Keeping score for the countdown

Written by: 
Patrick Campbell
op clockwise from top left: Part-time Athletics staff are Aurie Sorenson, Kingsley Ah You: Paul Hurst, Faigalilo Aiu, Moana Kalua’u, Marsie Mo’o, and Diedra Ulii. Some employees have worked for years and Aiu for nearly 50 years.
When the Athletic Department concludes its final basketball season in February, BYU-Hawaii will also be parting ways with their employees who run the scorers’ tables, most of whom are residents of Laie and Kahuku.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of the BYUH Athletics program ohana,” said Kingsley Ah  You, the in-game announcer. “My time here has been amazing, and I will cherish the memories and friendships I’ve had the opportunity to create here over the last eight years.”
The other score table workers expressed the same sentiments. Ah You reminisced about the great memories they have had watching the Seasiders Athletic competitions for the last few decades.
Lilo Aiu said he has been working for the Athletics Department since 1968 and has seen many changes. As a new student from Samoa, he ran the scoreboard, which at the time was a flip chart with the numbers on the cards. Aiu still has the scoreboard responsibilities, but instead of flipping paper, he presses buttons.
Although the programs and the technology he uses have changed, Aiu spoke strongly about the mission of the program staying constant all these years in accomplishing the school’s mission. “Many foreign students came here because of basketball and other sports,” said Aiu. “You had many non-members coming and joining the church because of their experience with the Athletics Department. It will be a loss for BYUH.”
With the end of intercollegiate sports, Aiu said he felt there would be something lacking in the school, but he was not sure what could fill the void.
“Athletics are a big part of our community,” said Ah You “They pull us all together.”
Ah  You, like Aiu, said he is not sure what will be able to replace Athletics, but he also expressed concern about the loss of connection between the university and the local community, which he said sports provided.
“I’m not sure what is going to be the main connection between us and the community,” said Ah You. “There are other many great programs the university offers, but they are for a certain sector, such as plays and concerts, which are very culturally important. But Athletics has been such a big part of our connection as a community as a whole to the school.”
Ah  You said one of the thrills of his eight years announcing for BYUH has been to watch athletes from Kahuku get the opportunity to play at BYUH and to see them excel academically as well as athletically.
Marsie Mo’o, who has kept the stats at the games for 20 years, said she feels there might be more opportunities for the local high school teams to play in the gymnasium.
“Many of the most exciting games have been when the local schools have been playing. A lot of times we’ve seen this place get full,” said Mo’o. “The fans are so fun and are so excited. You can feel the warmth of the fans cheering on their family and community members.”
While it remains to be seen how sports will impact the school in the future, Mo’o is grateful for the rich history and the opportunity she had to see so many “skilled athletes and excellent teams play on the Cannon Activities Center’s court.”
As a retiree, the change Mo’o is worried about most is having too much spare time. “Working here gives me an opportunity to stay alive, and see what’s happening,” joked Mo’o. “It’s my way of keeping up with everything current.”
Date Published: 
Friday, January 13, 2017
Last Edited: 
Friday, January 13, 2017