“LDS Scene,” Ensign, Feb. 1974, 72
People took a second look—upward—when Kresimir Cosic made a return visit to Salt Lake City recently. Six feet eleven inches tall, Brother Cosic, from Zadar, Yugoslavia, became a member of the Church two years ago while a student at Brigham Young University and top player on BYU’s Cougar basketball team. Attracting national attention with his skill on the basketball court, Brother Cosic led the Cougars to two Western Athletic Conference basketball championships. Now he is attracting even more attention as a member of both the Yugoslav Olympic basketball team and that country’s national team. His recent visit to the United States was with the national team, which won six out of eight games. Prior to the tour, Brother Cosic was rated as Europe’s top basketball player when Yugoslavia defeated Spain in the European Olympic Basketball Tournament.
When he is not playing, Brother Cosic works as general manager of basketball teams in Zadar.
“I select the coaches for the men’s and women’s adult teams, the junior teams, and the children’s teams. In Yugoslavia, the schools do not sponsor the teams, but local clubs do,” he explained.
In his general manager’s contract there is a clause that provides him with four round-trip tickets each year to Provo. He foresees his eventual return to BYU to fulfill graduation requirements.
“I have about one semester to go before I can graduate,” he explained. “You see, before the school year ended I used to have to leave to return to Yugoslavia to meet my team commitments there. The first time I dropped one class, and then the next time two classes, so I never did graduate from BYU. But I hope to return to school eventually. I think if I come back I will be studying languages. Before I was in physical education and business education.”
Brother Cosic is reticent to delve into the details of his Church-oriented activity in Yugoslavia. “Most of my friends there are atheists, but if we get into a discussion on religion, then I can talk about the Church. I’m the only one in my family who is a member, of course, and the rest of them think I am crazy, but we have a good relationship, and they let me do what I like.
“I try to live the standards of the Church, and if people see something about me that they like, or they see the Church books that I read, then that opens the way for me to talk about the Church.”
There is no organized branch in Yugoslavia, although in Zadar there are three native-born Latter-day Saints, and at least two other members that Brother Cosic knows of.
Brother Cosic is almost a national hero in Yugoslavia, and reportedly declined a $200,000 contract to play basketball in Italy because he wanted to return to his hometown to the “people that I love.” This action has brought him additional acclaim.
Ray Reeves, 69, an industrialist and benefactor to Brigham Young University, died in Laie, Hawaii, December 7. Brother and Sister Reeves donated their 1,044-acre ranch near San Clemente, California, plus $348,000 as an unrestricted gift to BYU in 1968. They were not members of the Church at the time of the donation, but eventually they were baptized, and they continued to reach out and help others. Each year, Brother Reeves provided a number of scholarships for BYU students, and also gave $100,000 toward construction of the San Clemente Ward chapel and $90,000 to the Church College of Hawaii. Brother and Sister Reeves made their first donation following an unheralded visit to BYU where they were impressed with the standards exhibited there.
Heads World Jaycees
A. Jay Smith, 37, a member of the Sacramento Third Ward, Sacramento (California) Stake, is the new president of the 425,000-member Jaycees International. A worldwide volunteer organization of members between the ages of 18 and 40, Jaycees International aims to utilize individual abilities and joint efforts of young people for the purpose of improving the social and spiritual well-being of mankind.
As president of the organization, Brother Smith will travel to approximately 50 countries.
Although he will be away from home during most of the year, his family will be involved in his work as much as possible. “My wife and I have always tried to have our three children involved in my Jaycee activity, and they have an interest in what I am doing. While I’m away they will chart my traveling on a map so that they know where I am.
“We have become concerned in the Jaycees with the quality of family life. We have come to recognize the fact that the family is the keystone to a sound moral nation,” he added. “The Church’s Family Home Evening program was the basis of a Jaycees program we call Personal Family Development, in which Jaycee members are encouraged to meet together with their families each Monday night.”
