Club profile: Cedevita Zagreb

Jul 01, 2014 by Print
Cedevita Zagreb celebrates - EC13 (photo cedevita)_52945
Cedevita ZagrebCedevita Zagreb is coming off the most successful season in its history and looking to build on it while returning to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague for the second time in three years. Cedevita enjoyed a historic campaign in which after a good Eurocup run –reaching the Last 32 and just missing a place in the eighthfinals –it dominated domestically. The club from the Croatian capital took the domestic double– sweeping Cibona for its first ever Croatian League title and defending the Croatian Cup with win over KK Zagreb – and advanced to the Adriatic League title game after downing Partizan Belgrade 79-81 on the road on a half-court shot by Nolan Smith. Despite losing the finals to Cibona Zagreb, the season was a great achievement for the club that was founded in 1991, under the name KK Botinec. The team climbed to the second division in 1998, and reached the Croatian elite in 2002. It finished fifth overall in its debut Croatian League season and ambitions promptly rose when a big sponsor, Atlantic Grupa, took over and the club changed its name to KK Cedevita in 2005. Continuing to improve, it reached the Croatian League semifinals for the first time in 2009-10, and also finished seventh in its Adriatic League debut, however nobody expected what came next. Cibona shocked everyone in the 2010-11 Eurocup when it downed Dynamo Moscow in the qualifying round and survived the regular season with a big home win against Azovmash Mariupol. Cedevita went through the Last 16 and knocked off Asefa Estudiantes in the quarterfinals to get to the Eurocup Finals – an unthinkable result even for the club's biggest fans. Unics Kazan halted its great run in the semifinals, but Cedevita had written a brilliant page in competition history. Dontaye Draper was named Eurocup MVP, Aco Petrovic received the Best Coach award and players like Bracey Wright, Vedran Vukusic, Marino Bazdaric and Damjan Rudez also played valuable roles in the club's fantastic run. Cedevita then reached its first Croatian League finals, but was swept by Zagreb. In 2011-12, Cedevita struggled early and missed the Eurocup Last 16, but rebounded to win its first-ever title – the Croatian Cup - by downing KK Zagreb 74-72 in the final behind 27 points from Matjaz Smodis. Cedevita later reached the Adriatic League title game and the Croatian League finals to complete an outstanding season, but Maccabi Electra and Cibona, respectively, stood in its way of more trophies. Domestic success led Cedevita to its Euroleague debut in 2012-13 season, which it finished with 2-8 record. That turned to be a title-free season for Cedevita, but with the arrival of head coach Jasmin Repesa, the team and the club continued competing for – and winning – titles on all fronts. Back in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, Cedevita will look to continue the long and proud traditions of Croatian basketball by promoting that nations’ great young talent and challenging the best of the continent to make each season even greater than the last.
Eurocup: Last 32
ABA Liga: Finalist
Croatian League: Champion
Croatian Cup: Champion