Hall of Fame Inductee
Frank Stokes commenced refereeing in Rockhampton in the years before 1960 and continued refereeing when transferred to Charters Towers in 1960. While he was teaching in Charters Towers Frank combined his refereeing with his playing basketball at Townsville and Ayr as well as at Charters Tower.
On his transfer to Brisbane in 1964 Frank continued with his playing and refereeing. Brisbane Basketball Referees’ Association (BBRA) was inaugurated at the Plaza Theatre at Bardon on 27 October 1965. Together with several people prominent in the history of basketball referee education, Frank Stokes was present at that meeting and was elected as inaugural BBRA secretary.
Frank was an active member of the BBRA executive for 17-years, serving as secretary for seven years, president for one year and on the executive for nine years. For many years Frank served as the BBRA referee coach combining his work as referee coach with his own refereeing and his work as a BBRA executive member. In addition to his refereeing at many state championships over many years, Frank served on the Queensland Basketball Referees’ Association (QBRA) appointments board during the 1970s and 1980s and in this capacity served as referee commissioner and referee coach at several Queensland state championships.
During the 1970s and 1980s Frank participated as a referee at several Australian championships, and also served as an Australian championships referee commissioner. Between 1983 and 1988 Frank was QBRA State Referee Coach and in this capacity attended and contributed to a number of National referee education forums, including forums held in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Frank served as Queensland State League referee commissioner during the late 1980s and early 1990s, spending many weekends travelling to provincial centres to review the performances of referees across the state and to offer advice.
In addition Frank also served as Queensland Referee Supervisor for the National Basketball League from the early days of the League until 1994. For many years Frank Stokes travelled to small country associations across Queensland attending weekend basketball carnivals as a referee and as a referee coach, thus enhancing the understanding of refereeing across wide areas of the state. Frank Stokes was appointed as a life member of both BBRA and QBRA for his exceptional services to basketball and to basketball refereeing.
In 2016 Brisbane Basketball Referees’ Association celebrated more than 50-years of continuous, truly excellent service to basketball through the vehicles of refereeing and referee education and guidance. That BBRA has been able to continue to serve basketball so very well for these past more than 50-years is a testament to the leadership of BBRA during these more than 50-years, and to the worthiness of its cause. Frank Stokes was to the forefront of that.
The influence of Frank’s outstanding contribution as a role model for younger referee coaches continues today, many years after the event. Frank is an exceptional candidate for the Queensland Basketball Hall of Fame.