Bana Ali, Who Championed Basketball in Somalia, Dies at 54

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This obituary is a part of a collection about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Examine others right here.

Bana Abdalla Ali, who tirelessly championed basketball in Somalia and promoted sports activities amongst children in a nation beset by civil warfare, died on April 28 in London. He was 54.

His demise got here after he had contracted the novel coronavirus, his household mentioned. Mr. Ali had been handled on the Royal Free Hospital in London for nearly a month.

Mr. Ali garnered prominence for being a vocal supporter of basketball in Somalia, investing not solely his free time but additionally his personal cash to make sure the nation’s gamers had their likelihood on the worldwide stage.

A basketball fanatic and a widely known participant in Mogadishu earlier than Somalia’s civil warfare started, he at varied factors over time served as each the secretary basic and head of promoting for Somalia’s nationwide basketball staff and was additionally a member of the East and Central Africa’s Inter Metropolis Basketball Committee.

Mr. Ali was additionally a member of the Africa division of the Worldwide Basketball Federation, or FIBA Africa, which is a part of the world governing physique, FIBA, for the game. Simply this 12 months, FIBA Africa mentioned that Mr. Ali had for the primary time helped attain company sponsorship for the Somali males’s senior nationwide staff, enabling it to journey to Kenya and take part within the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 pre-qualifiers.

The federation additionally mentioned that Mr. Ali was finalizing a plan that may guarantee each men and women basketball gamers in Somalia took half in all its continental actions together with the under-18 qualifiers. Somalia’s civil warfare severely broken sports activities infrastructure, and non secular extremists additionally banned girls from taking part in sports activities. However because the nation has moved towards peace in recent times, many sports activities, together with basketball, have been revived with groups of women and men training and taking part in in courts guarded by authorities forces.

Mr. Ali was born on Jan. 11, 1966, in Mogadishu and accomplished his major and highschool schooling within the capital metropolis. He moved to Britain in 1990 and studied engineering at Middlesex College. For years, he labored as a supervisor at Transport for London, the federal government company that oversees the day-to-day operations of London’s transport community.

He’s survived by his spouse, Muna Hared; a daughter, Aaliyah; and three sons, Abdalla, Amir and Omar.

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