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srijeda, 31. listopada 2018.

Croatian Swimmer Duje Draganja Inducted Into Cal Athletic Hall Of Fame &...Dino Raða Inducted Into NBA Basketball Hall Of Fame






I try not to do sports topic posts over the last few years because I'm really not a sports blogger and this isn't a sports blog, just general Croatia related stuff for the benefit of the reader that they may not have known before. Today just some Hall of Fame news that just coincidentally happens to be about sports. The first part is from just a few days ago, and the second part is from last month that I already posted about HERE, but new readers may have missed it so I added it again.

Basically getting inducted into a Hall of Fame is a rare prestigious honor that should be mentioned and probably better than getting a kick in the teeth, mugged or an incurable disease, I think so anyway and I always tell it like it is. For this reason these two recent news topics get the official prestigious "Croatianicity Seal of Approval" (which is even much harder to get than an induction into any Hall of Fame in the world period, click onto prestigious seal of approval sound effect for the full prestigious effect). As well as so the general reading public will know that they're Croatian in the first place and not get confused with being Polish, Hungarian, German, Swiss, Czech or whatever other ethnicity, ("Oh look Barb, that Belarusian ( or whatever other ethnicity) that swam at Cal he got inducted into the Hall of Fame", see what I mean). Anyway...










ZAGREB, Oct 29 (Hina) – Croatia’s all-time best swimmer, Duje Draganja, was officially inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame of California’s Berkeley university at a ceremony in Oakland on Saturday, and in the evening he was introduced to 60,000 spectators at California Memorial Stadium.

Draganja won the silver medal in men’s 50 metres freestyle race at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece with a time of 21.94, which is still the sixth-best time ever, as well as a number of gold and silver medals at the European and World Championships.






Draganja is also a former NCAA record holder in the 100 yard freestyle, with a time of 41.49, set in 2005, while he swam for the University of California, Berkeley. He, like many other world-class, non-American swimmers, chose to spend 4 years training and competing at an American university.

During his four years with Cal, Duje won 10 Pac-10 swimming titles, eight NCAA National Championships and 12 Conference titles, remarkably winning at least one individual event at every dual meet during his entire 4 years at Berkeley. At the NCAA finals in New York he swam the 100 meters freestyle in a 25-meter pool breaking the 10-year-old European record set by Russian swimmer Alexander Popov. He was the 2005 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and his time in the men’s 50 m freestyle is still the fastest in the university’s history.




A highlight of Duje Draganja winning gold and setting a world record at the 2008 Men's 50m freestyle World Championships in Manchester (Just fyi his name is actually pronounced Doo-ye Draw-gone-yaw).




Draganja was born in Split in 1983 and also competed in the Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in 2008.

While representing Croatia internationally he has 4 medals from World Short Course Swimming Championships. In 2006 and 2008 he won a gold medal in 50 meter freestyle, a bronze medal in 100 m freestyle (2008) and a bronze medal in the 50 m butterfly (2006).






Draganja left the country on a four-year athletic scholarship at Berkeley between 2001 and 2004, competing for the college team California Golden Bears. Before competing for University of California, Berkeley, he was the captain of the Croatian Junior Swimming Team, and while there he won seven gold medals at the European Junior Championships and still holds two Junior World Records and four Junior European Records.

In European and World Championships between 2006 and 2009, he won two golds and four silvers.

At the 2009 European Short Course Championships he won a gold medal in the 100m individual medley, a silver medal in the 50m freestyle discipline, and a silver in the 4x50m freestyle.

Draganja these days lives in the coastal city of Šibenik and owns several restaurants, he has a passion for hiking, surfing and exploring while traveling the world for 6 months of the year for each of the past 6 years, when not watching Maury Povich and Jerry Springer show reruns he also finds time to train the swimming club Dubrava in the city of Zagreb.




Croatia's Duje Draganja and Britain's Mark Foster stand on the podium after the final of the Men's 50m freestyle at the World Short Course Swimming Championships at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, Friday April 11, 2008. Draganja won the gold in a world record time of 20.81 (AP Photo/Paul Thomas).





