Klingbiel's Passing A Loss For Basketball

14 February 2008

It is with great sadness that the basketball world learned of the passing of FIBA Europe board member and competitions commission President Peter Klingbiel on Wednesday evening after a long illness.

Klingbiel touched nearly every part of European basketball in his over thirty years as a player, referee, coach and executive, most recently acting as the Secretary General of the German Basketball Federation in addition to his responsibilities with FIBA Europe.

Klingbiel worked for many years as a referee.
Klingbiel majored in German studies, sport and journalism at Freie University Berlin from 1973 to 1980 during which time he began his career as a referee in the German first division where he would eventually work 550 games.  From 1984 to 1999 he also refereed at the international level, working 250 games.

He retired as a referee in 1999 upon taking his position as Secretary General of the German Federation.

As a player the 2.0m Klingbiel competed for Phönix Lübeck, SSC Südwest Berlin and TuS Lichterfelde before retiring in 1996.  

Klingbiel was also an accomplished coach and teacher, earning an A level license in 1993.  He led youth teams at TuS Lichterfelde to three German Championships in his time with the club and taught German and sport at Berlin-Moabit, a youth prison.

In 1998 he served as director of the Women's World Championship in Germany.

"Peter gave so much to European basketball over the years, working in every aspect of the sport.  He was an invaluable member of our board and much more importantly than that a good person." commented FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.

"Peter was really one of the good guys in the basketball world," said FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin of Klingbiel.

"Professionally he gave so much to the sport but personally he was a pleasure to work with and be around."

His colleagues at the German Federation echoed those sentiments.

"We were shocked and I think all of us were hoping that Peter could beat his illness and come back to us," commented DBB President Ingo Weiss.

"The news hits us even harder because of all that Peter did for our federation."

Klingbiel is survived by his wife Anne and a grown daughter.

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