KK Zadar is a Croatian men's professional basketball team from the city of Zadar playing in the ABA League and the Croatian League.

Zadar
Zadar logo
LeaguesABA League
Croatian League
Founded1945
HistoryKK Zadar
(1945–present)
ArenaKrešimir Ćosić Hall
Capacity7,997
LocationZadar, Croatia
Team colorsWhite and Blue
         
PresidentŽeljko Žilavec
Head coachAnte Nazor
Championships6 Yugoslav Championships
1 Yugoslav Cup
2 Croatian Championships
6 Croatian Cups
1 Adriatic League
Websitekkzadar.net
Uniforms

Zadar is the place where Croatian basketball was born in 1930. Zadar's reputation has been of a basketball hotbed with a team that can capture trophies at any given moment. Zadar is also known for its fanatical die hard supporters, Tornado Zadar. The club is a founding member and shareholder of the Adriatic Basketball Association.[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

The first basketball ball and game rules of basketball were brought to Zadar by Italian soldiers during World War II, a time at which Zadar was occupied by the Italians. At that time all basketball games being played in Zadar were played on an outdoor, concrete court. KK Zadar was formally founded after World War II in 1945 as FD Zadar (Fiskulturno Društvo Zadar – Physical Culture Club of Zadar). Shortly after this club's founding, its basketball section went independent and became what is today's KK Zadar. Giuseppe "Pino" Giergia played his first game for Zadar in 1945; he later became one of the club's most famous players.

The 1949, KK Zadar entered Yugoslavia's first basketball division, remaining there until the country's break-up in 1990.

1960–1970Edit

On November 28, 1964, Krešimir Ćosić played his first game for Zadar, while being only 16 years old.

In 1965 KK Zadar won a Yugoslav League national championship. They again became champions in 1967 and 1968. In that championship year, Kreso Cosic often knew to score even a 60 points per game. The club's new arena, Jazine, was built in 1968 in only 70 days. Also in 1966, Zadar played in the Euroleague final four; they were beaten in the semi finals and ended the tournament in third place. In 1969 Krešo Ćosić left for the United States to play college basketball at Brigham Young University from 1971 to 1973.

1970–1980Edit

In 1973, Zadar was almost relegated from the Yugoslav First Federal Basketball League. In this time of crisis, Kreso Cosic returned to the club and with 36-year-old Giuseppe "Pino" Giergia Zadar once again became Yugoslav Champions, only to repeat this success two years later.

In 1976 Giuseppe Pino Giergia retired and Krešo Ćosić left the club to fulfill his obligations toward the Yugoslav Army (At this time, conscription was mandatory). During that time club was in a very difficult situation and once again were close to relegation. The club was once again saved by Krešo Ćosić who, after his military service, became the coach of Bresto in Italy. While he was the coach of Bresto he played basketball games for KK Zadar and once again saved the club from relegation.

1980–1990Edit

In the 1981–82 season another legendary Zadar play made his debut: Stojko Vranković. During that season club has made it to the semifinals of FIBA Korać Cup. They repeated this success the very next season. In 1986 another milestone for the club was achieved: the club got its first world record holder, Zdenko Babić, who has scored 144 points against Apoel from Cyprus in the FIBA Korać Cup.

Arijan Komazec made his debut for Zadar in 1986, and he, along with Stojko Vranković, would play a crucial role in the years to follow. After 11 years of waiting, Zadar won its sixth national championship in 1986. In the finals of that year, KK Zadar met Cibona, and in a historic and legendary match, Zadar beat Cibona by 111:110. They won the game after two overtimes and thanks to an excellent performance by Petar Popović who scored 35 points. In 1987 the club won fourth place in the FIBA European Champions Cup. In 1989 Krešo Ćosić and Giuseppe "Pino" Giergia took charge of the club.

1990–2000Edit

Krešo Ćosić left the club in August 1990 because of a disagreement with the club leadership. Ćosić would never return to the club, and was soon diagnosed with cancer. He died shortly after, in 1995. In the first, newly founded, Croatian national championship, in the 1991–92 season, the club has played in the finals. That year club has also played in the Euroleague. They were the finalist of the national cup in the 1992–93 season.

In years to come the club began to stagnate in the national championship and in the European competitions. In 1996 with a new coach at the helm, Danijel Jusup, Zadar reached the playoffs of the national championship, where they lost to Cibona. They repeated this success the following year with Emilio Kovačić as Zadar's key player, yet Cibona won the title once again.

In 1998 Zadar won the Krešimir Ćosić Cup, Croatia's basketball cup competitions. Marko Popović, the son of Petar Popović made his debut in 1998 for Zadar at age 16. In the summer of the 1999 Arijan Komazec returned to Zadar from Olympiacos, and the club had also signed Dino Rađa from Panathinaikos. In the season 1999–2000 Zadar had won its 2nd Krešimir Ćosić cup and had played, once again, in the semifinals of national championship and Saporta cup. Dino Rađa and Arijan Komazec proved as crucial players for the success in that season.