And here's a couple of interesting bonus pics I came across by chance. Here Duje is seen last summer hanging out with former Olympic and World Cup Champion Alpine Skier Ivica Kostelić in front of one of his bistro restaurants in Šibenik mentioned in the article. (Image: gloria.hr)






Related: you-lose-someyou-win-some-part-ii

croatian-swimmer-dina-levacic-completes-triple-crown

croatian-national-waterpolo-team-5-part-documentary

croatia-win-mens-super-final-gold-at.len_world-cup

swedish-otillo-swimrun-weekend-2017-took.place

otillo-swimrun-weekend-2018-on-hvar-took-place

dubrovniks-water-polo-club-jug-crowned

cbs-sports-producer-peter-radovich-barakude

croatian-water-polo-team-after-winning-world-gold

red-bull-sidrun-in-croatia-for-hardcore-waterpolo





And secondly some Croatian related Basketball Hall of Fame news from last month. Below the article I reposted my original background addition and the full Dino Radja Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech can be watched HERE.





Dino Raða Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame In Ceremony In Massachusetts




 Former Celtics star and Hall of Famer Larry Bird, and newest inductee Dino Radja.





Images/text: croatiaweek.com



Dino Radja is now an officially enshrined member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday night.

The former Celtics star became just the fourth Croatian to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame after Dražen Petrović (2002), Krešimir Ćosić (1996) and coach Mirko Novosel (2007).

Wearing a red and white checked Croatian tie, Raða was presented by NBA legend Larry Bird at Symphony Hall.






Raða joined the Celtics in the summer of 1993 and was immediately voted to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, along with fellow Croatian Toni Kukoč, who was at that time a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.

Radja played his entire four-year NBA career (1993-1997) with the Celtics and averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds.

His two EuroLeague championships, multiple club championships and MVP awards overseas helped him earn the induction.




*Repost from March 28, 2018




Croatian Dino Raða To Enter Basketball Hall of Fame




I don't really watch basketball or follow it, not since elementary school anyway, (that's when I got into hockey, the wonderful world of professional wrestling, and some other more interesting things), but it's still good to know as it's another prestigious honour and better than a disease or something like that...







Text: croatiaweek.com


A big honour for Croatian basketball occurred today with the news that Dino Raða was named to the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dino Raða thus becomes the fourth Croatian to enter the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame after Dražen Petrović (2002), Krešimir Ćosić (1996) and former player/coach/referee Mirko Novosel (2007).






Born in Split, Croatia, Radja was considered one of the greatest European players of his generation, and in North America he is best known for the four seasons that he spent with the Boston Celtics.






He was also member of the KK Split team of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which he helped to win two EuroLeague titles, as well as 2 titles in the Greek League with Panathinaikos (1997-99), a Croatian League title with KK Split (2002-03), 2 Croatian Cup titles with KK Zadar and KK Cibona (1999-2002) FIBA Korać Cup title with the Italian club Virtus Roma (1991-92), and a Croatian Olympic basketball silver medal (Barcelona 1992) among other accomplishments.






Radja joined the struggling Celtics in the summer of 1993 and was immediately voted to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, along with fellow Croatian Toni Kukoč, who was at that time a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.

Between 1993–1998 was the rebuilding era for the depleted Celtics from the 80's championships years. Over the course of his four seasons with the Celtics, Radja averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in the regular season. In his second year he unexpectedly helped bring the Celtics to the NBA playoffs and averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He averaged 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his best season (1995/1996).






His fourth and last season in Boston, was marked by a left knee injury that forced him to miss 57 regular season games. Following Croatian independence, Radja became an important part of the senior men's Croatian national basketball team, most notably at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, where Croatia won the silver medal. After leaving the NBA back to Croatia playing for KK Zadar and then winning 2 Greek League titles with Panathinaikos, he finished his career playing for KK Cibona and in his last season by winning the Croatian League Championship in 2003 with his first team KK Split.






Awards won during his career include: EuroLeague Final Four MVP (1989), FIBA European All-Star Selection (1991), FIBA's 50 Greatest Players (1991), NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1994), Greek League Finals MVP (1998), Croatian Cup Final Four MVP (2000), Croatian Cup Final Four Top Scorer (2000), and included in the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors (2008).

