Updates: 21.05.2022 11:26
Prague – At the age of 78, the legendary basketball player Jiří Zídek the Elder died. The winner of the Czech Basketball Player of the 20th Century poll and the first Czech to be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame succumbed to a long illness. The Czech Basketball Federation informed about it web.
“Czech basketball is shrouded in grief today. A real giant has left, who will forever remain one of the most important basketball personalities,” the federation said.
The native of Prague played the top in the years 1962 – 1979 and was one of the best pivots of his time. He won silver and bronze with the Czechoslovak national team at the European Championships. He was the league champion with Slavia University of Prague six times and in 1966 he played in the finals of the European Champions Cup. Four years later, he won the National Cup Winners’ Cup.
Zídek has competed in six European and two world championships. In 1972, he finished eighth with the team at the Munich Olympics and was the top scorer of the national team. He played a total of 257 matches in the national team. He was twice voted the best Czechoslovak basketball player and holds the league shooting record.
Zídek, who was known in basketball circles under the nickname Andrej, could also become the first Czech to play in the NBA. However, due to the complications associated with life in communist Czechoslovakia, he failed. His son Jiří Zídek Jr. later reached this goal. After the end of his playing career, Zídek Sr. worked as a coach.
In 2001 he was declared a Czechoslovak basketball player of the 20th century and as the only Czech he was nominated seven years later among the 50 most important personalities of the Euroleague. In 2013, he was inducted into the ČBF Hall of Fame, and during the 2019 World Championships, he became the first Czech to become a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame.
“The Czech Basketball Federation expresses its sincere condolences to the family and thanks Andrej Zídek for everything he has done for Czechoslovak and Czech basketball,” said the Czech Basketball Federation.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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