At the recent FDBA Annual General Meeting, 5 people were awarded FDBA Life Membership, the highest accolade a person can achieve from the Association for sustained excellent service to the FDBA. The recipients were: Paul Groat, Grant Dennis, Klaas Froling, Gaile Reid, Bill Runchey

Following the AGM we featured the surprise announcement to Paul Groat.

Today we feature Klaas Froling.

Klaas passed away in recent years but make no mistake his legend will live on forever.

Klaas’s Daughter Narelle Davis is still heavily involved with the Association and said that her Dad had no background in basketball and only got involved because she and her two younger sisters all started playing domestic basketball and then not long after representative basketball for Frankston Bears.  He got totally involved as a parent, coach, player, referee, game announcer, and committee member.  I think he was secretly glad that all of his girls had finally moved on from dancing and calisthenics.  Klaas’s Wife was also very involved even though she never was at the committee level but she also coached and was a delegate for Frankston with the Victorian Basketball Association and for years she did all the fixtures (before everyone had computers) and all the teams had to ring the family home on Saturday morning to give in their results.

Klaas was an FDBA committee member for 8 years, 6 of them as President of the FDBA.  During this time he was involved in the transition from Frankston Bears to Bayside Blues and also was instrumental in the negotiations and planning with Frankston Council to get 4 new courts (existing courts 1-4).  We have it on good authority such was the trust for Klaas that Frankston Council only wanted to deal with him.

Klaas organised sponsorship for the club. Car Torque who Klaas had worked for and was the car yard just in front of the stadium they were one of the major sponsors for a number of years but he also worked hard acquiring other sponsorships for the club.

Klaas coached U12, U14, and U16 Frankston Bears girls teams over at least 5 years, he was an ‘A’ grade referee for many years.  Such was his authority he used to be given all the difficult teams to referee and made sure they behaved.

Klaas was also a court announcer for the Frankston Bears and Bayside Blues men’s and women’s teams and he had a loud booming voice and nicknames for lots of the players and players really enjoyed his calls.

Klaas also played basketball whilst not at the highest level loved playing and was only stopped by age and injuries.

A long-time mate of Klaas Bob Clinton made these comments.

“I first meet Klaas Froling when I was the  Manager of the Frankston Basketball Stadium nearly 40 years ago, Klaas used to bring his daughters to play in the local Primary School Competition on a Saturday and with Klaas Managing a car yard at the front of the stadium I saw a lot of him. He joined the FDBA committee.”

and was President at a time when financial problems/issues forced  Frankston Bears out of the NBL. Klaas had the difficult task of getting the committee behind him and getting on with the job of getting the local  Senior and Junior competitions running including the  Representative basketball programs back on track.

Klaas worked hard at getting new sponsors and promoting the new Bayside Blues basketball Program he created the format that still exists today, he started the ball rolling to get 4 new courts for Frankston, he appointed Bill Runchey to coach the Blues over a period of 20 years, Bill also managed the stadium for many years. Klaas also played and refereed in the local competition and was a great  court announcer with his booming voice. He was well respected by all  the people/communities that came through the doors at Frankston, with Klaas’s influence on the financial  committee and status still exists today as the  FDBA committee still owns the basketball stadium and is in great financial shape, thanks to Klaas Froling.”

Mr. Klaas Froling you are no longer with us but your legacy is evident today and your legend continues.

Wayne Holdsworth