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IND - Roopam Harish Sharma named CEO of Indian Federation

NEW DELHI - Roopam Harish Sharma has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI).

Roopam takes over the duties of her late husband, Harish Sharma, who was at the helm of the BFI - first as Secretary General and then as CEO - until his sudden demise last month.

On Tuesday, the new CEO of the BFI assured all members that she would continue to perform the tasks that had been left unfulfilled.

"I will carry forward the unfinished tasks of my husband in improving the standards of basketball in the country as passionately as he did," Roopam said.

"It was my husband's vision to put the game on a high pedestal and he had already taken basketball to a new level by signing a long term deal with IMG Reliance.

"Now it will be my endeavour to take the game to even bigger heights with the help of all my colleagues in BFI."

Roopam, a Deputy General Manager with Air India, boasts a vast amount of experience both as a marketing person and an organiser from having been associated with FIBA Asia and FIBA to execute the day-to-day affairs of the BFI.

She admits that following in the footsteps of her husband will be a tall order, but is confident of being up to the task.

"The challenges are enormous but with my experience, having been associated with the game as an organiser of Master Prithvi Nath Sharma Memorial Basketball championships, and the inputs Harish shared with me, I will be able to meet them," she said.

"What Harish did is very difficult to replicate. But we, in the BFI, will strive hard to complete all the projects he envisioned with the same sincerity and dedication."

Harish Sharma set high standards in the development of basketball at grassroots level in India.

He also helped the sport make great strides and find a place for itself in India, an impressive accomplishment in the cricket-mad country.

He helped the BFI forge a close relationship with the NBA and was instrumental in India Basketball signing a 30-year deal with IMG-Reliance to sponsor, support and promote the game throughout the country.

Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken announced that the sports ministry would be instituting a trophy in the name of Harish Sharma, with an award to be given to an outstanding sportsperson and an annual National Basketball Championship in his memory.