It is with great sadness that FIBA Europe and the basketball community have learned of the passing of FIBA Europe Honorary Member Bernard Lejade of France at the age of 85.
Lejade had a basketball career spanning decades, including roles in nearly every aspect of the game, from referee and coach to FIBA Commissioner.
Lejade became an international referee in 1955 while he also worked as a coach. In 1968 he successfully coached Morocco to the Olympic Games in Mexico City.
His work as a FIBA Commissioner took him all over the basketball world, including eight Olympics, four EuroBaskets and two Women's World Championships.
It was because of this extraordinary involvement in basketball that he received the title of Honorary Member of FIBA Europe at the FIBA Europe General Assembly in Cannes in 2009.
He had also been honoured with the FIBA Radomir Shaper award for his dedication to the Technical Commission, in Paris, in 2004. This award is given to those individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of basketball rules.
"Bernard gave a lifetime to the game of basketball and for that we are very thankful," commented FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson.
"He will live on in our memories for years to come."
"FIBA Europe and the European basketball family will always remember Bernard Lejade for what he did and his contribution to basketball," added FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.