men in Saitama (Japan): 2nd place
2002 European Championship for Junior Men in Ludwigsburg, Esslingen, Böblingen (Germany): 1st place
2008 U18 European Championship Men in Amaliada, Pyrgos (Greece): 3rd place
2009 U19 World Championship for Men in Auckland (New Zealand): 3rd place
2010 U16 European Championship Men in Bar (Montenegro): 1st place
2010 U16 European Championship Women in Kozani, Ptolemaida (Greece): 2nd place
2011 U16 European Championship Men in Hradec Králové, Pardubice (Czech Republic): 1st place
2012 U18 European Championship Men in Vilnius, Liepaja (Lithuania): 1st place
2012 U17 World Championship for Men in Kaunas (Lithuania): 3rd place


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