Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Ikeda to be inducted into Big Island Sports Hall of Fame

Charles Ikeda

Often there is a distinction between being a boss and being a leader. 

Henry Kissinger said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.”

Using Kissinger’s definition can well describe Big Island resident Charles Ikeda who for most of his 61 years has been a leader in our community.

Ikeda was born in Tokyo, Japan and his family moved to Pahoa in 1956 when he was 6 years old.

“I got interested in basketball as I was growing up in Pahoa,” Ikeda said.  “We used to play all day long behind Miura Store until we were called home to dinner.”

The little makeshift dirt court behind Miura’s had a backboard and a rim attached to an electric pole and it was there that Ikeda played and practiced with other youngsters from the neighborhood.

The time spent on that dirt court paid big dividends for Ikeda as he spent two years on the Daggers junior varsity basketball team and another two years playing for the varsity hoops squad.

By his senior year Ikeda became co-captain of the basketball team with Lawrence Sanoria.

In high school Ikeda was showing his leadership skills on and off the court as he served as the Daggers senior class president.

Ikeda attended the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus where he received a certificate in physical education.

After a brief stint as a classroom teacher Ikeda found his calling with the County’s Parks and Recreation Department.

“I worked with P & R for 32 years and started out coaching in Pepeekeo,” Ikeda said.  “I also worked in Paauilo and you gotta love basketball to work in Paauilo.”

His work out in Paauilo was a dream job come true as Ikeda spent every day doing what he loved to do.

“Paauilo was basketball heaven,” he said.  “Everyone would want to call me out to play them one on one and I’d be more than willing to accommodate them.”

Ikeda tutored some of the youngsters that are now considered great coaches themselves on the Big Island.

People like Mason Souza, David Kaneshiro, Daphne and Clayton Honma and others came under his leadership skills.

In 1983 Ikeda moved back into Hilo and was asked to coach the Girls basketball program at E.B. De Silva Elementary School and became an age group coach.

“I continued my coaching at De Silva with Jimmy Shimose,” Ikeda said.  “It was then that we started coaching in the Piopio Bears organization where I continue to volunteer today.”

Ikeda expanded his basketball leadership skills to other sports as he helped programs such as volleyball and baseball.

Married to the former Joyce Higashi, Ikeda and his wife helps with a program called “Under His Wings” which provides breakfast for the homeless and will also prepare fried rice at the New Hope Church on Sundays.

Ikeda also takes care of his body by walking an hour and a half two or three times per week.

“I also love to play golf with my friends, but I don’t think I would consider it exercise,” he said with a wide grin.  “I try to golf three or four times per week.”

Since his retirement last year, from the County’s P&R Department, Ikeda has continued with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in his ongoing effort to help the Hawaii Island community.

For his tireless work with youngsters, feeding the homeless, helping his church and joining the RSVP program Mr. Charles Ikeda has been selected as one of the seven people chosen to be inducted to the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

The BISHF will have a ceremony at the Wall of Fame at the Prince Kuhio Mall on August 21 at 10:30 am.

All seven inductees will be honored with their photos being unveiled at the Mall.

Following the Wall dedication the ceremony will move to a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon were a formal ceremony will take place.

For those interested in attending the luncheon the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  Seating is limited.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519.

“The greatest satisfaction in working with young people is when they remember where they came from and return the favor by coming back to the organization to help in any way they can,” Ikeda said.  “So I thank all those that gave a little because a little can go a long way.”

And some day should you happen to see a grateful runner come passing through the streets of Hawaiian Paradise Park remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.




August 15, 2011 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment