Former Great Britain and Scotland star, Bill McInnes, passed away on Saturday March 4 at the age of 71.
Currently the interim Chair of British Basketball, Bill (pictured above, far left) represented both Scotland and Great Britain on 176 occasions. He started all of his 28 competitive Great Britain games, and was the leading scorer in 8 of them – with a game high of 25 points v Poland in 1968.
He was the leading scorer in 1968 event with 119 points in the 7 Euro Pre-Olympic Qualifying games. He was the second top scorer in 3 other Olympic Qualifying events, finishing with 354 points – for a 12.6ppg average.
“Bill was a wonderful gentleman and guardian of basketball,” Chief Executive Lisa Wainwright said in a statement.
“In my very short time of working and being supported by Bill at British Basketball I have learned so much and grown so fond of him. The quickness of his illness has been a shock to many of us and his lovely family who our hearts and love go out to. He will be remembered by so many and his legacy within basketball is for us all to continue.”
Kevin Pringle, Chief Executive of Basketball Scotland, also said how much Bill will be missed and how influential he was to Basketball.
“Having known and worked so closely with Bill for such a long time, I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing after a short illness. Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this extremely difficult time.
“Bill was instrumental in his work, both on and off of the basketball court and will be sorely missed by the whole Scottish Basketball community.”
Previously an Area Youth Organiser in Stirling, a Deputy Manager at Meadowbank Sports Centre and latterly the Centre Manager at Wester Hailes Education Centre in Edinburgh; Bill had a strong sports management background. His knowledge and leadership qualities assisted him greatly in the discharge of his duties as Chair of Basketball Scotland and Chair of the British Basketball Federation.
A founder member of the Boroughmuir Basketball Club and a member of the team, who were British Champions in 1972, he also played in club teams that entered the European Cup on five occasions. Bill coached at all levels and was secretary to the Boroughmuir Club since 1961.
Bill was recognised for his services to basketball in the Queens 2000 New Year’s Honours list with an award of an OBE. Bill also served as Chair of the British Basketball Federation, was a member of the National Olympic Committee, Chair of the British Masters Basketball Association and was a Director with Basketball Scotland, which he previously chaired from 1990 to 2008.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to Bill’s family and friends at this time.
Ian Curryer, Independent Director, will be acting temporarily as interim Chair of British Basketball.
Bill McInnes funeral will be at 11am on Wednesday 15 March at Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh (EH7 4HW).
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