Harold Palimo‘o, a Kahuku High School graduate, said he has been going to BYU-Hawaii sports games religiously since the 1990s. “I only went to high school at Kahuku High School, and I graduated in 1976. I’m from Hawaii, born and raised. I’m just working at a government job in the city and county. I work at and run the gas station there.
“I enjoy coming to these games. I like volleyball and basketball. I like men and girl’s basketball and girl’s volleyball. I’m sad they are getting rid of the Athletics Department. I was hoping they would end up keeping it, but they don’t have enough money to run the program.
“I think the only chance we have of saving sports is if basketball makes it to the tournament, the girls and the men. The women’s [basketball team] did well on the road. I don’t travel with them to games, but I keep up.
“I think it’s weird they were re-roofing the CAC, and doing all this other stuff, but they don’t have money for sports. The community has been trying to fight it, but they can’t win the fight.”
Palimo‘o has print outs of both teams’ rosters for every game, and said he keeps track of the score in the margins of the roster. He said, “I keep it for myself, just to keep track.”
Palimo‘o also tends to yell, stomp, and wave emphatically at the opposing team’s players, in an effort to intimidate them. “By intimidating them, I just let out my frustration. I get really frustrated at the game sometimes.”
Despite Palimo‘o’s enthusiasm for athletics, he has never participated himself. “I was in band in high school. I never did sports. Brother Payton was actually my band director in high school. He teaches here now.”
Dallin Olander, an athlete at BYUH, commented on the bittersweet nature of Palimo‘o’s avid participation. “I think Harold is BYU Hawaii’s No. 1 fan. I have been at every game this season and as far as I have seen, Harold has also been at every game sitting in the front row right by the band, usually wearing his ‘I love Seasiders’ shirt.
Olander continued, “He screams when the other team shoots free throws and likes to stomp his feet and wave his arms the rest of the time. It is nice having at least one other dedicated fan out there; the student section has been weak sauce this year!
When there’s an air ball or someone get swatted, you can count on Harold to yell ‘air ball’ or throw you a high-five! It is sad that the Athletic program is phasing out, but at least there are fans out there who are going to go down cheering.”
Mariana Rudyk, a freshman from Ukraine studying hotel and tourism management, said, “I’ve seen him at games before, cheering and yelling so loud! He seems very excited to be able to see our Seasiders in action. It’s cool that sports games can become a be a good place for the community and students to come together.”