Damir Gal died with only 53 years on his shoulders but left quite a trail to follow for all of us living in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb.
He was never the flashiest player out there. He had no cross-over. He couldn’t dunk. But despite all of this he was a relentless competitor. He never gave up an inch to any opponent.
He died just half an hour after his last 3-on-3 game. One of his closest colleagues recalled one of his last wishes: “When I die do not mourn too much. Just play the game and have fun!”
Despite having played only once vs Damir I will always be able to vividly recall his most unique basketball skill, which interestingly enough, came as a consequence of his growing problem with a dislocated shoulder.
Because of this he would regularly launch a baby hook instead of a jump shot from anywhere between 18-27 feet (6-9 meters) from the basket with remarkable results – he would hit that shot at 50% or better, even with your hand up in his face!!!
He made some young players seriously consider using that shot as a part of their arsenal.
A warm and pleasant person, who was versatile and thorough in all of his work, will be remembered as a great part of our society who lived and acted according to the best of moral beliefs.
In 2010 he collected and organized the distribution of Christmas presents for more than 15000 children! Above all he will be remembered for his ABILITY TO GIVE, which is the ultimate quality one can have in life and on the basketball court!
On September 4th, more than 100 of Damir’s friends and basketball colleagues took part in a 3-on-3 Tournament to honor his name and everlasting accomplishments.
Rest In Peace,
Marjan Crnogaj a.k.a. Muraya
Dino Hofman (Slobosonics) CroHoops Division III Highlights