TAIWAN – The Central Board, the zones boards and all of referees of Deaf International Basketball Federation (DIBF) offer their condolences on the suddenly passing of DIBF Referee and the member of DIBF Referee Commission Hsin-Ta Lee.

It is with great sadness that Hsin-Ta Lee, an an open-minded and exceptional man, an internationally accredited and highly respected deaf referee from Taiwan for world-wide deaf basketball. Mr Lee died from an unfortunate accident in a fall in the sea at Keelung, located near the capitol town of Taipei City, Taiwan on the morning of Monday 1 March 2021. He was only 56 years old and had three children from two wifes.

Mr Lee belonged to the first generation of deaf referees, where he successfully graduated as a DIBF referee in the level-A in 2007 and had completed attending all DIBF Referee Clinics since 2007. He led many finals of Deaflympics, World Championships and other big events. His first Deaflympics was in Melbourne, Australia in 2005 and World Championships in Guangzhou, China in 2007. Later he was elected as the board member of DIBF, later the President of DIBF Asia-Pacific and most recently for many years in the DIBF Referees Commission. He was a representative of all referees of Asia-Pacific and the world too. Members, players and coaches have a huge appreciation of him and his wonderful performances as referee and as a board member. He was a great mentor for many deaf international referees.

Mr Lee was looking forward to officiating at the 2021 Summer Deaflympics in Caxias do Sul, Brazil and to host the DIBF Asia-Pacific Referee Clinic in October 2022 in his country Taiwan. It saddens us all that this will not happen. He always acted with the utmost 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 Deaf International Basketball Federation family, Mr Lee has left a very huge void and will always be in our memory and remembered among DIBF members and referees. We’ll give him a big thought when we have the tournament. Our sincere heartfelt condolences go out to the Lee family.

• Video Message from DIBF Central Board in memory of Hsin-Ta Lee:

Letter of condolence from Chinese Taipei Deaf Sports Federation