Following Croatian independence, Radja became an important part of the senior men's Croatian national basketball team, most notably at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, where Croatia won the silver medal. He has several deli sandwiches and mixed drink shooters named after him in the metropolitan Boston area. The official Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will take place on 7th September 2018 in Springfield, Massachusetts.






I also mentioned last year when Toni Kukoč became the 4th Croatian to be elected to FIBA's Basketball Hall of Fame after former players Krešimir Ćosić, Dražen Petrović and former player/coach/referee Mirko Novosel. So probably in the not too distant future Dino Raða will likewise be included in the FIBA Hall of Fame and Toni Kukoč inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

For those unfamiliar, Dino Radja was part of a core of Croatian basketball players (along with Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Žan Tabak and Stojko Vranković), who since 1989 and in the early 1990's became the first modern era Croats to play in the NBA during the time of official UN world recognition of Croatian independence. They are also considered the crucial part of the first to present-day mass influx of drafted native white European players into the NBA, thus paving the way especially for other players from recently freely independent and former communist regime countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Montenegro, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania etc, which unlike in the NHL was extremely rare and practically non-existent before then.



Related:  wikipedia.org//List_of_Croatian_NBA_players

rowing-sinkovic-brothers-first-toni-kukoc-fiba-hall-of-fame




A short highlight video reel from his basketball playing days.






nedjelja, 28. listopada 2018.

Two Donated UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters Arrive In Zagreb, Tvornica Kulture Club Officially Reopened After Renovations &...Dino Raða Officially Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame






I'm finding all the non-celeb stabbings, shootings, botched robberies/drug deals and non-celeb gangs and road rage pointless news around here boring, so here's something different for a change of pace. This first topic I very briefly mentioned before, so here's a few sneak peek images of the first two Black Hawk UH 60 M helicopters that arrived just recently and presented at the 91st Pleso Airbase in Zagreb. The aircraft were donated to Croatia by the U.S. government and will enter the Croatian Air Force regular service in 2020, which is the same year when the first Croatian F-16 fighter jets aircraft recently purchased from Israel will also arrive and be put into service. (the recently acquired Kiowa OH-58D Warrior helicopters are already all fully in service).

Like I said before though, this is just a sneak peek of things to come, because the current fleet of Russian transport helicopters such as the remaining MI 8, Mi-8MTV-1 and Mi-171SH are being completely phased out over the next few years, they've been modified and operational to Nato standards but they won't be overhauled or upgraded anymore and will probably be eventually sold or given as part of a larger 3 party deal. There will instead be more of these Black Hawk UH-60Ms seen below taking their place.

This Black Hawk UH-60M is the newest version of this type of helicopter, featuring state-of-the-art communication, navigation and sensory systems, and with armament options including various guns, rockets and missiles. According to official statements these helicopters will most likely be deployed to the Special Forces Command at first. This multipurpose version of the Black Hawk UH-60M is the latest generation and can be used for air strikes, evacuation of the wounded, tracing and rescue, and the transfer of soldiers, but it can also be used in fire extinguishing, border control, and various other missions. It can carry 11 troops with equipment, lift 2,600 pounds (1,200 kg) of cargo internally or 9,000 pounds (4,100 kg) of cargo externally by sling, and is equipped with advanced avionics and electronics for increased survivability and capability, such as the Global Positioning System. The donation worth over $53 million included the two latest generation helicopters, equipment delivery, and pilot and technical staff training.

The U.S. Government's decision to grant the first two helicopters to Croatia begins the already in process and long-awaited complete replacement of Russian technology aircraft, there is even already a Nato training center for helicopter pilots in Zemunik Air Force Base, near the city of Zadar. I'm not getting into the various Croatian and U.S. Ambassadors and military staff speeches that took place, basically it revolved around thanking Croatia's commitment to peace, stability, security, progress and the various NATO, United Nations and European Union military as well as security missions they take part in, anti-terrorism and the border security preventing illegal crossings, organized crime and smuggling coming from the balkans etc, (US Navy fleet vessels have for years also been getting maintenance, repairs and overhauled at Croatian shipyards facilities, including the command and control flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, "USS Mount Whitney", example, as well as Information Technology infrastructure and various engineering refurbishments). Also just a few years ago they donated 212 MRAP Armoured ATVs and Tactical Vehicles for the same reasons as just mentioned. However this sort of reminds me of something. Because back in my military days I was posted at CFB Kingston, and this one time me and a couple other guys in my platoon went down to Fort Drum for a weekend which is a military base in New York state, and it's coincidentally also known for being a Black Hawk helicopter base.

