Indian basketball legend Moontasir passes away

A former India men’s team captain, Moontasir led India in 1969 and 1975 Asian Basketball Championships and was selected in the Asian All-Star team in 1970.

FILE - Moontasir was conferred on the Arjuna Award in 1970. 

FILE - Moontasir was conferred on the Arjuna Award in 1970.  | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

A former India men’s team captain, Moontasir led India in 1969 and 1975 Asian Basketball Championships and was selected in the Asian All-Star team in 1970.

Indian basketball legend Gulam Abbas Moontasir passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday night after prolonged illness . He was 80.

A former India men’s team captain, Moontasir led India in 1969 and 1975 Asian Basketball Championships and was selected in the Asian All-Star team in 1970. In his long and illustrious career, he built a reputation for aggressive play and was fiercely competitive on court.

He was conferred on the Arjuna Award in 1970. 

Born in Mumbai in 1942, he picked up basketball at the age of nine, while Moontasir’s elder brothers were into body building. Moontasir picked up basketball from American missionaries in Nagpada, and eventually went on to represent India in 1958, at the age of 16. 

“We were colleagues at the Western Railway and then he moved to the Central Railway. I knew him for a long time because I used to play basketball initially, and he would always be there. He and Zafar bhai, so I have literally grown up with them and it’s very sad to hear the news,” former India women’s cricket team captain Diana Edulji, who was a colleague and a friend of Moontasir, told  Sportstar. “May his family have the courage to bear the loss...”

After retiring from the sport in 1986, at the age of 44, Moontasir wrote a book, titled ‘Principles of Basketball’.

He also featured in two Bollywood films - Khoon Ki Takkar in 1981 and Aashiana in 1986. 

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