Date of Birth: 22 october 1964
Place of birth: Sibenik
Height: 1.96 m (6-5)
Position: Shooting Guard
He was so precocious and brilliant that he had been nicknamed “Mozart”. Drazen Petrovic became a pioneer for European basketball players in the big league by being the first to be named in an All-NBA team. He’s considered by many as the best European ever. But his stellar career ended tragically in a car accident on a German highway on June 7th 1993.
Drazen Petrovic was born in Sibenika and came to basketball following his older brother, Aca, now a basketball coach. He started playing with the BC Sibenka and made the first team at the early age of 15. At seventeen, he led his team twice to the final of the Korac Cup but lost to Limoges. He then moved to Cibona Zagreb, scoring 36 points against Real Madrid to bring his club its first European Champions Cup in 1985. The next two years, he won a second consecutive European Champions Cup, and then the European Cup Winners Cup. During his Cibona years, he set an incredible record by scoring 112 points in a Yugoslav first division game. In 1988, he moved to Real Madrid and won another European Cup Winners Cup.
But the European stage had become too small for his talent. The Portland TrailBlazers had drafted him in the second round in 1986, and Petrovic decided to join the NBA in 1989. But his career overseas started by a disappointment as he didn’t play a lot. A trade sent him to the New Jersey Nets on January 1991, and he took advantage of the situation, averaging 20.6 points in his first complete season with his new team. In 1992-93, he increased his production to 22.3 points and was named in the All-NBA Third Team. But he failed to make the All-Star Game, which was a true disappointment for him.
With Yugoslavia, he won a bronze medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and a silver medal four years later in Seoul. In 1989, he led his country to the gold medal at the EuroBasket, and then to the gold medal at the World Championship the following year. In 1992, he won also the silver medal with Croatia at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.