The father of former NBA player Vlade Divac has died in a car crash. The 77-year-old Milenko Divac was with 72-year-old Radmila Divac, Vlade’s mother, when the accident happened near Cacak in Serbia.
Milenko died at the hospital, while Radmila is expected to survive but suffered serious injuries.
According to police reports, the car hit a light pole, went off road and was overturned many times in what was a horrific crash. The mother was reportedly driving the car during the accident.
Divac spent 16 years in the NBA playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets from 1989 to 2005. His No. 21 was retired by the Kings franchise in 2011.
Messages of sympathy poured in for the likeable NBA center online after the news was reported, including one from current Kings starting center DeMarcus Cousins:
My prayers go out to Vlade Divac and his family with the loss of his father.
— demarcus cousins (@boogiecousins) January 8, 2014
WOW prayers go out to vlade divac and his family. His father died in a car accident this morning. His best friend petrovic died the same way — Dejan Ognjanovski (@OFFICIALDOJO) January 8, 2014
Deeply saddened to hear of tragic news for Vlade Divac who lost his father in car crash. Mother hospitalized. Prayers for great people.
— Gary Gerould (@ggerould) January 8, 2014
Official statement from the Sacramento Kings franchise:
“On behalf of the entire Kings organization, we send our deepest condolences to Vlade Divac and his family. With his number 21 hanging in the rafters, Vlade will always be a King and the people of Sacramento will always consider him part of our community. Our hearts go out to him and his family during this difficult time.”
In 1993, former NBA player Drazen Petrovic, who was Divac’s close friend, also died in a car crash in Germany.