🏀 Former Men’s Basketball Captain Ron Franz Dies
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Kansas men’s basketball captain Ron Franz died Monday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Kansas Athletics confirmed with Franz’ family. He was 76 years old.
Franz played for three seasons at Kansas from 1965-66 to 1966-67 under head coach Ted Owens. A 6-foot-7 forward from Kansas City, Kansas, Franz was a team captain in 1966-67 and played in 79 games for his KU career. His junior and senior seasons, Kansas won the Big Eight Conference regular-season titles advancing to the NCAA Tournament both years. Additionally, KU won all three Big Eight Holiday Tournaments with Franz on the roster.
For his KU career, Franz averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. His best season came in 1966-67, when he averaged 12.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
Franz was drafted in the fourth round of the 1967 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. Franz opted to play in the American Basketball Association (ABA), where he played for the Oakland Oaks (1967-68), the New Orleans Buccaneers (1968-70), the Floridians (1970-72), the Memphis Tams (1972), and the Dallas Chaparrals (1973). He concluded his basketball playing career in Europe with the Swiss Alpines in 1975.
Following his basketball career, Franz moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was a general contractor and home builder. He opened his own company, R.S. Franz Construction, which built homes in Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas. He and his wife, Georgia, would later retire to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.