Freeman Cebu Sports

Short, short men

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde - The Freeman

Samboy Lim earned the moniker Skywalker because he jumped so high, suspended in the sky and punctuated his eternal flight with one-handed dunks. Jaw-dropping. For those who believe in life after death, he now sky walked to heaven. When it is faith that guarantees, no one should disagree. But for those who believe heaven is here on earth, he already had a piece of cake.

While he is better known for his exploits and heroics in the professional league, he also played for flag and country. He was part of the national team that won gold in the 1985 Fiba Asia Championship and two more golds in the regional games.

He was a grand slam champion, five-time all star and one of the 25 greatest players in the country’s premiere basketball league, where he also won nine titles with San Miguel, making him a beer man but did not drink what he virtually endorsed. He did not smoke even. He maintained a lifestyle so immaculately clean many were floored he slipped into coma for a treasonous disease associated with vices.

But it was also one hell of a ride in his journey to heaven on earth. He defied gravity but landed on injuries that cost him several chances to be minted most valuable for failing to complete a season. He spent the last nine years of his life under medical care. And a law was passed in his name requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation lessons in high school. For when he passed out in 2014, his brain lost oxygen for about half and hour, an eternity during emergency. He could not have suffered the way he did had he been resuscitated on time. Almost always, legislation is preceded by a lesson, only to be forgotten during enforcement.

The inaugural sportsmanship award recipient sky walked around the time the king of pop moonwalked on earth, alongside a silly joke he kissed and hugged the queen of pop, owing to his real nickname that sounds like her not so great line in one of her greatest hits. Trademark Filipino humor. But no one decides what tickles for another. Forget about smart jokes. People don’t like to think. Even the future of the country is shaped by entertainment.

He may be ahead of his time, he sky walked before the country built these multi-million skywalks that are unused, misused or abused. In one place, traffic enforcers stop motorists to give way to pedestrians crossing. Right under the skywalk. They hurry to enter the church with a cross across. By violating human law to obey divine law.

That’s how we short people with the shortest memory cut short, at the risk of cutting short our short limbs shorter. Or worse, endanger endangered lives, forgetting the oblivious is close to oblivion. Even the circumspect basketball great was not spared, in yet another proof life, or death, is not always what we make it. We own neither. Who does is another question altogether.

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