2000–presentEdit

In the seasons of 2000–01, 2001–02 Zadar played in the playoffs of national championship twice and once in Krešimir Ćosić Cup, yet they didn't win any of the possible 3 titles. In the season of 2002–03 Danijel Jusup returned to the club as head coach. During that season, with Marko Popović as a lead player, Zadar won its third Krešimir Ćosić Cup, as well as the newly established regional ABA League, founded on the ashes of the Yugoslav league and containing the best teams from the former Yugoslav republics. Zadar beat Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in the final.

In the summer of 2003, Marko Popović left Zadar as Emilo Kovačić returned. Going into the ULEB Cup for a third season in 2004–05, Zadar once again missed the playoffs by a single win. In the season of 2004–05 Zadar finally won the Croatian national championship, after a 19-year wait. That season Zadar has also won their fourth Krešimir Ćosić Cup in a truly historical season. In 2006, they repeated their success from previous season in the Krešimir Ćosić Cup winning their fifth cup. Zadar returned to the national league final in each of the last two seasons, but KK Cibona stood on its way to another league title.

In 2008, Zadar became the Croatian champion for the second time, beating KK Split 3-2 in the best of 5 series. The final game of the series, which Zadar won 89 to 65, was the last game ever played at Jazine, affectionately called "The Temple of Croatian Basketball" by many fans and basketball aficionados.

Domestic league and cup winning rostersEdit

HonoursEdit

Total titles: 16

Domestic competitionsEdit

Winners (2): 2004–05, 2007–08
Runners-up (11): 1991–92, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2012–13
Winners (6): 1997–98, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
Runners-up (6): 1992–93, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2014–15
Winners (6): 1965, 1967, 1967–68, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1985–86
Winners (1): 1969–70

European competitionsEdit

Semifinalists (2): 1967–68, 1974–75
4th place (1): 1986–87
Semifinalists (1): 1999–00
Semifinalists (3): 1981–82, 1982–83, 1988–89

Regional competitionsEdit

Winners (1): 2002–03

Other competitionsEdit

4th place (1): 1999

Top performances in European & Worldwide competitionsEdit

Season Achievement Notes
EuroLeague
1965–66 Quarter-finals 4th place in a group with CSKA Moscow, AEK and CSKA Cherveno zname
1967–68 Semi-finals eliminated by Real Madrid, 62-76 (L) in Madrid and 65-68 (L) in Zadar
1968–69 Quarter-finals 3rd place in a group with Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow and Academic
1974–75 Semi-finals eliminated by Real Madrid, 82-109 (L) in Madrid and 117-130 (L) in Zadar
1975–76 Quarter-finals 6th place in a group with Mobilgirgi Varese, ASVEL, Maes Pils, Academic & Turun NMKY
1986–87 Semi-final group stage 4th place in a group with Tracer Milano, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, Orthez, Žalgiris & Real Madrid
FIBA Saporta Cup
1970–71 Quarter-finals eliminated by Spartak Leningrad, 59-63 (L) in Zadar and 78-98 (L) in Leningrad
1979–80 Quarter-finals 3rd place in a group with Emerson Varese, FC Barcelona and Eczacıbaşı
1993–94 Quarter-finals 5th place in a group with Pitch Cholet, Sato Aris, Hapoel Galil Elyon, Overense Aerosoles & Levski Sofia
1999–00 Semi-finals eliminated by AEK, 75-70 (W) in Zadar and 67-82 (L) in Athens
FIBA Korać Cup
1981–82 Semi-finals eliminated by Limoges CSP, 92-84 (W) in Zadar and 78-99 (L) in Limoges
1982–83 Semi-finals eliminated by Šibenka, 78-70 (W) in Zadar and 69-89 (L) in Šibenik
1988–89 Semi-finals eliminated by Partizan, 63-75 (L) in Belgrade and 84-88 (L) in Zadar
1990–91 Quarter-finals eliminated by Mulhouse, 84-84 (D) in Zadar and 67-80 (L) in Mulhouse
1991–92 Quarter-finals eliminated by Fórum Filatélico Valladolid, 80-95 (L) in Trieste and 91-83 (W) in Valladolid[4]
EuroCup
2002–03 Quarter-finals eliminated by Pamesa Valencia, 84-105 (L) in Valencia and 93-80 (W) in Zadar
2008–09 Quarter-finals eliminated by Iurbentia Bilbao, 67-76 in Torino
Adriatic League
2002–03 Champions defeated Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, 91–88 in the final of the Adriatic League in Ljubljana

Season by seasonEdit

In YugoslaviaEdit