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Jiří Zídek, the first Czech in FIBA Hall of Fame, dies at 78


PRAGUE (AP) — Jiří Zidek Sr., voted the best Czech basketball player of the 20th century and the first Czech inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, has died. He was 78. The Czech Basketball Federation announced the news on Saturday, saying he had a long-term illness without elaborating. The two-meter-tall Zídek was one of the best European centers of his time. He played 257 games for Czechoslovakia. He said the Boston Celtics offered him a deal to play in the NBA in 1966. But he couldn’t take it up from behind the Iron Curtain. His son, Jiří “George” Zídek Jr., became the first Czech to play in the NBA after he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets in 1995.


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