Basketball family mourns passing of FIBA Hall of Fame inductee Noah Klieger
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Basketball family mourns passing of FIBA Hall of Fame inductee Noah Klieger

MIES - Tributes are being paid to the late Noah Klieger after the sad news that the FIBA Hall of Fame Inductee and legendary basketball writer passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 92.

A revered journalist with an arguably unrivalled body of work which supported the sport throughout his esteemed career, the number of events he racked up was genuinely staggering: Klieger worked at an incredible 31 EuroBaskets, 11 FIBA Basketball World Cups and 8 Olympic Games.

The Israeli also served as Chairman of the FIBA Media Council for a quarter of a century, was an Honorary FIBA Europe member, a recipient of the FIBA Order of Merit in 2010 and enshrined into the FIBA Hall of Fame as part of the 2015 Class.

The respect he commanded was vast and not only confined to the realm of basketball. He was also a history journalist and wrote some significant texts based on his own experiences.

At just 15 years of age, the Strasbourg-born Klieger was a member of the resistance in Belgium during World War II. Taken prisoner and deported to a Nazi concentration camp, he survived the horror  and would go on to be involved in the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. His time held in captivity was laid bare in his book '12 Rolls for Breakfast'  where he described how taking up boxing helped him survive in the Auschwitz camp.

Klieger also never stopped campaigning to increase awareness of the Holocaust and in 2012 he received the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor, the highest accolade granted by the French State.

Klieger was a staff member of Israel's biggest daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, from 1957 until his death. He was the oldest correspondent of French daily sport publication L'Équipe, with whom he started out in 1953.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: "We're extremely sad to hear of the passing of basketball's most senior writer. Noah Klieger was one of the pioneers of basketball reporting. He had incredible knowledge of basketball in his home country of Israel but also internationally, covering EuroBaskets, as well as World Cups and Olympic Games. He was very active until late in his life, particularly in educating the younger generation about not forgetting the Holocaust."

FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel said: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Noah Klieger's passing. He was very close to FIBA Europe and attended almost every General Assembly, such was his interest and commitment to the game on the continent."

In honor of Mr Klieger's passing, a minute's silence was observed in Belgrade prior to the draws for the FIBA European Youth Championships 2019.