The world of international deaf basketball is in mourning for an exceptional young man – Mr Charalampos Grammatoglou, an internationally accredited and highly respected deaf referee from Greece for world-wide deaf basketball.
Mr Grammatoglou died from an unfortunate accident in a fall at Horseshoe Bend, within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located near the town of Page, Arizona, USA on Saturday 24 July 2010. He was only 32 years old.
Lt. Ron Anderson of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office in Page reported that Mr Grammatoglou was standing on a ledge of thin sandstone overlooking the picturesque bend of the Colorado River taking photographs when the ledge gave way about 11:25 am and fell about 600 feet to his death. Just before he fell, members of his party were yelling at him to get away from the edge, Anderson said.
Mr Grammatoglou had only just completed attending 2nd DIBF International Deaf Referee Clinic held in Gallaudet University, Washington DC, USA, between 14 - 18 July 2010. He was on personal holiday touring across USA with other friends and international deaf referees and the tour included a visit to the tourist landmark at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Mr Grammatoglou, formally a member of the Hellenic deaf basketball team was recognised internationally as one of the best and most talented deaf basketball referees and was considered by the FIBA as a potential FIBA international referee. Since attending his first DIBF International Deaf Referee Clinic held in Stockholm, Sweden in early 2007 where he achieved 1st class assessment and obtained his DIBF International Deaf Referee Licence. Mr Grammatoglou was called to officiate as referee in the 2007 DIBF World Deaf Basketball Championships in Guangzhou, China, 2009 U20 European Deaf Basketball Championships in Lublin, Poland, 2009 Deaflympic Games in Taipei, Taiwan, 2009 DIBF EuroCup Championships in London, UK and the 2010 U21 DIBF World Deaf Basketball Championships in Lublin, Poland. Additionally he has also officiated as referee at several other basketball games in Greece including Wheelchair basketball. Mr Grammatoglou was looking forward to officiate at the 2011 DIBF World Deaf Basketball Championships in Palermo, Italy. It saddens us all that this will not happen.
Mr Grammatoglou was very popular among his friends, deaf and hearing referees and deaf basketball players. His sense of humour along with his positive attitude to life and sport was enhanced by his sensitive kindness and manner.
Mr Grammatoglou always acted with the upmost professionalism and excellence in his referee duties. He always strived to achieve the highest standards and to better the game of basketball. He was well respected and we all will miss him.
On behalf of the Deaf International Basketball Federation family, Mr Grammatoglou has left a huge void and will always be in our memory and remembered among DIBF members and referees.
Our sincere heartfelt condolences go out to the Grammatoglou family.
Lampis, may you rest in peace.
Deaf International Basketball Federation
26 July 2010
>> NOTE: Please see photo album on DIBF's Facebook for a special tribute to Charalampos "Lampis" Grammatoglou - click on link here.
>> NEWS ARTICLE - Report from AZ Daily Sun - "Man dies in fall from Horseshoe Bend Overlook" - 26/07/2010 - click on link here.