The basketball world mourns the sudden passing of Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, who succumbed to a heart attack on Sunday during the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Baumann had served as FIBA Secretary General since 2002. He was 51 years old.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Patrick Baumann," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "We were just together for the first FIBA World Basketball Summit in Xian, China — an event he established to bring together basketball stakeholders from around the world.
"Nobody was more dedicated to the growth of basketball than Patrick," Silver said. "He loved the game and recognized its power to transform people’s lives. He was also a dear friend and colleague who I attended countless games and events with over the past 20 years.
"The NBA family mourns the loss of Patrick and we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Patricia, his children Bianca and Paul, and his many friends in the basketball and Olympic communities.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement this morning regarding the passing of FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. pic.twitter.com/0B3OW41k5s— NBA (@NBA) October 14, 2018
Baumann joined FIBA in 1994 and became a member of the IOC in 2007. To honor Baumann, IOC President Thomas Bach asked for the Olympic flag to fly at half-mast for three days at the IOC headquarters and at the Youth Olympic Games.
"Patrick was a lot more than FIBA's Secretary General and an IOC member," FIBA President Horacio Muratore said in a statement. "He was a very close friend of mine as well as to countless people in the basketball family and the wider sport community.
"Under his leadership, FIBA moved forward by leaps and bounds, with the organization modernizing itself to the extent of becoming a model which fellow International Federations followed.
"Patrick was at the forefront of FIBA making radical changes to its governance structure, successfully building and moving into its own state-of-the-art Headquarters outside of Geneva as well as launching 3x3, its urban discipline which became a part of basketball's program at the Olympics," Muratore continued. "He was also instrumental in the process of 'ONE FIBA', the coming together of all of FIBA's Regional Offices into one corporate group, with everyone looking and heading in the same direction for the best interests of our beloved sport. Last but not least, he led the way in the creation and implementation of FIBA's New Competition System.
"For all of this and for so much more, FIBA is forever indebted to Patrick. Without doubt we would not be where we are today were it not for everything that he did. His unwavering commitment, tireless work ethic and pure passion for basketball mean he will forever have his place in FIBA's history."
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