(You see, the one guy was a really gung-ho military type and he really liked those helicopters and wanted to see them in person, and the other guys too. I wasn't nearly as into the helicopters scene as them but I said what the hell ok, up until then we'd go to Montreal for a weekend once in a while but I figured it was something different for a couple days so why not. (The one guy even had a Black Hawk helicopter scaled model that he finished in his room, now that's a Black Hawk helicopter fan if there ever was). Besides they promised to all pitch in for the gas and buy me a bunch of beers at the military base bar/club, and even the accommodations were free because we were in DND/Department of National Defence and Nato, a free weekend adventure basically. So anyway, the Fort Drum base club/bar we went to was really good and actually quite large with a decent lightshow, good tunes and even lots of U.S. military women, dressed in normal weekend clothes of course. Long story short, after a number of beers me and some guy ended getting into a conversation about something, I was originally just chatting up a hot military chick and everything was going great (I think she was from Texas if I remember correctly, Texas accent AND in the military...need I say more?), but somehow I ended up in a heated conversation with some guy who just walked up and which started getting more verbal after a few minutes, I didn't know him and she didn't know him and I really didn't intend to go there to talk shop with some unknown stooge at all. (I think maybe he was having issues with me chatting to the military chick and maybe overheard that we were from over the border, maybe she was a potential ex-girlfriend of his he was thinking? maybe he was just pulling rank (even though it was after hours and weekend civvies time) or maybe he just finished watching a Schwarzenegger or Van Damme movie and thought I would be intimidated because I just fell off the beef jerky truck? Maybe just a malfunction from mixing too many beers and Jägermeisters? Maybe he didn't like my dance moves? (Heck, maybe he was one of those "YMCA weight lifting" types if you know what I mean, and he was striking out everywhere if you know what I mean, so he was disgruntled and crabby). I don't know, but whatever, I can barely even remember what his lip-flapping was all about anyway, I just came for the beers and some fun and things were going great until he sort of barged in as a stranger wanting to get into pointless escalating lip-flapping conversations. (He was lucky though that it didn't reach the point where I had to use my secret ancient martial arts death punch for self-defence, a martial art that hardly anyone has even heard of, (according to the first mentions about it in Roman sources in antiquity, the martial art originated somewhere in the Pannonian Basin and Carpathians areas during the Bronze Age, we're talking here about the real Conan the Barbarian times), but if I used it then I would have probably been charged with murder and probably sent to prison for 20 years or life, and all just because of doing a favour to some guys who had a Black Hawk helicopter fetish, (and yes it does exist, but the after effects in modern times were witnessed and reported about only a handful of times like I said, seen on bestgore.com once or twice also but then quickly deleted, probably to discourage people from learning about it and how to do it). All I remember mainly is that I was in the zone and me and her were having a good time and I was even dancing like a Tyrannosaurus Rex (which is a good thing, because it was the lingo used in the clubs.....Billy Idol, Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, Def Leppard and even The Cult, Men Without Hats and The B-52's at the time were popular in lots of clubs...example: "Man, that guy over there he's dancing like a Tyrannosaurus Rex" etc, it's sort of like a cross between a Batcave Dance and the Safety Dance). Well anyway long story short, we ended up just about going at it just before last call, he was in good shape around my height at 6'-2" and probably spent a lot of time in the weight room from the looks of it, but personally speaking I don't care if the person is 5'-10" or 6'-10" because it makes no difference to me, because I stand up for myself and you gotta tell it like it is and be a man with principles and self-respect and not self-loathing like an ostrich, (Besides there's just no comparison between doing weights with inanimate objects and the science of the mystical ancient esoteric martial arts and punch of death, aka; death punch). Then soon an