Many of Alfreds Krauklis’ confreres have passed their opinion on his contribution to Latvia basketball history in the opening addresses of the previous tournament programmes.
We – his family would like to tell what kind of a person Alfreds Krauklis was.
My father was born in Jumprava. His father was killed in the war fights near Moscow in 1914, and Alfreds Krauklis was brought up by my grandmother Ede alone in very modest conditions. When my parents got married, my father had to work in the fields in the country side, as my mother had a farm. He has reaped rye with two horse grain reaping machine and hay with hay reaping machine. Alfreds Krauklis was a simple, kind, honest and human man, and above all he loved basketball. He not only played basketball well, but also swam and danced very well.
My father was a very exact and accurate man. If he had to be in some appointment, he certainly was some ten minutes before and was never late.
Alfreds Krauklis in his time together with that time greatest our country industry “flag officer”, VEF Sport Club chairman Arnolds Brambergs founded VEF men basketball master team that for long years served for VEF Basketball School young basketball players as the aim in their sports life. This initiative was continued also when my father had passed away, when VEF Basketball School was named after Alfreds Krauklis.
My father trained not only men teams, but also the women teams Starts and Spartaks, and while working with the team Starts, he met my mum Erika Shulte. Mother of the well- known basketball player Valdis Valters has also been trained by Alfreds Krauklis. Unfortunately, today all these players of these teams play basketball in the heavens. My father loved his grandchildren and the grand-grandchild Kristaps.
Alfreds Krauklis was a liked and respected man by his neighbours, he had lived more than 50 years in one place of living – in Zvaigznu street 4, Riga. Due to the 25th jubilee of Alfreds Krauklis Memorial Tournament the Tournament hosts will open a memorial tablet at the mentioned house that will be dedication to Alfreds Krauklis and Latvia basketball.
My father was very considerate towards his closest people and also colleagues. During the USSR every year he sent greetings on New Year to his colleagues- coaches in all republics. As the Russian language caused difficulties to my father, I wrote the cards, he only signed. Every year he greeted the daughter of his trainee, the Rome Olympic Games’ vice-champion Cezars Ozers, as she like her father was born on December 8, only fifty years later.
Alfreds Krauklis has never in his life used rude words, and his biggest rudeness was when he said: “This is stupidity!’’. He was a tolerant man and always reminded others that only one person was never guilty.
Thanks a lot to those who have contributed big efforts to host tournaments and striving for Alfreds Krauklis’ name is never forgotten in Latvia and in basketball history for many decades.
The greatest thanks personally to Mr. Janis Rimbenieks and Mrs. Gunta Strazdina for initiative, persistence and courage to struggle for the memory of Alfreds Krauklis name.