The board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has expressed shock over the sudden demise of Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) Secretary General, Patrick Baumann, which sad event occurred on Saturday at the on-going Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
The board led by its President, Musa Kida said the death of Baumann who contributed to every aspect of basketball as a player, referee, referees trainer, coach and administrator has left a huge vacuum difficult to fill.
“This is a great loss which has left us all in shock. Our condolence to his immediate family, FIBA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and all other professional sporting federations he belonged,” observed the NBBF boss.
Until his death, he was a member of the International Olympic Committee, President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and Executive Committee member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Baumann who was a man of many parts was also the President of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Organising Committee, Coordination Commission and Chairman of the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics.
Kida described the late Baumann as an iconic figure and a leading light for many who contributed his best to global sports development especially basketball till his untimely death.
“His level of dedication to global sports development was unparalled and dying in the line of duty just cemented his iconic status in global sports management.”
While reminiscing on the good working relationship between the late Baumann and the NBBF, Kida said, “His last correspondence with the NBBF was in September when he sent a letter to congratulate us as the first country to qualify for the 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup as he looked forward to seeing us in China.”
Kida said the death should be a wake-up call for all basketball stakeholders in Nigeria to give their all in the service to humanity and basketball development because “tomorrow is not assured”.