ONDRAY EPHRAUMS: 19.06.68 – 14.05.10
Ondray Ephraums was a valued member of the Ferntree Gully Falcons Basketball Club who lost his long battle with cancer in May 2010. Ondray, born the youngest of eleven children, had a passion for basketball from a very young age. He represented St Joseph’s Catholic Boys School in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka and went on to make the Sri Lankan Schoolboys Team.
Ondray migrated to Australia in 1987 and joined the Falcons as a Coach in 1991. He had the unique ability to develop young boys into skilful players, regularly taking project players from lower grades. He was tough and disciplined but very successful and was also a respected Assistant Coach for Knox Junior Raiders.
In his time at Falcons, Ondray was also a General Committee Member, Registrar and Vice President. He also filled in as Secretary, Acting President, Boys Co-Ordinator and Venue Co-Ordinator. At one stage, he was responsible for getting the club books back to $780.00 from a deficit of $5,489.00!
Ondray succumbed to his many battles with cancer on Friday 14th May, 2010. The following day, his two sons courageously played in Grand Finals, with both teams, usually coached by Ondray, winning the Premiership in memorable games. Knox Basketball Association honoured Ondray by allowing teams to wear black arm bands and playing a rolling tribute to him on a television screen in the foyer of Boronia Stadium. At his funeral, many of the boys he had coached from the Association wore their club singlets and formed a Guard of Honour.
Shortly before Ondray passed away, he was awarded a well-deserved Life Membership of the Club for his dedication as a Coach and Committee Member. As Geoff Fairweather has said – ‘He was an Ambassador for the club and the game of basketball itself’.
Sri Lankan Court
Ondray co-founded a foundation to raise funds to upgrade a basketball court at his school in Sri Lanka – St Joseph’s Catholic Boys School in Nugegoda, south of Colombo. Unfortunately, he passed away before his dream was realised so his two brothers travelled to Sri Lanka and completed the project within three months. Knox Basketball Association and a family at the Falcons made significant contributions to the project. The opening was a momentous occasion made all the more special by Ondray’s sons shooting the first two baskets at either end of the newly built court.
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In 2009, Ondray received a letter from St Joseph’s Catholic Boys School in Nugegoda asking for help with basketball shoes so with the assistance of the Falcons, he organised a Shoe Drive which was very successful. He also approached Knox Junior Raiders and received some older singlets to be used for training purposes. In 2010, the Falcons held another Shoe Drive to coincide with the opening of the new court in Ondray’s honour. Many players from the entire association donated good quality, second hand basketball shoes.
The Ondray Ephraums Memorial Trophy
Passionate – Determined – Loyal – Dedicated
The Ondray Ephraums Memorial Trophy is a prestigious club award presented to members of the club who have shown outstanding service, dedication, loyalty and passion. Ondray was a member at our club who was recognised as showing all of these qualities. This Award was organised by his family and is given in his honour.
2010 Dean Brewer / Tim Wall
Dean and Tim were awarded the first year for taking over Ondray’s coaching of his two son’s teams in difficult circumstances and mentoring the group of boys through their grief.
2011 Geoff Fairweather
Geoff was recognised for this award for his longstanding commitment to coaching and taking on various committee positions over the years.
2012 Rob Alty
Rob was recognised for his service to the club with coaching, particularly with boys teams and also for his role as Boys Co-Ordinator on several occasions over the years.
2014 Vince Mina
Vince received this award for his commitment to coaching multiple teams each season over many years, particularly the lower grade teams and coaching each and every one of them with passion and dedication.
2015 Dave Porter
Dave is a well-respected member of this club. His commitment to coaching multiple teams each season since 2007 and also his contribution to the committee as girl’s coordinator and coaches coordinator has made Dave a worthy recipient of this award in 2015.