Pre-game introductions at the Honokaa-Radford basketball game on Wednesday were a special treat for Dragons and Rams alike.
At the James Alegre Invitational, Alegre’s alma mater, Honokaa, honored the late coach with a plaque on the 20th anniversary of the boys basketball tourney. Alegre was a star athlete at the school before becoming a teacher and coach at Radford, prompting a legendary career.
The coach’s family was in attendance to accept the honor. Though “Gentleman Jim” had a reputation for aloha and generosity, his wife also recalled a coach with consistent standards.
“He was strict. If you were late for the bus,” Marsha Alegre said, “the bus was gone.”
Honokaa also honored former Honokaa standout athlete Jack Ladra, a multi-sport athlete. Ladra played at Honokaa from 1949 to 1952 and was drafted by the New York Yankees. He later played pro baseball for the Toei Flyers in the Japanese League.
Throwback newspaper findings courtesy of Jerry Campany.