19:32 / 19.09.2023.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Croatian premier of ‘Magical Seven’ held in Split

Toni Kukoč with his wife and mother

Toni Kukoč with his wife and mother

Foto: Zvonimir Barisin / PIXSELL

The premier screening of the film ‘Magical Seven’ about the career of one of Croatia's greatest basketball players, Toni Kukoč, was held in Split last night. Throughout the documentary 26 guests, including basketball icons and Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and fellow Split native Dino Rađa, reflect on Kukoč's brilliant career.

Croatian basketball royalty gathered in Split on Monday night for the Croatian premier of the documentary ‘Magical Seven’ about the life and Hall of Fame career of Split native Toni Kukoč. Among those in attendance were his childhood friend and fellow Hall of Famer Dino Rađa, as well as Željko Pavličević, Božo Maljković and many others. Kukoč arrived with his wife Renata and his mother, receiving a standing ovation from the public.

The 55 year-old Kukoč, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, is a three time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and a FIBA Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee: "I was born about 200 meters from here, these are my beginnings. Somehow with this we have closed the book on my career. I am glad that we could share this together, with friends, with people from Split," Kukoč said addressing the public after the screening.

The film was particularly emotional for the Kukoč family, as Toni's father passed away just four months ago: "The beginning and the end of the film were very emotional, because of Toni's father. It was four months ago yesterday that he passed, so it's still fresh, and he is one of the people who really invested a lot in Toni,'' said Kukoč's wife Renata.

The film contains the testimonies of 26 of Toni's coaches and teammates. However, for him one teammate will always hold a special place, Dino Rađa. A basketball tandem the likes of Kukoč and Rađa is likely never to be seen again in European basketball. However, for Dino it was something else that caught his eye in the film: "This is important for the generations that come, to see how much work was invested. I would single out one sentence as the most important from this entire film; 'Up until the age of 15, there is talent, and after that there is no more talent, there’s hard work."

In the film Kukoč's teammate in Chicago, Michael Jordan, emphasized Toni's human qualities: "Toni was not only my teammate. Toni is not only my friend, he is also my brother. There is nothing I wouldn't do for him."

Source: HRT

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