MP was coming our way because someone in the crowd said they notified the MPs and they were coming, (yep, there was a small crowd by now watching what was going on), I don't know why but the guys I was with got spooked and said something like, "Come on let's go, let's get out of here, let's just leave and get a cab". (Which was weird but wasn't surprising, because the one guy was previously in the reserves and the other one went through the cadets, occasionally colloquially aka space cadets, (As a teen I never really understood or got into that whole metal taps and shining your shoes until they're like a mirror, like is that supposed to scare away the enemy and boogyman? although it would probably come in handy if going to tap dance lessons or jazz dancing afterwards), because a few months before we drove down to Toronto on a weekend for his birthday because he had never been in a strip bar because he was from Saskatchewan, so that he could see his first live titties and officially be a man, so it really wasn't surprising at all (Because you sure don't want to be sent on a last minute mission to some shithole desert somewhere and then accidentally find yourself on your deathbed with bleeding shrapnel wounds saying "I can't believe it I'm dying and I've never even seen real live tits!"), because that would be a really pointlessly absurd and pathetic way to kick the bucket, later we also drove around the ghetto areas and I said let's go in that bar with the missing neon letters, front sidewalk chalk outlines and the taped cardboard on the window, it should be interesting and probably cheap fries too, (because one of the guys was from Saskatchewan and the other from Alberta), but they didn't want to for whatever reason). But getting back to the army base nightclub topic, I said no way am I running away like a yellow-bellied jacktard, I'm just speaking up for myself because I was right and that's what I'll tell him, something like that. Maybe I should have said to the guy "Chill out, you're confused, do you see me wearing pyjamas, thong, Saddam Hussein t-shirt or a turban?" or some other pointless war criminal/dictator guru t-shirt. (I was actually wearing just some plain polo shirt and jeans, not some slogan t-shirt or similar trendy text such as "Free Mustache Rides", "I'm With Stupid" or those "Beer: Helping Ugly People Have Sex Since 1862" & "Alcohol: I Only Drink To Make You More Interesting" and similar  t-shirts which were really popular at the time). I'm not even getting into what his ethnic background probably was because it was fairly obvious, but that would open up a whole other can of worms and topics. Well, long story short, no punches were actually thrown but it was reaching to that point in a few more minutes because of his obtuseness, and without getting into all the details of what was said and done, after giving our IDs and reasons for being there later we were told we had to leave the base by noon the next day, but we were going to leave the next morning anyway and we already told him that I remember, so that was no big deal and pointless too. (It was odd and starting to become like a sequence of events out of the film Bottle Rocket or something like that, just really weird, like were we supposed to take a cab to Mr. Henry's place now and lay low until the final get away?). Then on Monday at our Kingston base I had to give my series of events talk again to my sergeant and so did the other guys because the Fort Drum people called to verify things and whatever and that's the gist of it, and ho hum la di da whoop-de-doo. (Maybe they were making sure the one guy in our gaggle wasn't a spy, because he was taking photographs of the Black Hawk helicopters while we were driving around the fenced helicopters section of the base, and come to think of it I don't think you're really allowed to take photographs of the helicopters). It wasn't anything even remotely like the recent McGregor-Khabib thing, but I guess the moral to the story is, if there is one, if you go to a US military base that has Black Hawk helicopters and have beers there at the club chatting with some hot military chick, go chat somewhere with her where there's no dickheads floating around being pointless and you'll probably have more fun. And maybe on the flip side, if you're not there to enjoy some cold beers, music, meet and talk to women, then you might as well just stay at home and watch reruns, or lift weights and do scale model helicopters etc. That pretty well sums it up and is probably a very important life lesson to live by). Below are a few images from earlier today...





