Tribute to the Late Andrew B Urey on behalf of former Players and LBF Officials in the United States of America (USA)
Death has struck to the core of Alumni of the Liberian Basketball Federation. A Liberian Hall of Fame Basketball player, Coach and Administrator, Andrew B. Urey, is dead. Andrew B. Urey commonly known as Big U or Mr. U was a former player of the Invincible Elevens’ basketball team and the National Basketball Team of Liberia.
Mr. U or Big U had a flair for basketball. He demonstrated a natural aptitude and unique passion for the game of basketball. He served in numerous capacities as coach, referee and chairman of the Technical Committee under the administration of Mr. Cletus Wotorson.
Mr. Urey was interested in promoting the growth of basketball in Liberia. He valued collective responsibility and commitment to achieving success in basketball from the grass root. It was no surprise that he did not compromise with some of his colleagues who where not interested in grass root basketball or the welfare of players.
During his prime time as a young man, he played with all his heart and wanted to win at all times. For some of us who played with him knew how Mr. U would put in extra time to develop his skills at the game of basketball. On his retirement as a player, Mr. U actively kept close to the game as a coach of Invincible Eleven male basketball team, and financier for both male and female teams for many years. His efforts and commitment brought laurels to the team. For instance, they won championships, and above all, promoted the game of basketball to a higher standard in Liberia.
Most of us are beneficiaries of Mr. U or Big U’s benevolence. He sponsored most of us during our playing days. He paid our school fees, took care of our domestic affairs and even give us money to go and have a “good time”. Paramount of all, he always reminded us of the need to get a solid education. He inculcated in us the importance of education. He shared with us the sad stories of basketball players that played the game, but did not take education seriously. Big U will say “You do not want to be like those guys that play and after playing have nothing to look forward to.” To demonstrate his value for education, Mr. U will give more money to any student who had good grades in school, and would encourage and motivate you to do more. Mr. U’s support to players was beyond boundaries. He did not discriminate which team you affiliated with. For him, ones you are a basketball player, you are entitled to enjoy the generosity of Mr. Urey and his friendship, no matter where you came from or your status in society.
Oh Death!! Death!!What have you done to us when we have not given back to society or the game of basketball in Liberia to demonstrate our appreciation of all Mr. U did for us, especially those living in the Americas. Death has taken away a philanthropic, financier, coach and lover of the game of basketball in Liberia. We will miss you Mr. U, We will miss you, your sacrifice for the game of basketball, and your unflinching effort to building young men and women into good citizens will always be remembered. We will miss those glowing good smiles and fine jokes whenever you were around.
While we are on earth in this journey called life let us not forget that we are all just passing through, everything here is temporary. Revelation 14:13 says “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labour and their works do follow them”.
Rest in peace Mr. U, Big U! We pray that blessings abound to us all and permeate to the game of basketball in Liberia to resonate the way you wanted it to be. Thank you for all you did for us that make us good citizens and helping us to get the education we could not have gotten without men like you.
May your soul, and the souls of all the faithful basketball players, and sponsors rest in perfect peace.