The former secretary-general of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI), Harish Sharma, died here on Friday night, after prolonged illness. He was 53.
Diagnosed with tuberculosis in his brain, Harish Sharma battled for life following surgery, and was on ventilator support before succumbing to multiple-organ complications.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
A player at the national level, Harish Sharma took pride in providing the best support for the players at all levels once he became an administrator, starting with the Delhi Basketball Association. He was dear to the entire basketball fraternity and the players adored him for his strong commitment to the game.
He had served the BFI as its secretary for two terms. He took over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BFI last year, and was instrumental in signing up with the IMG-Reliance which ensured good support for the players in national championships apart from addressing issues of the growth of the game right from the grass-root level.
A spokesman for IMG-Reliance praised the progressive attitude and endearing personality of Harish Sharma and said that his guidance would be deeply missed.
Harish Sharma was the deputy ‘Chef-de-mission' of the Indian contingent for the Athens Olympics in 2004. He was also the secretary-general of the FIBA Middle Asia Zone.
Not just the basketball community, including the national campers, but the Capital's sports fraternity assembled to bid farewell to Harish Sharma at the Lodhi crematorium on Saturday afternoon.
The acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Secretary- General Randhir Singh, and many officials of other sports federations were present.
Condoling his death, the BFI lauded the immense contribution of Harish Sharma, and termed him a visionary who lived for the game.