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FIBA Hall of Fame inductee Mario Hopenhaym passes away
MONTEVIDEO - A giant for basketball referees in the Americas, Uruguayan Mario Hopenhaym, a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame as Technical Officer died on Sunday in his home in Montevideo. He was 90.
After his short career as a player for the Tabare club in Montevideo, Hopenhaym decided to continue his involvement in basketball from another point of view. It was a decision that changed his life and that of every referee in the Americas for the following generations. He debuted as a referee in 1955 and continued his career on the court until 1984.
His debut as a FIBA referee came in 1963 and quickly ascended to highest levels. Hopenhaym was a fixture on the South American Championship but his expanded beyond the region in the 1964 (Tokyo) Olympics. He was also a referee in the 1968 (Mexico) Olympic Games, the 1967 FIBA Basketball World Cup (Montevideo) and the Women’s World Championship in 1971 (Brazil) and 1975 (Colombia). He was also the first non-European referee to be in a European Championship (1965 in Moscow).
His passion for the development and growth of referees led him to always be thinking about education, which was of great help to basketball in Uruguay and throughout the Americas. Hopenhaym was a FIBA Instructor for International Referees for 24 years, from 1981 to 2005 and also a member of the FIBA Technical Commission from 1984 to 2006. His off-court curriculum as a Technical Commissioner is outstanding having participated in 4 consecutive Olympic Games in 1992 (Barcelona), 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney) and 2004 (Athens).
For his great contribution, FIBA named him Honorary Referee and FIBA Americas Honorary Member, honoring his eternal commitment to the education and growth of basketball throughout the world.
In 2007 he was named to the FIBA Hall of Fame as a Technical Officer.