|22 May 2013|
European basketball is mourning the death of Miloslav Kriz (photo: DBB-Archiv)
FIBA Order of Merit recipient, Miloslav Kriz, passed away on Monday, aged 89.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Kriz played top-level basketball in his native country, first for Uncas Prague, and later for BC Sparta Prague, but it was as a coach and trainer that Kriz left his biggest mark on the sport of basketball.
In 1946 Kriz first began coaching basketball, beginning with the Sparta women's team whilst still playing for the men's team.
His first reign at the helm of Sparta was from 1945-50; the second from 1953-64. During his time there he took them to glory in the Czechoslovakian Championship on five occasions.
His merits at club level earned him a call up to coach the national women's team, undertaking the role, originally from 1946-48, and again from 1960-68.
Whilst in charge, Czechoslovakia won bronze at the World Championship in 1967 and two silver medals at the European Championship, in 1962 and 1966.
Following on from his success in the women's game, Kriz moved to Germany, coaching VfL Osnabruck in the men's Bundesliga, where he achieved success in his second season when the North German club won the championship.
Immediately following the win, Kriz was back calling the plays at national level, this time for the German's men team, where he remained from 1968-71.
Soon after, Kriz returned home to his native Czechoslovakia to practice law whilst also acting as the president of the Czech Basketball Association from 1973-86, and vice-president of the Czechoslovak Basketball Federation.
Kriz received his award from FIBA Order of Merit for services to basketball in 2002.
He passed away in the town where he arguably enjoyed his greatest success as a men's coach, Osnabruck.