One of Poland’s greatest contributors to the sport of basketball, Witold Zagorski passed away in his sleep on 30 June, aged 86.
Born in Warsaw on 25 September 1930, Zagorski first left his mark on basketball as a player, representing his country from 1951 to 1956, including competing in the 1955 European Championship in Budapest, where Poland finished a commendable fifth.
He later won two Polish championships, first with Polonia Warszawa in 1959 and with Legia Warszawa in 1961.
He soon after turned his attention to coaching, where he made his biggest contribution to Polish basketball. Under his leadership, Poland stepped onto the European podium on three occasions: at home in Wroclaw in 1963 where they finished second; and then again in Moscow in 1965 and Helsinki two years later, winning bronze on both occasions.
He also lead Poland on the world stage, at three Olympic Games (1964, 1968 and 1972) and the 1972 World Championship in Uruguay.
Following his coaching career in Poland, his passion for the sport failed to subside, continuing to work with basketball in his new residence, the Austrian city of Gmunder, coaching the local team as well a number of women’s and wheelchair basketball teams.