Photos: Krešimir Žabec / JUTARNJI LIST







A sneak peek of the first two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters to become part of the Croatian Air Force, with more arriving afterwards.




Here six U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk Helicopters landed at Split Airport in 2015 to refuel on their way to KFOR peacekeeping missions in Kosovo before the forming of the Kosovo Army. (this will be a much more familiar scene in Croatian skies in the near future like I said, but with Croatian Air Force camouflage, roundels and insignia of course).




























...& Popular Zagreb Bar & Live Music Venue "Tvornica Kulture" Reopened After Renovations








And here's a few interesting images from the recently renovated and re-opened Tvornica Kulture (In Croatian meaning "Culture Factory") bar and live music club. Tvornica Kulture for a number of years now has been a popular iconic local venue and place to hang out in the capital city Zagreb to watch up and coming new Croatian live acts as well as even some touring foreign bands.

The club is largely dedicated to rock and pop music, from the alternative scene and independent artists especially, but even has theatrical performances and electronic music nights (example). And after 3 months of renovation work Tvornica Kulture officially opened its doors again to start a new concert season on Friday, September 21st. It used to accommodate a maximum of 18000 people before the renovations, but the new, improved and enlarged Tvornica Kulture will now be able to have different sized venues for various events accommodating from 300 to 2200 visitors.

The idea that led to the restructuring of the Tvornica Kulture was to create a space that would function equally well for concerts, parties, performances, meetings, festivals and various cultural events, being able to quickly transform and adapt to the needs for day and night events. The locally popular nightclub and concert venue is located on Šubićeva street across Peter Krešimir IV Square.

In a way its popularity is similar to the Klub Purgeraj, which was a smaller Zagreb live music venue and bar but that hosted many of the same popular music acts and new artists, before it closed and relocated to another part of the city under another name, also a sort of Zagreb version CBGB. Just some of the foreign acts that have performed at Tvornica Kulture include: Pixies, Dinosaur JR, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Fleet Foxes, Slayer, Down, Public Image Limited, Joe Satriani, Patti Smith, Dropkick Murphys, Kurt Vile, The Human League, Jessie Ware, The Jim Jones Revue, Apocalyptica, Buena Vista Social Club, Rollins Band, Asian Dub Foundation, The Walkabouts, The Bloodhound Gang, The Residents, The Mission, Tito & Tarantula, Natasha Atlas, Sepultura, Alfredo De La Fe, Gotan Project, Quarteto Morelenbaum, Jane Birkin, Buddha Bar-D.J.Ravin, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Siddharta, Faithless, Violent Femmes, John Cale, David Byrne, Machine Head, Kreator, MC5, Mariza, Madredeus, Barbara Hendricks, Victoria Abril, Bloodhound Gang, Eagles of Death Metal, Mick Harvey, The Dirty Three, Zola Jesus, Leningrad Cowboys, Groove Armada, Gogol Bordello, Hugh Cornwell, Mick Jones, These New Puritans, White Lies, Soulfly, Nick Cave, Roisin Murphy and many others.

After 3 months of renovation work Tvornica Kulture officially opened its doors again to start a new concert season on Friday, September 21st, the band Let3 from the city of Rijeka held the first opening night concert, their first time playing Tvornica Kulture in six years. Many beers were drank and Tvornica Kulture is back in business again as a popular local venue for live music, a few pics below during renovations and from the re-opening night...


More information: www.facebook.com/tvornicakulture

www.tvornicakulture.com

www.muzika.hr/venue/tvornica-kulture-zagreb

Related: zagrebs-kooky-klub-purgeraj


Photos: Goran Mehkek/CROPIX/super1.net.hr














See also related Croatian beers and Croatia and Beer World Lists posts.




















And lastly some Croatian related Basketball Hall of Fame news from last month that I should quickly mention. Below the article I reposted my original background addition and the full Dino Radja Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech can be watched HERE.





Dino Raða Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame In Ceremony In Massachusetts




 Former Celtics star and Hall of Famer Larry Bird, and newest inductee Dino Radja.





Images/text: croatiaweek.com



Dino Radja is now an officially enshrined member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday night.

The former Celtics star became just the fourth Croatian to enter the Basketball Hall of Fame after Dražen Petrović (2002), Krešimir Ćosić (1996) and coach Mirko Novosel (2007).

Wearing a red and white checked Croatian tie, Raða was presented by NBA legend Larry Bird at Symphony Hall.






