Receiving the award was one thing, but it was the name attached to it that really hit home for Frank Foo.
Foo was named the recipient of the Joe Mullins Lifetime Achievement Award on Tuesday night at the 2018 Achievement in Community Excellence Awards event at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.
Foo remembers Mullins always inviting him to play basketball when Foo first moved to the city.
“It’s truly an honour,” Foo said after the awards banquet. “He’s very special. Everybody knows who Joe Mullins is in the city.”
Foo has been involved in high-level basketball for what he says is a “long, long, long, long time,” going back to his days suiting up for the Memorial University of Newfoundland Sea-Hawks men’s team.
“Obviously it helps to be able to play the game and then coach,” he said.
After graduation, his first job was in St. Anthony, which then became a stint in Nova Scotia, and then a stop in Labrador City, before settling in Corner Brook. He was involved in the sport in every place he stayed.
He became a coach and instructor and was, up until this past year, the coach of the Corner Brook Regional High Titans for a successful stretch.
He stepped down from that position after retiring this year because he and his wife were going to be away from the province over the winter, with stops in Australia and Malaysia for a few months.
Even in both those countries, Foo decided to spend a little time offering basketball clinics to the local youth.
“I just love the sport,” he said. “I’m retired now so I can’t stay home knitting. I’ve got to do something.”
He’s certainly in no danger of slowing down.
He still coaches at the provincial level, with the Newfoundland and Labrador Basketball Association’s Western regional group of young players. He’ll also be heading up a basketball camp at Grenfell Campus over the summer, and in July, will attend a Basketball Canada national evaluator, as he’s involved with the organization as a facilitator and coach.
“I love growing and learning and exchanging ideas,” he said. “And I love teaching kids and giving them an opportunity to grow.
“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if I don’t enjoy it.”