LOS ANGELES – Basketball player and coach Edward Noni Atamian passed away on January 9 after a week-long battle with Covid-19. Atamian was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1932.
Atamian started playing basketball at a young age with the Gamk Armenian Club in Alexandria from 1939 to 1952. He then played and coached for the Homenetmen Club’s men’s and women’s basketball teams from 1952 to 1970.
Atamian immigrated to California in 1971. Shortly thereafter he began assembling the legendary Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Valley men’s basketball team. Under Atamian, the team won 234 games with only 2 losses from 1975 to 2001. For years the team dominated the AGBU World Games and traveled throughout the world winning championships in North and South America as well as Europe. The team defeated the Men’s Armenian National Basketball team in Toronto in 1992 in a historic matchup. Atamian’s team also defeated the legendary UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian’s Armenian team in the Western Armenian Athletic Association games in Fresno.
Atamian coached the AGBU women’s team to several championships. Atamian coached the AGBU Valley men’s basketball team in the first and second Pan Armenian Games in Yerevan, which became champions in 1999 and 2001.
He leaves behind his wife Myriam Atamian, son Eddy Atamian, daughter Alice Atamian, and grandchildren Andre, Dylan and Gina. The burial date has not yet been set due to covid-19 restrictions.