It is with great sadness that FIBA on Friday heard of the passing of Honorary President Yvan Mainini. He was 73.
Mr Mainini was unanimously elected as the 11th FIBA President during the FIBA World Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, in September 2010.
Four years later, following the conclusion of his term of office, he was elected FIBA Honorary President and appointed President of FIBA’s Foundation, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF). In late 2017, due to health issues, Mr Mainini had to step down from his IBF duties.
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: “On behalf of FIBA, I wish to express our deepest sympathies and most heartfelt condolences to Yvan’s wife and family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Yvan was a close friend and mentor to me but also to many in the basketball family around the world who had a chance to spend hours talking with him about the game and its history.”
“We are indebted to him for all that he did in implementing concrete changes without which FIBA would not be where it is today. Thanks to his unwavering commitment and loyalty to FIBA, along with his work ethic and passion for basketball, he leaves an indelible mark in FIBA’s history.”
Mr Mainini was instrumental in FIBA building a home for itself, actively overseeing the construction of the House of Basketball, the headquarters of world basketball’s governing body since 2013. He led the reform of FIBA’s governance, which was unanimously and historically approved during the FIBA Extraordinary World Congress in March 2014. His passion for 3×3 and the expertise he brought to its advisory board were driving forces in the urban discipline reaching new heights, culminating in obtaining Olympic status in June 2017. During his inauguration speech in 2010, he also set the ground for the overhaul of FIBA’s competition system, leading to the successful implementation of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers.
FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: “This is a very sad day. I have lost a friend and a person that I looked up to, knowing that I was going to follow in his footsteps. To this day, in my own presidency of FIBA, I benefit from my four years as Vice-President during Yvan’s presidency, when we worked closely together, as a team.”
Yvan Mainini was born on December 26th, 1944, in the French city of Bayeux. He began playing basketball in 1957 and, just four years later, at only 16 years of age, he became the head coach of his hometown team, a role he would hold for a total of 17 seasons.
He started refereeing when he was 17 and had a decade-and-a-half-long international officiating career, consisting of more than 300 international games between 1973 and 1988. During this time, he called games at three Olympics and three FIBA Basketball World Cups, including the 1982 and 1986 Finals between the USA and the USSR.
Mr Mainini graduated from the University of Caen with a degree in geography in 1977. He completed a Masters Degree in Law and Economics of Sport in Limoges in 1993.
After working as a physical education teacher for schools in his native area of Calvados, he went on to become the Director of the Sports, Culture and Communication Department for the commune of Mondeville.
In 1992, he was elected President of the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), a position he would hold for the next 18 years. He became a member of the FIBA Central Board in 1994 and was its Vice-President for four years (1998-2002), while also serving one term as FIBA Europe President (1998-2001).
Mr Mainini was also involved in the Olympic movement, serving as a special advisor to the French National Olympic Committee President.
He is survived by his wife and two children.