Raða joined the Celtics in the summer of 1993 and was immediately voted to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, along with fellow Croatian Toni Kukoč, who was at that time a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.

Radja played his entire four-year NBA career (1993-1997) with the Celtics and averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds.

His two EuroLeague championships, multiple club championships and MVP awards overseas helped him earn the induction.




*Repost from March 28, 2018




Croatian Dino Raða To Enter Basketball Hall of Fame




I don't really watch basketball or follow it, not since elementary school anyway, (that's when I got into hockey, the wonderful world of professional wrestling, and some other more interesting things), but it's still good to know as it's another prestigious honour and better than a disease or something like that...







Text: croatiaweek.com


A big honour for Croatian basketball occurred today with the news that Dino Raða was named to the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dino Raða thus becomes the fourth Croatian to enter the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame after Dražen Petrović (2002), Krešimir Ćosić (1996) and former player/coach/referee Mirko Novosel (2007).






Born in Split, Croatia, Radja was considered one of the greatest European players of his generation, and in North America he is best known for the four seasons that he spent with the Boston Celtics.






He was also member of the KK Split team of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which he helped to win two EuroLeague titles, as well as 2 titles in the Greek League with Panathinaikos (1997-99), a Croatian League title with KK Split (2002-03), 2 Croatian Cup titles with KK Zadar and KK Cibona (1999-2002) FIBA Korać Cup title with the Italian club Virtus Roma (1991-92), and a Croatian Olympic basketball silver medal (Barcelona 1992) among other accomplishments.






Radja joined the struggling Celtics in the summer of 1993 and was immediately voted to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team, along with fellow Croatian Toni Kukoč, who was at that time a rookie with the Chicago Bulls.

Between 1993–1998 was the rebuilding era for the depleted Celtics from the 80's championships years. Over the course of his four seasons with the Celtics, Radja averaged 16.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in the regular season. In his second year he unexpectedly helped bring the Celtics to the NBA playoffs and averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He averaged 19.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his best season (1995/1996).






His fourth and last season in Boston, was marked by a left knee injury that forced him to miss 57 regular season games. Following Croatian independence, Radja became an important part of the senior men's Croatian national basketball team, most notably at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, where Croatia won the silver medal. After leaving the NBA back to Croatia playing for KK Zadar and then winning 2 Greek League titles with Panathinaikos, he finished his career playing for KK Cibona and in his last season by winning the Croatian League Championship in 2003 with his first team KK Split.






Awards won during his career include: EuroLeague Final Four MVP (1989), FIBA European All-Star Selection (1991), FIBA's 50 Greatest Players (1991), NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1994), Greek League Finals MVP (1998), Croatian Cup Final Four MVP (2000), Croatian Cup Final Four Top Scorer (2000), and included in the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors (2008).

Following Croatian independence, Radja became an important part of the senior men's Croatian national basketball team, most notably at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, where Croatia won the silver medal. He has several deli sandwiches and mixed drink shooters named after him in the metropolitan Boston area. The official Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony will take place on 7th September 2018 in Springfield, Massachusetts.






I also mentioned last year when Toni Kukoč became the 4th Croatian to be elected to FIBA's Basketball Hall of Fame after former players Krešimir Ćosić, Dražen Petrović and former player/coach/referee Mirko Novosel. So probably in the not too distant future Dino Raða will likewise be included in the FIBA Hall of Fame and Toni Kukoč inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

For those unfamiliar, Dino Radja was part of a core of Croatian basketball players (along with Dražen Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Žan Tabak and Stojko Vranković), who since 1989 and in the early 1990's became the first modern era Croats to play in the NBA during the time of official UN world recognition of Croatian independence. They are also considered the crucial part of the first to present-day mass influx of drafted native white European players into the NBA, thus paving the way especially for other players from recently freely independent and former communist regime countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Slovenia, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Montenegro, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania etc, which unlike in the NHL was extremely rare and practically non-existent before then.



Related:  wikipedia.org//List_of_Croatian_NBA_players

rowing-sinkovic-brothers-first-toni-kukoc-fiba-hall-of-fame




A short highlight video reel from his basketball playing days.






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