Young soccer star dealing with family tragedy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Young soccer star dealing with family tragedy

Michael Ching Michael Ching
Micah Cabagbag Micah Cabagbag
Kazuto Moribe Kazuto Moribe

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just days after leading his high school team to a state championship, a young soccer star is in mourning. His mother, who suffered a brain hemorrhage while watching Saturday's game, died on Tuesday with her family by her side.

Leo Klink, 17, only had a few minutes to savor Kalani High School's win over Punahou. He scored two goals in regulation and a penalty kick after two overtimes, sealing Kalani High School's first boys soccer championship. The celebration didn't last long. Once the match finished, his coaches told him that his mother, Hiroyo, had been taken away in an ambulance. His parents asked that Klink not be told until after the game.

"He just dropped to his knees and just started crying. It's unbelievable to see a kid that you love go through that," said Kalani High School soccer coach Michael Ching.

Players, coaches, and parents have been at the hospital to offer their support.

"I know Leo's mom would have done anything for anyone no matter who it was, and I know that she has impacted so many people. She has always been bubbly. She has always been, like Leo, so friendly, so happy," said Klink's friend Micah Cabagbag.

Friends said Klink and his mother were incredibly close, and that she relished her soccer mom role.

"She would come to every single game wherever it was, even if we played at Kahuku she would be there. If we played at Kailua she would be there. She would always be there for him," said Kalani High School soccer player Kazuto Moribe.

"He's a mama's boy in all the best ways. The mom does all the work for him. She takes videotapes of all his games," said Ching.

Those close to the high school senior hope he'll be able to play soccer for a college team on the mainland.

"Just to see an event like this happen, I don't want it to affect his life in a way where he doesn't have his dreams and aspirations," said Cabagbag.

Funeral services have not been set. Donations can be made at any Bank of Hawaii branch to the "Leo Klink Fund."

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