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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2008

Frack donates $2 million for BGSU facility

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Bill Frack, right, talks with Bowling Green State University basketball players Darryl Clements and Brian Moton after being honored for his $2 million gift to the school. Bill Frack, right, talks with Bowling Green State University basketball players Darryl Clements and Brian Moton after being honored for his $2 million gift to the school.
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BOWLING GREEN - With an uncanny memory of all things related to Bowling Green State University basketball, Bill Frack serves as a bridge from the days when games were played at the Men's Gymnasium to current times at Anderson Arena.

Frack has now assured himself of being part of the future.

Frack, of Findlay, was honored at a ceremony last night at the Sebo Center for his donation of $2 million to the construction of the Stroh Center, which will replace Anderson Arena as the Falcons' home in 2012. A sketch of the hardwood floor revealed the words "Bill Frack Court" etched along one of the sidelines.

Frack has long considered donating money to a new arena and then stepped forward when plans for construction were announced months ago.

"I said, I think if I saved my money and planned right, I could do something to help them," Frack said. "Fortunately I could."

Frack's contribution comes less than two months after Kerm and Mary Lu Stroh gave $8 million to the university, $7.7 of which is earmarked for the arena.

BG president Sidney Ribeau described Frack as a quiet and consistent leader, which proved to be true as Frack spoke for just a couple of minutes to members of the Falcon Club. Moments later, speaking with reporters, Frack was more interested in discussing basketball than donations. He recounted the first game he watched at BG, in 1948, against South Carolina. Although he was only 12 at the time, Frack provided clear details of the game, even mentioning the names of many players on BG's team.

"We came up here and the level of play was so different," Frack said. "It was such a difference from high school basketball to college. I was hooked pretty fast."

Frack hasn't missed many games since and has even traveled to watch BG play in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Chile. Frack's all-time favorite Falcon is James Darrow, whom Frack said, "Was the best shooter I ever saw." Darrow scored 52 points twice in 1960, which is still a school record. One of those outbursts came against Toledo, and Frack remembers the game in detail.

"The scoreboard wasn't working and they had a kid stand every now and then and write the score on a blackboard," Frack said. "It got down to the last minute of play and the kid held up a sign that said Darrow had 50 points. The roof just about went off."

BG director of athletics Greg Christopher said roughly another $4 million in donations will be sought for the Stroh Center.

"I really appreciate what Bill Frack is doing for us," said Chris Knight, a sophomore to be for the Falcons. "Anderson Arena is kind of [outdated]. Since we got the donation it looks like we're going to have many successful years to come."

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com.



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