Gulam Abbas Moontasir, a legend of Indian basketball, died aged 80 on Tuesday, reported The Times of India.
Moontasir, who fought a illness, died in a Mumbai hospital.
He was the captain of the Indian team at the Asian Basketball Championships in 1969 and 1975. In 1970, he made it to the Asian All-Star team and was also conferred the Arjuna Award.
Having started playing the sport when he was nine years old in Nagpada – a neighbourhood in Mumbai – Moontasir was selected in the Indian team at the young age of 16. He went on to play the sport professionally for the next 28 years and retired when he was 44.
He had a tryst with the silver screen after his retirement and has a profile page on international movie database IMDB.
“In 1957, before I was 16 years, we won the men’s state championship. And we were Nagpada ‘B’ team, not Nagpada ‘A’ team. We beat them in the finals in 1957. I was selected of course for the state team also then it was Bombay. Next year, I was the captain of the Bombay state team in nationals and I was ranked 3rd in the country in the men’s section,” Moontasir had said, who went on to ply his trade at the national and international level for three decades.
His career picked up after he joined Western Railways as the side boasted of the country’s top stars and Moontasir was the pivot around whom the team revolved.
You can watch Scroll.in’s interview with Moontasir as part of our ‘Know Your Legend’ series here:
Here are some of the tributes for the legendary, flamboyant basketball player: