Samboy Lim, one of the greatest players in Philippine basketball history, has died at the age of 61, his family confirmed on Saturday.
Lim, who earned the nickname “Skywalker” for his high-flying and acrobatic moves, passed away peacefully at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City, where he had been confined since suffering a cardiac arrest in 2014.
His family announced his death through his official Facebook page, where they paid tribute to his legacy as a man of faith, courage, humility and grace.
“A man of Faith, exceptional courage, humility and grace. He embodied the very best of humanity,” they wrote. “He was a loving son, brother, husband, father and friend. He was a loyal teammate, a fierce competitor, a role model and a hero to many.”
“He touched countless lives with his kindness, generosity and compassion. He inspired us all with his passion, dedication and perseverance. He taught us to live with honor, dignity and integrity. He gave us joy, hope and love. He was our Skywalker and he will always be in our hearts.”
Lim’s death was met with an outpouring of grief and condolences from the basketball community, where he was revered as one of the most electrifying and influential players of his generation.
He played for the Letran Knights in the NCAA, where he won two championships and was named MVP in 1981. He then joined the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA, where he won eight titles and was a five-time Mythical First Team member. He also represented the national team in several international tournaments, including the 1986 Asian Games, where he helped the Philippines win the silver medal.
Lim was also known for his sportsmanship and humility, as he never engaged in trash talk or taunting, and always respected his opponents and coaches. He was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in 2009, and was also honored by the NCAA and the Philippine Sportswriters Association.
Lim is survived by his wife Darlene and his daughter Jamie. His family requested for privacy and prayers as they mourn his passing.