Baumann remembered as ''visionary" with enormous drive and enthusiasm at IOC Memorial Service
BUENOS AIRES - Patrick Baumann was hailed as a "visionary" who acted with a "boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm" during his more than 16 years as FIBA's Secretary General at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Memorial Service in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
Baumann succumbed to a heart attack during the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) over the weekend in the Argentinian city at the age of 51.
IOC members and members of FIBA's Executive Committee attended the service, held on a 3x3 court.
"PATRICK WAS A VISIONARY AND ALWAYS HAD CLEAR IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO GROW OUR SPORT. HE WAS NOT AFRAID TO 'SHAKE THE TREE', AS HE OFTEN LIKED TO SAY."
"Since 2002, when he was appointed Secretary General by the Central Board, his vision and enthusiasm drove FIBA forward in quantum leaps," FIBA President Horacio Muratore said.
"Under his leadership, FIBA became a truly modern organization in the world of international federations. When Patrick took office, there were less than 20 people working for FIBA. Today, there are more than 200 active staff working around the whole world.
"Patrick was a visionary, and always had clear ideas about how to grow our sport. He was not afraid to 'shake the tree', as he often liked to say."
An IOC member since 2007, Baumann drove forward numerous initiatives, from bringing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers ahead of next year's historic 32-team basketball extravaganza in China, to helping spur the growth of 3x3 Basketball.
"I remember how happy and excited he was when, in June of last year, 3x3 was included as part of the Olympic Basketball program for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games," Muratore said.
As for the World Cup Qualifiers, Muratore said: "To have 80 countries playing at the same time, to feel the power of basketball right across the world was an achievement that Patrick was rightly proud of."
IOC President Thomas Bach paid a stirring tribute to Baumann.
"We all know Patrick as a man of boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm. Everyone of us remembers how he inspired us all with his positive outlook, with his kind-hearted smile, with his zest for life and with his passion for sport. Patrick was always active, always right in the middle of the action."