KK Cedevita Zagreb
The Basketball Club Cedevita Zagreb was established in 2005 after Atlantic Grupa became the main sponsor of the Croatian first league member KK Hiron Botinec. The original club was founded in 1991. Cedevita Zagreb played its first matches in the Zagreb sports hall Sutinska, and in the first season the Zagreb team managed to break through to the tournament of the best four of the Croatian Cup, followed by appearances in Fiba’s EuroChallenge.
Under the leadership of head coach Slobodan Subotić, Cedevita Zagreb received the so-called ‘Wild Card’ for appearances in the ABA League, and the team from Zagreb was led by head coach Aleksandar Petrović until their appearances in the Uleb European Cup next season. In the quarterfinal series of the mentioned European competition, Cedevita Zagreb beat the Spanish Estudiantes, and the exceptional atmosphere in the sold-out Dražen Petrović Sports Hall in Zagreb took Cedevita Zagreb to the Final Four tournament for the first time. In front of more than 2,000 fans, Cedevita Zagreb later beat the home team Benetton in the match for third place, Aleksandar Petrović was awarded the best head coach of the competition, and the Most Valuable Player of the competition was the Point Guard Dontaye Draper.
The first domestic trophy, the Croatian Super Cup, was won by the club at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, under the leadership of coach Dražen Anzulović, and the club moved to Zagreb’s Dom sportova and won the Croatian Cup title. The Most Valuable Player of the final tournament was Matjaž Smodiš. In the same season, Cedevita Zagreb also played in the final tournament of the ABA League in Tel Aviv, beat Belgrade’s Partizan in the semifinals, and then lost to Maccabi in the final. In the Croatian national championship, the team made it all the way to the finals, where Cibona was later better.
Under the leadership of former Slovenian National Team coach Božidar Maljković, Cedevita Zagreb played in the Euroleague for the first time in the 2012/13 season. In the 2013/14 season, Jasmin Repeša took over the position of head coach, and in two seasons he won the double crown (the title of Croatian national and cup champion), and in 2015 he also won the last Super Cup title of Dražen Petrović. Repeša led the team twice to the ABA League finals, once Cedevita Zagreb lost to Cibona, and then to Crvena zvezda.
With the departure of Repeša to Olimpia Milano, the management of the team at the beginning of the 2015/16 season was taken over by his assistant Veljko Mršić, who led Cedevita Zagreb to the Top 16 in the Euroleague and twice won the double crown (national championship and cup), and the Zagreb team also played in the finals and semifinals of the ABA League. During this time, Marino Baždarić also retired, who is still considered one of the legendary players of Cedevita Zagreb, and his jersey number 45 was also retired and raised under the ceiling of the Zagreb hall.
In the 2017/18 season, the legend of Slovenian and Olimpija’s basketball, Jure Zdovc, sat on the bench of Cedevita Zagreb. In Croatia, the club again won the double crown, while the Zagreb team competed in the 7Days EuroCup, and lost in the semifinals of the ABA League against Buducnost VOLI. At the very beginning of the season, the players of Zagreb won the first title of the ABA League Super Cup champion in Bar, Montenegro. At the beginning of the 2018/19 season, the team was led by the Spaniard Sito Alonso, and after a poor start to the season, he was replaced by the first head coach of Cedevita Olimpija, Slaven Rimac. With an exceptional series of victories, Rimac completely changed the course of the season, leading the team to a place among the 16 best teams in the European Cup and second place after the regular season of the ABA League. However, Budućnost VOLI was again fatal for Cedevita Zagreb in the semi-finals of the regional competition, winning the semi-final series after three matches. The team from Zagreb also won the Krešimir Ćosić Cup title again, and in the final of the Croatian national championship, Cibona was better after four matches.