Lee Franzman Team Recognition Award
The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame has instituted a new team recognition award for the 2023 induction Ceremony. This award is named in honor of Lee Franzman, chair of the CWBHOF nominating committee, who passed away in 2021.
High school, college, industrial, "barnstorming", AAU (prior to 1970) and senior teams will be eligible for recognition. Criteria for recognition are:
High school team– State Championship with special consideration for undefeated teams, the first state championship from a school with multiple state championships and teams from the early days of the tournament starting in 1974.
College team – National Championship or significant success at the national level, especially in the early days of the national tournaments.
Industrial, barnstorming, AAU (prior to 1970) and senior team – Significant success at the national level or pioneering success in the early days of women’s basketball in Connecticut.
Only one team from a high school or college coached by the same person will be recognized. No more than one team from a high school, college, or coached by the same person, will be recognized.
Leonard B. (Lee) Franzman
1940 - 2021
Lee was enthusiastic about improving the lives of young people through education and sports. He spent 40 years as a middle school math and science teacher in the Meriden and Milford, Connecticut Public Schools as well as over two decades as the head girls' basketball coach at Milford High School, Foran High School, Jonathan Law High School and Amity Regional High School.
Lee co-founded the Eastern Basketball Camp, an overnight camp in Moodus, Connecticut, which taught both girls and boys of all skill levels basketball fundamentals from seasoned coaches and NBA stars.
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Muriel Stode
Eulogy for Lee Franzman by David Strong
I first met Lee in 1980 when our teams played each other in the State Tournament. He was in the process of building a great team at Milford H.S., which, 2 years later, would play in the Finals for the State Championship.
We played again the following year, and five more times, after Foran joined the league in 1995. They say things balance out. Last time we played he won by three points. Not a state championship, but I know he enjoyed it very much. I was impressed with his hard work, talent as a coach, and the fact that each girl came off the floor at the end of the game (win or lose) feeling good about herself because of his coaching and caring. (Of course, they felt better when they won.)
Lee and I saw each other many times at league and CIAC functions, and developed an excellent friendship based on common interests and mutual respect.
I also served with Lee on the CT Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Executive Board for 20 years. He was chairman of the Nominating Committee, a very important job. So many people, at all levels of society, have personal agendas when they serve on committees, but Lee’s only agenda was to help recognize the most deserving candidates for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and he did it very well.
The CT Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame has only honored individuals since its inception, but in 2023 the Hall of Fame will recognize for the first time successful teams and programs. The name of the award will be The Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Lee Franzman Team Recognition Award, in honor of his more than 30 years of service to the organization.
When I think of Lee, I will always think of qualities that he embodied, as summarized in the word ICE: Integrity, Commitment, and Excellence.