Former San Beda head coach Frankie Lim was not alone in feeling devastated after learning of the passing of Sudan Daniel last Saturday.
The entire Lim family was distraught with the passing of the Red Lions great.
“Su was part of the family. Su spent holidays with us. He was the big kuya at home and he grew up with everyone. He was our adopted child. He was a constant figure in not just our celebrations, but also regular lunches and dinners. He calls my wife ‘mom’ and was a big brother to my daughter, Miakka, and my son, Melo, who was his teammate, and Tyler, who he saw grow up,” expressed Lim.
“Sudan’s passing is a tragedy for our family.”
Despite playing under Lim for just two years, the 6-foot-7 American was family not just for the Lims but also the entire San Beda community.
But Coach Frankie almost sent Daniel home before the start of San Beda’s historic NCAA Season 86 run.
“A little known fact about my relationship with Su, I almost sent him home back in 2009. But since then he worked hard day in and day out and proved that he could do this,” he quipped.
“Next thing you know, we swept the whole thing and he had a complete turnaround.”
Back in Season 85, Daniel copped Rookie of the Year honor but was unable to lead San Beda to the championship.
A year later, he would dominate, averaging 10.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game. And he did it playing just 22 minutes per contest as a sixth man.
“Su is a player you want to have in your team. I think SBC is blessed to have a player like Sudan. He works hard in practice and gives everything in the game,” shared Lim.
“I don’t think we can achieve the sweep in 2010 without Su.
“Ask anybody in the team including me, we’ll go through hell and back with Su again and again,” he continued.
But beyond his on-court prowess, Daniel was also an influential presence off the court.
After graduating with a business degree, Daniel still helped out in training the likes of Ola Adeogun, Donald Tankoua, Eugene Toba, and Nunu Noah.
He also became a skills coach for up-and-coming kids.
“Outside of the court, Su was very well-loved by his teammates and the Bedan Community. He was very sociable and got along with just about everyone. He is also a very good example of a student-athlete. He teaches kids basketball and he is also well-loved by them not because he was a great teacher, but he is teaching from experience,” he said.
“He stayed in the Philippines after graduation because he plain and simple loved it here. He wanted to play here, finish his studies, and work here. It was a blessing for many of us who had a chance to get to know him. He was very personable, had a good sense of reality, and he worked hard. He lit up every room he was in.”
And after Daniel helped Lim win his third of four NCAA crowns, Lim and his family vow that they will continue his legacy.
“We are very proud of how Su lived his life. His first job, his daughter, and his love life. We are very proud of the man he came to be; he took care of himself and those around him very well until the end. This is very devastating for us as a family and personally for me, as he was like a son to me. Su always told us, ‘I got your back’ but now it’s our time to have his,” shared Lim.
“Watch over us, SUperman. We are very proud of you. You will never be forgotten.”