MEMORIES ON DRAZEN PETROVIC

"The Last Day"


Last basket by Drazen in Poland.
is brother Aleksandar talked about Drazen’s last game:

Wroclaw? You know, that last game clearly shows what kind of person was Drazen. The National team would pass European qualification games without Drazen, but he wouldn’t miss it for the world. Drazen had sprained ankle and even his father told him to go rest that ankle and get ready for European Championship. But he got the same old answer, - I can’t, Aleksandar and Mirko will be there and all my friends…I can’t be the first one who wouldn't come. -

Drazen knew why he was going to Poland. I remember him saying that he knew that it will be hard, he knew food and hotel will be inadequate. I’ll survive ten days he said… When someone, like Drazen, who lived past five years luxurious life style and still have that kind of thinking then it just shows what kind of person he was. Everything for the Croatian national team… for the country he loved.

Drazen played his last game versus Slovenia in Wroclow, Poland on June 6, 1993. A day after, when the National team was returning home, Drazen decided to take a friend’s offer and drive home from Frankfurt, Germany.

The late President of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, at the Drazen's funereal.
Drazen and I were walking through Frankfurt’s airport, when suddenly he turned around and said

- I’ll see you on tomorrow’s practice. I have an excellent connection to Zagreb.
I gave him his plane ticket and told him that if there was going to be any problems he could still join us. We waited 40 minutes until his brother Aleksandar showed up saying that Drazen had already left, Mirko Novosel remembers.

On his way to Zagreb passed Denkendorf, Germany, a young lady that drove Drazen, at high speed, lost control of the vehicle in the middle of the storm and crashed into the truck. Drazen died instantly… and many dreams with him… (June 7. 1993. at 5.20 p.m)

 

What coaches and players
around the NBA said about Petro (Slide Show)

I have a one son and I have a daughter. The death of Drazen Petrovic was for me like losing a son. I don't think that anything ever has affected me as much as his death. I still get emotional about it.
- Willis Reed

The only thing that I can say even after all these years later, is that... I go to the New York quite a bit and I meet many people from his country and meet people that went to the same church. They are still morning the loss of Drazen. He was a very special guy, liked by everybody, didn't have a mean bone in his body - just generally a nice guy.
- Chuck Daly