September 1, 2019

Snehel Bendke: Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame

Among the first women to be a FIBA-certified referee from India, Snehel Bendke is now one of the greatest refs the nation has ever produced, whistling away all the way to the Olympics. For her efforts, the former player from Maharashtra has been inducted into the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

Hailing from Kohlapur in Maharashtra, Bendke was a rising player for her state, playing in nationals at the junior and senior levels. However, at the advice of a coach, she decided to follow the path of refereeing at the early age of 22. Bendke and fellow Hoopistani Hall of Famer Shiba Maggon soon became the first Indian woman to receive FIBA referee certification.

In the decade that has since passed as an international referee, Bendke has officiated matches in important events like the 2012 Olympic Games in London (the first and only Indian to do so), the first Indian woman to officiate in a Men's FIBA Asia Championship, the Women's World Basketball Championship, and numerous more FIBA Asia events in both the men and women's divisions.

She continues to be one of the most respected international basketball referees around the world.

Click here for more of the Hoopistani Indian Basketball Hall of Fame.

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