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FIBA icon Jenaro "Tuto" Marchand passes away
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - It is with huge sadness that FIBA found out on Saturday of the passing of Jenaro "Tuto" Marchand, the Secretary General Emeritus of FIBA Americas.
He was 82 years of age.
Mr Marchand was an emblematic figure of basketball in Puerto Rico and across the Americas for more than half a century. During that time, he held every position imaginable within the sport: player, referee, team owner, president of the Basketball Federation of Puerto Rico, President of FIBA Americas, FIBA Vice-President and Secretary General of FIBA Americas to mention a few.
FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: "Our family has lost a giant of the sport. Tuto was a father, a permanent source of guidance and above all, a true friend. My career in basketball owes everything to Tuto and his sage advice. He was the confidante and main advisor to every important basketball manager and director in the Americas. May he rest in peace and, in his honor, we will keep working for the growth of basketball throughout the world as he would want us to. His contributions will forever be embedded in our basketball community."
FIBA Americas President Usie Richards said: "It is with deep sympathy that we express our condolences to the family of Tuto on the passing of our dear friend, comrade and leader in our FIBA Family. As he did with many, he took me under his wing in 1979 and we fought many battles together for the betterment of our sport. Simply put, he was like a father giving guidance to me and many of those that had the opportunity to meet him. Jenaro "Tuto" Marchand was an Institution in the world of FIBA Basketball, and we in the Americas Region will surely miss his guidance and commitment to improvement of our sport."
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: "There are very few people that have written the history of our sport and have embodied the values of our organisation throughout their lives and Tuto was one of them. He was one of the founding fathers of what FIBA Americas and FIBA itself are today. His passion for sports and his love for Puerto Rico were unique, while his dedication to basketball served as an example to us all. We will forever be grateful to him for his generosity in sharing his personal experience with us and for his unwavering trust and friendship throughout the years."
Mr Marchand was born on December 9 1934 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He graduated from the University of Rio Piedras with a Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences in 1955 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the same university in 1962. He worked as Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice until 1966 and continued to practice law in a private firm for nearly 40 years.
He played basketball in Puerto Rico's top flight league in the early and mid-1950s, before turning his hand to being a referee in that same league until 1970.
In the 1970s, he began a career as the owner of the San Juan Santos club, inheriting the team's reins from his mentor Juan Elias, a legend in Puerto Rico and the Americas basketball his own right.
In 1976, he made his move in working for the national federation when he was appointed General Manager.
It wasn't long before the "Marchand Era" began as he was elected President of Puerto Rico's Basketball Federation, a position he would hold for a decade (1978-1988).
Not surprisingly, he became the most popular sport figure in the country.
His involvement and influence in basketball soon spread throughout the Americas and beyond.
In the 1980s, his visionary approach saw him rewarded as he was elected as a member of FIBA's Central Board and FIBA Vice-President. He worked closely with then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stankovic to grow basketball globally. All the while, he held key positions in Americas' main basketball instances, as President of the Central American and Caribbean Basketball Confederation (1980-1992) and as President of the Pan-American Basketball Confederation (COPABA) (1987-1993).
In 1993, he was appointed Secretary General of FIBA Americas, a position he held until 2006, at which time he was named FIBA Secretary General Emeritus of FIBA Americas. He continued advising FIBA Americas and FIBA and, in more recent years, played a significant role - together with Baumann and former FIBA President Yvan Mainini - in coming up with and putting in place the fundamental governance changes that FIBA successfully implemented in 2014.
In 2007, FIBA held the first-ever Tuto Marchand Cup, which is held every two years in honor of one of the most influential basketball personalities in the Americas. That same year, he was bestowed with the Olympic Order by the IOC for his life-long contribution and dedication to sport in 2007.
Mr Marchand is survived by his wife Myrna, his sons and grandsons.
FIBA wishes to extend its deepest condolences to Mr Marchand's family and its thoughts at this time are with the FIBA Americas community.
FIBA (fiba.basketball) - the world governing body for basketball - is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
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