Gilmer - did you see him in the Freshman games? because freshman couldn't
play varsity basketball in 1969-70.
I only got to see him play when he was a freshman, but he was one of the
greatest basketball showmen ever, as well as a great player. His contribution
to BYU and then to the Church was great. I was in Provo in April and I thrilled
to see his jersey hanging in the Marriott Center.
It is worth finding out more about Cosic. If I'm getting my facts
straight, although not a member of the LDS Church at the time, Cosic dreamed or
had a deep impression that if he went to America he would play in the largest of
basketball arenas in the country. This was when games were at Smith Fieldhouse,
hardly noted for its size. Cosic struggled with person issues and almost left
BYU after his first year, but instructors, particularly Hugh Nibley, kept his
interest and eventually led him to the Gospel. When the Marriot Center opened,
Cosic indeed did play in the largest of arenas in the country. Cosic chose to
forego a career in the NBA in order to bring the gospel back to his homeland --
where my son served a mission (Croatia).
I took the time to watch the 44 minute documentary/bio on Kreso. Just amazing
to bring back all those marvelous memories. I actually had a job with Tolboe
Construction building the Marriott center during the very last months prior to
Cougar Classic 1972. Kresimir was so fun to watch. We all have our favorites to
be sure, but they don't get any better than the three names you mentioned.
I don't mean any disrespect to Danny Ainge or Jimmer Fredette, but Kresimir
Cosic was the most exciting player to don a BYU basketball uniform. He was an
entertainer as well as a fantastic talent. It was amazing to see such a tall
guy who could dribble the ball up the court, pass behind his back, shoot from
outside or inside, and rebound with the best. He was one of the most complete
players to ever play the game.By the way, the excitement created by
Cosic that filled the Smith Fieldhouse every game was the main reason that BYU
built the Marriott Center.
Kresimir was a great basketball player, a great representative of BYU and the
church and a great man. As a missionary in Austria in the late 70's, I
know that he singlehandedly made it possible for missionaries to come into
Yugoslavia for the first time and for the church to be established there.
Thanks for posting this article. People like Kresimir Cosic should never be