By: GC3

This past Saturday (April 23, 2024) I received word that one of my former coaches, Ron Fitzgerald, went home to the Lord. I met Coach Fitzgerald in 2003 when I played basketball at the Boys and Girls Club of Honolulu. At the time, Coach Fitzgerald was the Athletic Director for the Club. 

His characteristics that most stood out to me was his discipline, straight forwardness, and accountability. He was strict and demanding but as I got to know him, he believed in me. Coach Fitzgerald held me to a high standard because he believed that I could achieve my goals. He wasn’t just hard nosed, he had a great sense of humor and was very passionate about being around kids.

At the time in my life, I was in a little bit of a rut in my playing career. Coach Fitzgerald was instrumental in motivating and encouraging me to continue working hard on my craft. People question why I am so committed to helping youth, it is because I have debt to pay back as the coaches I had in my life have taught me life lessons which shaped the adult I am today. 

This brings me back to the last conversation I had with my skills coach Myles Yasuda (before he passed). I asked Coach Yasuda, “How do I ever repay you back for all the time you invested in mentoring and coaching me?” Coach Yasuda said, “When you are in a place in your life to give back, give back to the youth. The youth is the next generation coming up and if you can change one life it will make the world a better place.”

Coach Fitzgerald was a great mentor, teacher, coach, but an even better human being. I am a better man from being coached and mentored by Coach Fitzgerald. I am extremely grateful for him taking a chance on me. His legacy will live on through my work. Rest In Peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.