Few were better than Jim Leahey in providing narration of a sporting event. His commentary entertained, informed and, sometimes, provoked. His viewers/listeners were enraptured with stories that transcended generations, often told with a wink and sometimes with words originating from a thesaurus’ deepest reach.
For decades, a UH telecast was like watching a game with Uncle Kimo. It seemed he was speaking directly to you, even though he was in a press box or at courtside.
But for all his on-air brilliance, he was at his best in breakfast conversations at Jack’s, chatting with other swimmers between laps at the Y, or reciting his themed poetry at banquets. It was at those settings where the topics flowed from sports to faith to politics. In contrast, a sporting event’s action dictated the commentary.
The wish is that Leahey, who has retired from broadcasting, will continue to use his story-telling ability. Whether it’s on a talk show or as a guest announcer or even at a baby luau, his voice is a gift that still needs to be shared.