THE legendary Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim turns 55 today, April 1.
As expected, tributes and greetings poured in as loved ones, friends, and basketball fans remember the shy, soft-spoken man whose humble ways, high-wire acts, and daredevil moves easily endeared him right into the heart of this basketball-loving nation.
Although he has yet to fully recover from a major stroke that grounded the ‘Skywalker’ on that fateful night of November 28, 2014, people still evoke memories of him during his younger days both as a celebrated basketball great and a wonderful person.
The most heart-rending honor perhaps given him was a long tribute written and posted on the Facebook account of Lim’s niece Danielle Wicklund, daughter of Samboy’s sister, Maricor.
The must-read article is a 14-chapter compilation of personal memories and encounters by people who are close and previously worked with Lim as gathered by ‘Dani’ for more than two years in her memoir posted at www.theodysseyonline.com.
Entitled ‘A Trip Down Skywalker Memory Lane,’ the tribute has so far garnered 2.4K shares on Facebook.
“For his 55th birthday, I am honoring my uncle by featuring a compilation of the stories I solicited from family, close friends, and some of his close friends. I started this project almost three years ago and would like to thank everyone who helped,” read part of Danielle’s introduction.
Among the interesting parts include chapter 1 in which Danielle detailed how her uncle Samboy saved her from almost drowning in the gigantic waterslide in the pool area of the Disney World Hotel when she was six years old.
Chapter 3 tells about Samboy and childhood buddy Jun Zarate, who fondly recalled how the basketball star loved to wear kung fu shoes during their younger days, love the 70s hit television series ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’, used to draw sketches of basketball players, and most important of all, is a God-fearing man.
Dredd Gesmundo detailed in Chapter 4 the time he suffered an ACL while working as one of the coaches in The Skywalker Basketball Camp. He remembered how concerned Samboy was with his condition that he personally made an arrangement with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas for him to undergo surgery since he refused to have one.
There was also the chapter (5) about the friendship which developed and nurtured by Lim and former teammate and another cage great Allan Caidic, a bond that started in 1982 when they were part of the Philippine team that played in the ASEAN School Youth Championship.
One chapter (11) featured the closeness between Samboy and Danielle’s mother, with who his uncle used to talk, bike, and swim during their younger days. Lim also started shooting basketball in the company of his sister and father, Avelino Sr.
All chapters are accompanied with corresponding photos, along with other pictures showing Lim during his playing days, and one where he was with daughter Jamie Christine and wife Darlene Marie Berberabe.
From the entire SPIN.ph staff, happy birthday to the one and only ‘Skywalker.’