Babykutty, Kuriannoor: Thousands turned up to bid tearful adieu to Kerala State Basketball player Tino Thomas, who was also a qualified state referee and physical education Teacher at Marthoma HSS Venmony. Thomas, who had captained Kerala at the 2000 Youth National Basketball Championship, passed away at the age of 31 when he met with an accident on Tuesday in Eraviperror.
The burial took place at St Thomas Marthoma Church, Kuriannoor. The priests from Marthoma Church officiated at the funeral ceremonies, assisted by a host of ecclesiastical dignitaries. Thousands of people from various walks of life came to pay their last respects to the departed soul. Basketball players, officials and students in large numbers poured in to pay homage to their friend and teacher.
Pathanamthitta MLA, K Sivadasan Nair, Kerala Basketball Association Sr Vice President Mr TC Koshy, Pathanamthitta Secretary former KSEB Board Member Mr Philip Zachariah, FIBA Commissioner and Kerala Basketball Association Technical Committee Chairman Dr Prince K Mattom, Referees Board Member Fr Siby Chettikalam, Kottayam Basketball Association International Player Monish Wilson, International Coaches K V Alexander and Dimal C Mathew, apart from other Sports Council coaches and an array of State captains were present.
Principals and Teachers of various schools in Thiruvalla, Kuriannoor, Edayaranmula, Venmony and many others paid their last respects when the body was brought home at Kurainoor.
Tino was the son of Thomas Mathew Mamarapallil Kuriannoor (Rtd Officer of Traco Cables, Thiruvalla) and Mariamma Thomas, MCRD Thadiyoor. He is survived by wife Ashy Thomas and a five months old boy.
He hails from a family of basketball players. His only sister Teena represented Kerala State and Tamil Nadu State in the sub-junior Youth and Senior Divisions. She is now working as a software engineer in Abu Dhabi. Dr M M Chacko, who played a long 13 years for Kerala and is now the senior vice president of Kerala Basketball Association also served as vice president of Basketball Federation of India (1994 – 2002), was Tino’s uncle, and his two sons Viju and Vinu also represented the State.
Tino started his basketball career at the Vivekananda School, Pullad and then moved on to St Berchmens College, Changancherry. He also represented Mahatma Gandhi University, and for Kerala, apart from the Youth, in State Sub Junior as well as Junior National Basketball Championship. He is also an qualified State Panel Referee.