It is not often that a person is recognised for the rise of a sport but such has been his immense contribution for over half a century that Datuk Yeoh Choo Hock is rightly known as Mr Basketball.
At the grand age of 80, Yeoh is still secretary-general emeritus of FIBA-Asia. He was Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA) secretary-general for 18 years and vice-president for three years.
To celebrate his 80th birthday last Dec 20, Yeoh approached Professional Storytellers to help conceptualise a coffee table book which would serve as a memoir.
The content creation agency worked closely with Yeoh to come up with the concept, design and story flow, the outcome of which is the book entitled: ‘Dato’ Yeoh Choo Hock: My Life, My Journey’ which was launched at ParkRoyal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The book is split into several parts, starting with Yeoh’s early life, his love for basketball, the celebrities he met, the lives he touched, his family as well as his devotion to Sai Baba.
The launch gimmick saw Yeoh’s family – his Dream Team consisting his wife Datin Hong Eu Thee, daughters Ee Leen and Ee Von and son-in-laws Foong Mun Sin and Tiong Chiong Tshing – passing the book to one another while sharing their feelings about the star of their family before the book was handed over to Yeoh.
“I wanted it to be a celebration not just of my love for basketball, but also my family and the other important parts of my life,” said Yeoh.
“My life in basketball has been an interesting journey and I hope that this coffee table book will inspire others to be part of the sport.”
“I always say this and I will say it again, love all, serve all.”
Yeoh’s eldest daughter, Ee Leen described Yeoh as a selfless man.
“All his life he always put others first before himself. He had little needs and never troubled others. Not all heroes wear a cape. My father is my hero,” said Ee Leen.
Ee Von also paid tribute to her father.
“Pa, thank you for giving us your best since we were young. From you I learned to dream and work hard to achieve my dream. Know that the best you and mom have given me is the ability to love all and serve all at all times,” she said.
The book is also filled with several anecdotes by famous sports personalities, athletes and administrators and one such tale by former National Sports Council director-general Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad relates how Yeoh “saved his life”.
Tributes also flowed in from legendary sprinter and leading medical expert Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan, former Selangor police chief Tan Sri P. Alagendra who was deputy president of the then Malaysian Hockey Federation, former national water polo player and long-time Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi and founder of SportsUnite Sports Club Datuk Dina Rizal who all attended the launch.
Dina also urged MABA to organise a tournament in Yeoh’s honour so that his memory can live on.
My Life, My Journey was warmly received by the close to 100 guests and family members, who all received a copy of the limited edition book.