Beil, Everett return ‘home’ to emcee Warriors’ annual Tip-Off Banquet

Former ESPN SportsCenter anchors Larry Beil (far left) and Neil Everett (far right) get a laugh from freshman guard Logan Robeson (holding mic) as fellow freshmen Tom Beattie and Akira Jacobs look on. (Brandon Flores photo)


That familiar, simple yet comforting greeting — originated here in the islands and spread throughout the country thanks to former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Neil Everett — welcomed around 400 eager University of Hawai’i men’s basketball supporters on Oct. 19 at the Warriors’ annual Tip-Off Banquet.

And it was delivered by none other than Everett himself, who served as emcee along with Larry Beil, a UH alumnus and also a former SportsCenter anchor.

Everett now lives in the Los Angeles area and Beil is a sportscaster at ABC7 in San Francisco. Both had worked at KGMB before moving to the Mainland, but their hearts really never left the islands, and that was apparent throughout the banquet in SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center.

“Larry said, ‘Would you be interested (in co-hosting),’ and I said, Yeah, I’m always interested to do anything with Hawai’i and for Hawai’i,” Everett said immediately after the banquet. “I didn’t know if it would happen, but I’m glad it did because what I really will leave here with is, I’m really impressed by the caliber of kids that Coach (Eran) Ganot and his staff have recruited. The bigger piece of the puzzle is what kind of human beings they are, and I think they’re going to represent Hawai’i well on that facet. And from what I’ve been told, they’re pretty good on the court, too.

“So I’m excited to have had this moment with them, because now I feel more connected to this program, and it’s a team that I’m going to follow closer than I have in the past.”

The banquet featured a buffet dinner, drinks, silent and live auctions and a formal program that included players and members of the coaching staff participating in a fun Q & A.

Proceeds from the Tip-Off banquet will be directed toward student-athlete tuition, health and nutrition, and the program’s recruiting efforts.

“Obviously, Hawai’i is in our hearts, and so I felt honored even just to be asked,” Beil said. “I graduated from this school, I love this place, I love the people … so I’m always going to do whatever I can to try to help.”

Ganot said having well-known sports figures like Everett and Beil emcee the banquet helped add a bit of national level prestige to a first-class event. And having them share their strong island roots helps to build pride in the program.

“What Larry and Neil are saying (about Hawai’i) resonates with me, because I feel the same way,” said Ganot, who is now in his ninth year at the Warriors helm. “We have guys who have been here, they feel it. So they’re going to be the type of guys who will come back and feel like Hawai’i is a second home to them, too. And that’s a cool thing.

“For both of those guys (Everett and Beil), it’s more than talk. They bleed Hawai’i, it’s in their hearts, and it’ll be in their hearts forever.”

Everett said for him, it’s only natural that his love of the islands translates into a love for UH.

“Hawai’i is so big to me, and this is such a big fabric of the 808, is this University and its sports programs, and its academic programs is what builds the future leaders of Hawai’i,” Everett said. “UH is the straw that stirs the drink. This has always been UH’s town, always will be, and I’m proud to be a part of it, in any way, shape or form.”

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