Renato William Jones (October 5, 1906 in Rome, Italy – April 22, 1981 in Munich, Germany), also known as R. William, or simply William Jones, was a 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 19322 and served as the first Secretary-General from 1932 until 1976.3 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 perhaps most widely known for his decision at the 1972 Olympic 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 officials to put 3 seconds back on the clock for a clock malfunction, although no actual clock malfunction had occurred, allowing the Soviet team to 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."6 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 officials complied.7