KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (FIBA Asia Mid Term Congress): The FIBA Asia Mid Term Congress on Monday accorded the status of FIBA Asia Secretary General Emeritus to Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock, who last month relinquished office due to health reasons.
The applauds began even before the “incoming” FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian had finished reading out the resolution, and the standing ovation only reflected the enormous love and affection Dato’ Yeoh enjoys in the basketball world.
“My heart is filled with emotion in accepting this honor today,” an emotional Dato’ Yeoh said in his acceptance speech.
“I am humbled by the love you have shown me. I thank each of you for the support you have given more than 30 years. I was blessed to have a good team, which gave me the privilege to carry out all my dreams.
“Basketball has been my religion all my life. I feel blessed to have been involved with basketball all this time and I am personally grateful to the Almighty for that opportunity.
“I thank this gathering for your magnanimity to allow me to continue my involvement with this great sport as Secretary General-Emeritus.
“I have made friends from all across the world thanks to basketball and I have cherished each moment.
“It is now time for me to move on and make way for the younger and fresher ideas to come in.
“I do strongly believe that Hagop Khajirian, the new FIBA Asia Secretary General, is a man of great vision and ambition. I call upon of each one of you to provide him with the same, and times more, support as you always have.”
FIBA Asia president Sheikh Saud Ali Al-Thani said: “We need Dato’ Yeoh for a longer period of time with us. That’s the reason we are relieving him of the pressure of the work and elevating him to Emeritus.
“We still Dato’ Yeoh’s guidance. We can’t work without him. We still need his voice in our presence so that we don’t commit any mistakes in carrying out our plans.”
“Under Dato’ Yeoh as the Secretary General, FIBA Asia made tremendous progress carving a niche for itself in the world of basketball,” Khajirian said.
“His guidance as Secretary General-Emeritus will be immensely valuable in carrying forward the flame he has ignited. May God bless him with good health and a long life.”
FIBA President Yvan Mainini while recalling his long association with Dato’ Yeoh said that FIBA will honor Dato’ Yeoh for incomparable contribution to basketball in a special ceremony.