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Renato William Jones (5 October 1906 – 22 April 1981), also known as R. William, or simply William Jones, was a British basketball executive and popularizer of basketball in Europe and in Asia. He held an honorary doctorate from Springfield College.[1]


Jones was one of the founding fathers of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) in 1932[1] and served as the first Secretary-General from 1932 until 1976.[2] From 1932 he was eager to convince the IOC that an Olympic tournament should be organized in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. After the International Handball Federation (IAHF) renounced on its responsibility for basketball in 1934, FIBA was accepted as autonomous body by IOC and the Berlin tourney could be held under Jones' supervision. Later, he was made secretary general of the International Council of Sport and Physical Education in 1958.

He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964[3] and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.[4] He was also made a patron of the Amateur Basketball Association of England in 1973.

He was perhaps most widely known for his decision at the 1972 Olympic Men's Basketball Final. The United States appeared to have defeated the Soviet Union 50-49 for an unprecedented eighth straight gold medal. However, Jones came out of the stands and ordered the time clock technician to put three seconds back on the game clock. The ruling allowed the Soviet team to score a final basket and win 51-50. He was controversially quoted later as saying "The Americans have to learn how to lose, even when they think they are right."[5] Jones later conceded that he had no authority to make a ruling during a game. However, his power over amateur basketball was such that the technician complied.[6]

Honorary tournaments

The World Cup for Champion Clubs, FIBA Intercontinental Cup William Jones, and the annual international basketball tournament, the William Jones Cup, held in Taipei, Taiwan, were named after him, in honour to his contribution to the world of basketball.

In popular culture

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