Žarko Varajić (Serbian Cyrillic: Жарко Варајић; born December 26, 1951 in Nikšić, PR Montenegro, FPR Yugoslavia) is a retired Serbian basketball player that represented SFR Yugoslavia as a player. Before he started to play basketball, he played football for the pioneer team of BC Sutjeska from Niksic. Varajic lives in Belgrade since 1992. He graduated from the University of Physical Education, Academy for Basketball Coaches - section Basketball and Academy for Sport`s Managers.
Professionally was engaged as
- Manager for Marketing at the University Sports Assosciation ``Bosnia``,
- Secretary General of the Federation of organizations for physical education of Sarajevo,
- Deputy Federal Minister of Sports,
- Sports Director of Men`s National Teams at the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia.
Eighteen-year-old Varajić arrived at Bosna, a club competing in the second-tier of Yugoslav basketball, in 1970. With young players such as Ante Đogić, Rođeni Krvavac, and center Zdravko Čečur on the roster, the club sought promotion to the top-tier Yugoslav First League, a feat that had been eluding them for decades.
During summer 1971, the head coaching post was taken over by the 24-year-old Bogdan Tanjević who had just retired from playing. The young squad led by a young rookie head coach, with new acquisition 22-year-old Svetislav Pešić from KK Partizan, the only player on the roster to have previously played top-tier basketball, KK Bosna managed to gain promotion to the top-tier Yugoslav First League.
In 1979, Varajić scored 47 points – the record in the number of points scored in the final matches of the European Champions' Cup (nowadays, called the EuroLeague) during the period he played with Bosna Sarajevo against the Italian Emerson Varese in Bosna's triumph 96-93, in Grenoble, France.
Actively played basketball from 1966 to 1984
- BC Sutjeska from Niksic,
- BC Bosnia from Sarajevo,
- BC Al Ain (UAE).
With BC Bosnia won the following trophies
- Champions of Yugoslavia in 1978, 1980, 1983,
- Cup of Yugoslavia in 1978, 1984,
- Radivoj Korac Cup (Finals) in 1978,
- Champions Cup: 1979,
- Inter-continental Cup: (Finals of the World`s Club Championship) in 1979.
As a National Team Player Varajic played 126 times and won the following medals:
- Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 (silver medal),
- European Championships in Liege in 1977 (gold medal),
- European Championship in Torino in 1979 (bronze medal),
- Mediterranean Games in Algeria in 1975 (gold medal),
- Balkan Games in Thessaloniki in 1974 (gold medal),
- Balkan Games in Thessaloniki in 1976 (gold medal).
Awards and Honors
- Super Oscar for the best European player in all European Cups in 1979,
- The highest national honor of the Bosnia and Herzegovina for 1980 (Honor of the May 25th),
- The highest national honor of the City of Sarajevo for 1979 (Honor of the April 6th),
- Three golden pins of the SOFKA of Yugoslavia,
- Decoration of ``Nemanja``, the first order of FR Yugoslavia,
- Decoration of the Yugoslav Flag, the first order.
- Member of the Olympic Committee of the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo in 1984,
- President of the Expert Council of the Basketball Federation of Yugoslavia from 1987 to 1992 (golden years of the Yugoslav basketball),
- President of the Programs` Commission of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee from 1996 to 2000,
- Sports Director of the Yugoslav Olympic Team at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000,
- President of the Sports` Association ``Sport for all`` of Serbia from 2003 to 2006,
- Directly involved in the organization of the Basketball European Championship in Belgrade in 2005,
- Director of the basketball tournament EYOF - European Youth Olympic Festival in 2007,
- Directly involved in the organization of the European Championship for U18 Men`s National Teams in 2005 and World Championship for U19 Men`s National Teams in Novi Sad in 2007,
- Director of the basketball tournament at the Summer Universiade in Belgrade in 2009,
- Actively worked on realization of the project ``National Awards``.