Tuesday, June 03, 2003

After 15 Long Years

There is a lot of shooting in Split this evening. Usually that indicates a local athlete or team winning important sporting event.

In this case the cause for celebration is Split Croatia Osiguranje basketball team. They've just beaten Cibona VIP in Zagreb and thus won national basketball championship for the first time in history of independent Croatia.

That was incredibly emotional occasion for Split's main star Dino Radja, man who had returned from a stellar NBA career in USA in order to help the very club in which he had started his path to stardom almost two decades ago. Radja had already won national championship with Split fifteen years ago, but at the time Croatia used to be part of former Yugoslavia. At the time, the club was known as Jugoplastika Split and it won the championship in bitter contest with Partizan Belgrade. The series featured another two more future NBA stars – Jugoplastika's Toni Kukoč (Toni Kukoc) and Partizan's Vlade Divac.

When asked to comment on his victory by Croatian television commentators, Radja simply couldn't answer anything, being overwhelmed by tears.


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