Veteran sportswriter Howard Tsumura surprised his vast and loyal readership today when he announced he was ending his tenure at the Province as the newspaper's high school and university sports reporter.
To all my loyal readers, Jan. 31 marks my final day at The Province. It's an end to 33 years in print. But I have new home! So stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/4TOrf6gU4N— Howard Tsumura (@htsumura) January 27, 2017
Tsumura, widely known on sidelines and press boxes throughout the province as Howie, got his start with community press in the Lower Mainland and can still recall the final score and prominent story lines of the first senior boys B.C. basketball championship he covered. That was when AA was the top of the two tiers that have since expanded to four. The final was in Hazelton, but better double check with him.
This week he wrote about Deb Huband, the head coach of the women's basketball team at UBC. Fittingly, he wrote about excellence and longevity.
Today she had this to say about him: "He’s a one-of-a-kind, unique individual who single-handedly through his own passion has promoted and supported amateur sport, high school sport, men’s and women’s university sport with exceptional commitment, dedication, and has raised the profile for hundreds of young athletes in the province."
It's all true. Also, read this. Read it all the way to the end.
A prolific producer of fantastic leads and stories with incredible warmth for young men and women who often play for little fanfare in a media landscape saturated with hockey coverage, Tsumura wrote thousands of stories on break-out stars and phenomenal performances, humanitarian jocks with big visons, tear-jerkers on those promising prospects who died too soon, and the coaches who drove them all, plus all the results of the games they played. He covered the NBA beat when the Vancouver Grizzlies played in town and expanded his print repertoire to include podcasting. Plus, his basketball rankings were simply unmissable. He did play-by-play, too, often writing game reports after having called all four quarters.
He promised he won't be gone for long --- "So stay tuned!"
Reaction online was swift and his name was trending locally.
Sad to hear about @htsumura leaving The Province. I remember reading his stories and being inspired as a youth. A true icon.— Pasha Bains (@DRIVEBasketball) January 27, 2017
@htsumura Thank-you. Your hard work and many hours spent on high school athletics has been greatly appreciated. Good luck going forward.— Ryan (@coachryan82) January 27, 2017
As a Vancouver kid, we would read Howard's high school rankings obsessively. His stories, too. https://t.co/YRQxEuzfgH— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) January 27, 2017
My school was included in the top 25 for about a week in 1991-92, not because of me. We were utterly thrilled. https://t.co/YRQxEuzfgH— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) January 27, 2017
@htsumura YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO US!!!!— I don't date refs. (@l_hommedemars) January 27, 2017