Sports to Ponder

up, he can play basketball tooYears ago, in some almost-forgotten

conversation with Carolyn Lum-Tucker, the subject of her son Brad came

up.

Brad was a young boy then, but he was already a noted youth tennis

player, having regularly beaten tournament opponents in ranks as high as Men’s

B and C.

Tennis was what we spoke about mostly, but Carolyn made sure to

mention another sport.

“He plays basketball too,” she said.

Somehow, it

was hard to imagine a highly skilled tennis player playing basketball well too,

so the response was: “but tennis is his sport, though, isn’t it?”

Carolyn’s

answer doesn’t matter now. What matters is that she was — back then —

hinting around at what the rest of the island would learn much later — that

he’s a damned good basketball player too.

Lum-Tucker, a three-year starter

for the Kaua’i Red Raiders basketball team, averaged 20 points a game and

played the role of quiet, focused leader.

He plays the same unassuming

leadership role on the tennis team, and he hasn’t lost a match in his four

years on the team.

Lum-Tucker is ranked among the top few tennis players

statewide in his age group.

His name has been all over these sports pages,

and he surely doesn’t “need” this extra ink.

But he does deserve it. In a

world full of complaining, trouble-making athletes, he is a nice and stark

contrast.

As one Garden Isle sports fanatic said just the other day —

“Lum-Tucker, now that boy has heart, a good heart!”

Just before Brad’s

sophomore season was about to start, former sports reporter John Crouse, a

family friend of the Lum-Tuckers, mentioned Brad’s ability as a basketball

player.

And his comments prompted this thought: “Was Carolyn trying to

tell us something way back then?”

But there was still some skepticism —

skepticism that goes hand-in-hand with this job.

Sure enough, Lum-Tucker

started that whole sophomore season, and he proved himself as a defensive

cog.

He blossomed into a key starter as a junior, and he took the league by

storm as a senior.

Well, alright, we can see it clearly now, Carolyn knew

it all along.

Crouse thinks Lum-Tucker could be a touring tennis pro if he

chose that profession, and if there’s anyone in the Kaua’i tennis community

that doesn’t think he could be a successful college player, please contact us

and give us your reason.

Footwork is one part of Lum-Tucker’s talent on

both the tennis and basketball courts, but he also uses his footwork in other

areas such as cross country and track and field.

As a junior on the cross

country team, Lum-Tucker continued to improve as the season went along, and he

was the first finisher from Kaua’i at the state meet held at Kaua’i Community

College.

One memory of Lum-Tucker’s high school career is from near the end

of the basketball title-winning game against Kapa’a.

He was focused and

sweating — as usual — at the foul line, and he eyed the basket before

confidently making 2-for-2. Soon after, he left the game to a large ovation.

What most folks didn’t know was those points put him exactly at

20-points-per-game.

And then, the story goes, he showed his self-less side

and clapped heartily for Jason Sahara — a teammate putting his first two

points of the season on the board. That’s a real leader.

Yup, he can play

basketball too.

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