August 23 - International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Oceania secretary general Steve Smith has announced that he will step down at the end of 2013 after 16 years in the role.
Smith joined FIBA Oceania in 1994 as deputy secretary general to Al Ramsay, who he then succeeded three years later.
Ramsay, who is now honorary FIBA Oceania President for life, paid tribute to the impact of his successor after it was announced that he will leave the organisation in December.
"Steve has taken FIBA Oceania to the next level of professionalism, implementing a programme of development which includes appointing locally based, full-time national basketball development officers and zone development officers supported by a zone development manager," he said.
FIBA Oceania President Bob Elphinston added: "Steve Smith has made a significant contribution to the steady growth of basketball in the Pacific area bringing expertise and experience in all facets of the game to the developing Federations of Oceania."
Smith is currently also a member of the FIBA Central Board, the deputy chairman of the FIBA Membership Commission and was a member of the FIBA Jury at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games as well as the 2002 and 2006 FIBA men's World Championships.
"I hope that the initiatives created during my time with FIBA Oceania, through the efforts of many different contributors, will prove to be lasting legacies for the organisation," he said.
These initiatives include the creation and development of the Pacific Youth Basketball Championships, the transformation of the Oceania Basketball Confederation into FIBA Oceania and the implementation of the Pacific All Star tours.
FIBA secretary general and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Patrick Baumann thanked Smith for his efforts with the organisation.
"Steve has been a vocal and enthusiastic participant at all levels of the FIBA family and we thank him for his unselfish contribution over the past 19 years," he said.
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