Willie "Woo Woo" Wong

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Willie Wong (traditional Chinese: 黃顯護; simplified Chinese: 黄显护; pinyin: Huáng Xiǎnhù; Jyutping: Wong4 Hin2wu6)[1] (1926 - 2005) was an American basketball player who was born and raised in Chinatown, San Francisco. Though Wong was only 5'5" tall, he excelled, and was known as one of the finest Chinese American basketball players in the 1940s. He was nicknamed Willie "Woo Woo" Wong by a local sportswriter because fans would shout "Woo Woo" when he scored.[2]

He starred at Poly and Lowell high schools in San Francisco before being recruited to the University of San Francisco (USF). After playing for USF, Wong continued to compete at various local and national tournaments as part of the San Francisco Saints team. Wong died on September 5, 2005 at the age of 79 in Fremont, California.[3]

Legacy[edit]

To honor Wong's athletic achievements, local Chinatown residents successfully petitioned the City and County of San Francisco to rename the "Chinese Playground", where he played as a child and developed his basketball skills, to "Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground".[4][5][6]

The University of San Francisco posthumously inducted Wong into its Hall of Fame in the spring of 2007.[7] Wong's family accepted the honor on his behalf.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 關文傑 (27 June 2012). "黃顯護球場重開 嘉惠華童". Worldjournal.com (San Francisco). Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Dwight Chapin (13 April 2005). "Profile: Willie "Woo Woo" Wong, USF's little big man". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 29 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Dwight Chapin (8 September 2005). "Obituary, "Willie Wong, 1940s basketball star",". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Becky Bowman (20 January 2006). "Playground renamed for basketball hero". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground". San Francisco Best Sports History. SF Weekly. 2006. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Parks: Willie "Woo Woo" Wong Playground". ParkScan, San Francisco, Neighborhood Parks Council. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "USF To Induct Four Into Athletic Hall of Fame". University of San Francisco Athletics official website. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2011.