Brother Smith says qualities of the Church teachers—honesty and reliability—have been of value to him in his Jaycee activities. “I joined the Jaycees in 1962 and I have held offices of the local, state, and national levels, as well as helped head up special projects such as the international track and field meet between athletes from the United States and the Soviet Union.
“In everything that I have done, I have lived the standards of the Church, and I think that has been refreshing to a lot of people.”
Born in Albion, Idaho, raised in Brigham City, Utah, graduated from Utah State University, Brother Smith has been active in the Church and served a mission in New Zealand.
“The 1974 congress of Jaycees International will be in Auckland, New Zealand, and I’m really looking forward to visiting that country again. My wife will be accompanying me, and we are considering taking our two oldest children with us. It would give them the opportunity to see the country where I served as a missionary, and help them better relate to that experience, and they will get a better insight into my activities now.”
Brother Smith is a certified public accountant and is manager of a company in Sacramento.
A $4,000 scholarship was recently awarded Janet Louise Daines after she was selected first alternate to Miss Teenage America 1974. Sister Daines, 17, the daughter of Brother and Sister Newell G. Daines, Jr., of the Logan 24th Ward, Cache East (Utah) Stake, is active in the Church and is a fourth-year seminary student. A top student in her high school, Sister Daines is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Forensic League. She recognizes the Church as a “strong motivating force” in her life. “As a family, we try to make its principles a part of our daily lives.”
Indian Advisory Council
An Indian Education Advisory Council consisting primarily of American Indian students has been established to encourage direct student involvement in the Indian program at Brigham Young University. Chairman of the new council is John Maestas, a Pueblo-Tewa Indian from New Mexico, and chairman of BYU’s Indian Education Department. Vice-chairman is MacArthur Halona, a Navajo from Arizona who is president of the Tribe of Many Feathers, the campus Indian student organization. Other council members, also students, are Carnes Burson of the Ute Tribe, Utah; Strater Crowfoot, a Blackfoot from Alberta, Canada; Lora Locklear, a Lumbee from North Carolina; Ron McDade, a Cherokee from California; and Stan Snake, a Ponca from Oklahoma. Also on the council is John Rainier, a BYU faculty member and a Taos-Creek Indian from New Mexico, who is coordinator of personal services in the Indian Education Department.
Scouters Read of Pioneers
The January-February 1974 issue of Scouting, an official publication of the Boy Scouts of America, carried a major article, “The Mormon Trail West.” Written by Brother D. M. “Mac” Gardner, senior editor of the magazine, the article details the pioneer trek to the Salt Lake Valley and touches on the First Vision and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
World Champion Dancers
Dancers from all over the world stepped aside for Hugh Bigney when he became the first U.S. dancer to win the adult World Highland Dancing Championship in Dunoon, Scotland. Brother Bigney, 18, the son of Bishop and Sister Alexander W. Bigney of Lynnfield Ward, Boston (Massachusetts) Stake, began studying Highland dance when he was 11. Calling upon his Scottish heritage from his father’s family, Brother Bigney won many contests in the United States and Canada before traveling across the Atlantic for the world competition.
BYU Films Garner Awards
Two Brigham Young University films captured second-place honors at the recent 21st Annual Columbus International Film Festival in Columbus, Ohio. The festival, one of the oldest of its kind, attracted more than 800 entries from throughout the world. The BYU films, among the top 16 winners, dealt with the way the American Indian is meeting modern-day challenges, “Tomorrow’s Yesterday,” and “Run Dick, Run Jane,” a best-selling film based on the physical fitness book, The New Aerobics. The latter film has been in such great demand that it has been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Both films were featured at the international audio-visual convention in Tokyo, Japan, in December.
Miss Australia Quest
Hazel Fisher of the Brisbane Fourth Ward, Brisbane (Australia) Stake, was recently appointed as Queensland coordinator for the Miss Australia Quest that raises millions of dollars each year for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Australia. Sister Fisher arranges publicity for Miss Queensland and for Miss Australia, as well as acting as chaperone at various functions. With the opportunity of meeting many people, Sister Fisher gives publicity to the Church, and never fails to present the gospel to those willing to hear.