|07 April 2011|
|Piet Leegwater at a basketball game in the '70s (photo courtesy of the Dutch Federation)|
Dutch former referee Piet Leegwater passed away on Sunday, at the age of 78.
The late refereeing legend enjoyed an enormously successful 32-year long career, both in his native Netherlands and internationally.
Piet Leegwater qualified as a FIBA referee in 1961 at the candidate clinic in Loughborough, England.
He became the first Dutchman to officiate a final in the Olympics, between the United States and Yugoslavia, in the Montreal Olympics Games in 1976.
Following his career as referee, he became a FIBA Commissioner and was nominated to the 1987 and 1993 European Championship for Men.
He was also nominated Commissioner at the 1998 EuroLeague Final Four in Barcelona, including the Final itself.
In recognition of his contribution, he was knighted in 1990, in the Order of Orange Nassau (Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau).
The Dutch Basketball Federation announced that a minute's silence will be observed at all Dutch League games this weekend to commemorate him.
Piet Leegwater will be cremated on Friday in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, where he was born and lived all his life.