Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the death of BH basketball legend Mirza Delibasic Kindje. Family members and friends will lay flowers on his grave in the Alley of the Greats at the Sarajevo Cemetery Bare and commemorate the legendary basketball player of Bosna and Real Madrid, the last basketball romantic who was admired by the world over.
Mirza Delibasic was born on the 9thof January 1954 in Tuzla. He started his infamous athletic career back in 1968, when he became a pioneering champion of BiH in tennis. He replaced tennis with basketball in Sloboda and moved to “Bosna” in 1972. He played almost 700 matches and scored 14,000 points for “Students”.
He was also the Champion of Yugoslavia (1978 and 1980), the Club Champion of Europe in 1979 and won numerous trophies with the national team of the former state. He was twice Champion of the Old Continent (1977 and 1979), the World Champion in 1978 and Olympic Champion in 1980. He was proclaimed the best basketball player in Yugoslavia in 1980. He wore the jersey of “Yugoslavia” 176 times and scored 1759 points. He was elected the best athlete of BiH four times and was declared the Athlete of all Times in our country in 2000.
In just two years at Real Madrid, Mirza Delibasic won many friends with his gaming and human qualities that rendered him unforgettable. His former teammate Juan Antonio Korbalan wrote the book “Conversations with Mirza”.
He remained loyal to Sarajevo during the siege, when he thanked on the invitation of the leadership of “Real” to replace the besieged BH capital with Madrid “paradise”.
He was the basketball team coach for BiH whom subsequently won the eighth place in the European Championship of 1993. This remains the best performance of our national team at the European Championships.
Mirza Delibasic Kindje died on the 8thof December 2001 in Sarajevo.