Walter Gouveia’s simple life did not begin simply.
He was the best player on a Farrington High basketball team that was coached by local legend Bob Ikehara and won consecutive state titles in 1959 and 1960. He was talented enough to receive an invitation to join one of the Harlem Globetrotters’ touring groups … as a high school senior.
But then Gouveia met the woman who would become his soulmate. They married, and then raised five children on the Leeward Coast.
A part of his paycheck — sometimes all of it — went to helping his community. The youth league’s Mighty Vikings? Gouveia paid for their helmets, uniforms, cleats and pads. He also helped coach at Waianae High. Nathan Fletcher and Michael Beazley were his former players.
“He was a great man, a great family man,” said his middle child, Kurt Gouveia, who went on to win two Super Bowl rings.
Walter Gouveia passed away recently in Mooresville, N.C. He was 75. The past weekend, his family scattered his ashes in the waters off Maili.
“That’s what he wanted,” Kurt said. “He wanted to go back home.”
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The late Gov. John Burns built the foundation that is UH football, paving the way for the construction of Aloha Stadium and the program’s ascension to Division I.
But it was his son, James “Jim” Burns, who maintained it for many years as the head of Koa Anuenue, the athletic department’s primary fund raiser.
Under Burns’ leadership, the football team bought what was necessary, paid its bills and broke past red tape. Burns was a humble man, a judge who was not judgmental, who had a sensitivity to Hawaii’s culture. He lived his life with honor.
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The Warriors’ spring practices have been smooth partly because of strength/conditioning coordinator Bubba Reynolds and mostly because of the players’ fitness.
Maybe it is because there was a relatively short window from the Hawaii Bowl to the offseason conditioning program to the start of spring training. But the Warriors are able to go quickly from position drills, to team sessions, to sprints without gasping. Like anything else, it is easy to perform — and learn — when you’re not fatigued.