The best sportsman Bosnia and Herzegovina ever had, basketball legend Mirza ‘Kindze’ Delibasic, has passed away on this day 18 years ago.
Delibasic was one of Europe’s best basketball players and won numerous awards while playing for Yugoslavia’s national basketball team, including a gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics, gold at the 1978 FIBA World Championship and gold at the 1975 and 1977 EuroBasket championships.
He was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players, became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame and was also among the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.
Delibasic was laid to rest at the Bare graveyard in Sarajevo in an area reserved for prominent members of society named the ‘Alley of the Greats’. Thousands attended the funeral.
His family members, friends and many others who respected him gathered at his grave on Sunday to pay their respects to the ‘last basketball romantic’ – as they called him.
Among them was one of his best friends, Mirza Berbic.
“Everybody knew what kind of athlete he was, but only we know what kind of person he was. That character was developed on our little courtyard,” said Berbic, adding that this is a difficult day for him as he and Delibasic were inseparable.
“The memories of him are truly not fading away. Especially because of what he has done for basketball, for sports generally, and not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina and former Yugoslavia but Mirza was also a global basketball player, a virtuoso whom people respected across the world,” said former basketball player Samir Avdic.
A Spanish team of film directors and producers is now also filming a documentary about Delibasic.
“We were told about Mirza by his friend and teammate from Real Madrid, Juan Antonio Corbalan. He told us more about Mirza’s special personality, his special character, than about his achievements in basketball which were truly unbelievable,” said Manuel Dias, who is producing the film.