Cosic Jersey Retirement Quotes

The No. 11 jersey of former Cougar great Kresimir Cosic was retired on Saturday night.

Longtime Yugoslavian National Coach Ranko Zeravica:

"Yugoslavia had problems with Cosic before he came here because he was underdeveloped as a person and a player. But he returned to Yugoslavia a complete man and player. He came back to Yugoslavia a well-respected man. He brought back from BYU an outstanding way of behaving."

"When he died, he had a wish to come back to BYU and say thank you to those who made him who he was."

"Today I have so many bright memories of him. Coaches still use him as a role model for kids and use his moves to show how it should be done."

"He was an outstanding person and a born leader. He had confidence in everything he was doing and that contributed to the success of our national team."

"He gave 100 percent in everything he did, and he did everything with love. He knew how to face problems and had a responsibility toward everything."

"He had a brilliant basketball IQ and really knew the game. He was a coach on the court. He was able to read defenses and adjust to anything."

"You could not predict what he was going to do, and once he learned to like to block people, he became the best player in Europe."

"I'm happy that you are retiring his jersey and that he will be a legend. It is the greatest recognition of a player."

Steve Kelly -- Former Teammate:

"When Cosic showed up it was a big deal. He was the first of the really great international players that are now playing in the NBA."

"He thought he was a guard in a 6-foot-11 body. He could pass, shoot and defend."

"He became a better man from his time at BYU and was quite a tribute to his teammates, family and religion."

Glenn Potter -- Former Coach:

"To him basketball was simply the means to a greater end of serving his Father in Heaven. He was responsible for the recognition of the Church in Yugoslavia."

"He was a great man, a great basketball player and wonderful ambassador for his country and the Church."

BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson:

"Though he has been away from us 30 years, his influence persists and his shadow is even greater."

Pres. Thomas S. Monson -- member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

"He, more than any other person, opened the way to those in authority, his countrymen, and those of us whom he loved."

"He was a wonderful basketball player, but he was a great man and server in the work of the Lord."

Ljerka Cosic -- Wife (read by daughter Ana):

"Over 30 years has passed since the last game Kreso played in the Marriott Center. It was 1973. Many of you probably remember his game. You probably also remember his conquering smile."

"It is very impressive to us that Kreso is not forgotten here. Kreso never forgot Provo. I don't think he ever really left it. Provo and BYU marked his life and career. He loved his Croatia and always spoke of it as the most beautiful place on earth, but Provo forever remained his second home."

"What is most important is that Kreso was a great man. He was big in and out. Whenever there is talk about him, it is always said that he had a big heart and that he was ahead of his time."

"It is a great honor for us to be here tonight. Being his family, this makes us proud and happy. Thank you on behalf of Kreso and my family for this great honor and thank you Kreso for getting us all together."

Ljerka Cosic -- Wife:

"I am touched to see that they honor him here so far away from his country, and seeing that he is not forgotten."

"Even though it was a happy occasion, there were sad memories too. I had flashbacks from all the years with him and was thinking about all the things that could have been if he were still here."

"I'm still trying to hold it all in. It's so touching."

"To have people all the way over here remember him is touching and amazing."

Dave Rose -- BYU Coach:

"Look at our crowd. This shows you what a great player and person Cosic was."

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