AH CHEW GOO

Posted On February 5th, 2015 -

AH CHEW GOO 1918-2015 On January 9th, 2015, Ah Chew Goo passed on peacefully surrounded by his family. He was 96 years old. He was born on April 11, 1918 in Hilo, Hawaii. Ah Chew played basketball for the Hilo High Vikings, which won the Territorial Basketball Championship (today’s equivalent of the Hawaii State Basketball Championship) three consecutive years (1934-36). He was a first team All-Territorial selection each of his three years and received the Most Outstanding Player Award as a senior. His jersey number ‘7’ was retired in 1952. Although he was only 5 feet 4″ inches in height, he received offers from mainland colleges and from the University of Hawaii. However, his priorities were to find employment on Oahu and to support his family in Hilo. While living on Oahu, he played basketball in the Hawaii Senior League, which held their games at the old UH gym and at the old Civic Auditorium. A local sportswriter wrote that so many fans enjoyed watching Ah Chew play that one game was delayed for more than 30 minutes because “one of the referees couldn’t get through the crowd that jammed the doors.” After seeing Ah Chew play, local sportswriters began calling him the”Mandarin Magician”. They wrote that he dribbled, passed, and shot in a class by himself. One wrote that his quickness, timing, accuracy, deceptive moves, and tricks on the court would make him the envy of the Harlem Globetrotters. Ah Chew also played on a Hawaii team comprised of senior league players that played against the Globetrotters on Oahu as well as exhibition games on the mainland. A sportswriter in New York heard about the “Mandarin Magician” and traveled to Hawaii to see him play. When he returned to New York, he wrote in his column that Ah Chew Goo was better than the top-rated ballhandling and playmaking professionals in the NBA. After retiring as a player in 1940, he continued his love and his passion for the sport by being a coach, a referee, and by conducting free clinics on Oahu and on the neighbor islands. However, his greatest love was Clara Kim. They were married on December 6, 1941 and recently celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. Other notable events in his life were: UH men’s basketball coach from 1954 to 1957; First inductee in Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in basketball in 1978; Hawaii Sales Representative for L.G. Balfour Company; and Member of Hawaii State Boxing Commission (1970’s). He is survived by his wife, Clara; sons, Darryl, Vince (Gay), and Keenan (Diane); grandsons, Shannon Cappy, Brennon Kippy, Kennon Kasey, Davin (predeceased),Ryan, and Austin Goo; granddaughter, Kristin Kimi Yip; and 4 great-grandchildren. Private services were held.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran