We’re happy to announce the formation of a new Athletics Section of the Association of Croatian American Professionals, led by new member, Zoran Planinic.
About the Athletics Section
Croatians have a proud and successful sports history. That success happens because of world-class training and support. The new Athletics Section of the Association of Croatian American Professionals seeks to build on and strengthen that tradition to support our athletes and coaches.
Zoran began his professional career in the 1999–2000 season on loan to Benston Zagreb.
He returned to Cibona Zagreb in 2000 and he was named the Croatian League MVP in 2001. He stayed with Cibona until 2003.
In the 2003 NBA draft, the 6 ft 7 in 210 lbs. point guard-shooting guard was drafted 22nd overall by the New Jersey Nets. In three NBA seasons he averaged 4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. In the 2005–06 season Zoran hit a spectacular full court, 77-foot, 3rd quarter-ending buzzer beater at a November 9, 2005, home win against the Utah Jazz.
In the summer of 2006, Zoran and the New Jersey Nets agreed to a buyout, in which he was sent back to Europe to spend the season with TAU Cerámica of the Spanish ACB League, a team that also featured talented NBA prospect Tiago Splitter. With TAU Cerámica, Zoran won the Spanish Supercup championship in both 2006 and 2007, and the Spanish League championship in 2008.
On June 25, 2008, Zoran signed a 2-year contract with the Russian Superleague A club CSKA Moscow. On June 17, 2010, he sign a 2+1 contract with the Russian PBL club BC Khimki.
On July 27, 2013, Zoran signed a two-year contract with Anadolu Efes. In January 2014, he hit a long range buzzer beater in the last second of the game to defeat Olimpia Milano by a score of 61–60. In his first season with the team, he averaged 8.4 points and 3.7 assists, over 23 Euroleague games.
Zoran was part of the Croatian junior national teams that won the bronze medal at the 1999 FIBA Under-19 World Championship and the silver medal at the 2001 FIBA Under-21 World Championship.
Zoran was also a part of the senior men’s Croatian national basketball teams at EuroBaskets 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.