|Team:||Swimming & Diving|
Zdravko Divjak '78
Sport: Swimming & Diving
Year Inducted: 1984
Other Sports Played: Water Polo
When Coach Ed Reed recruited Zdravko Divjak ’78 for swimming, he was pretty sure he’d have a winner for his team: Divjak held the record for the 100-meter breaststroke in his native Yugoslavia. What Reed didn’t know, but was elated to discover, was that his recruit was a natural at a game he had never played until arriving at Brown: water polo. “He picked up the game really well,” says Reed of the Yugoslavian, who came to the U.S. at the urging of his American girlfriend, now his wife. That is, perhaps, an understatement. Playing in goal, Divjak picked up All-New England honors in his first year, and repeated that achievement in the three years he attended Brown before graduating. He was named to the All-East team in 1976, and in 1977 was on the first Brown water polo team to go to the NCAA championships, where they finished eighth. In swimming, Divjak set Brown records in the breaststroke and the 100-yard medley relay. In his junior year, he placed sixth in the Eastern Championships with a NCAA-qualifying time of 59.2 in the 100 breaststroke. In the summer of 1976, Divjak competed in the Montreal Olympics and placed twenty-fifth. “Zdravko never really had a chance to get the recognition in swimming at Brown that he could have,” comments Reed. “He happened to be competing here at a time when the league had a lot of top-notch breaststrokers.” As a team player in water polo, Divjak was “very mature, a serious and strong performer,” says Reed. “The other guys always looked up to him, almost as if he were five years older than they – even though he was actually a year younger than others in his class at Brown.” Divjak, his wife Naomi, and their three children now live in West Warwick, R.I.