HKUPA announces with great sadness the loss of a core member and contributor, Jake Ulick. Jake was a key member of the Junk Team for several years and was part of the legendary team which won the Manila Tournament in 2003. Jake was in charge of organizing weekend beach ultimate pickup for several seasons over the summer. Jake will always be remembered as an amazing ambidextrous player who always exemplified good spirit. He always had positive energy on and off the field.
Robert Halili used to write The Halili Report after every tournament with mentions on each players. Halili has written one final Halili Report for Jake:
To describe Jake’s playing style is like watching an Olympic figure skater gliding through the ice. Jake had the lightest feet, no heavy thuds on the ground, no blades of grass flying. Glide is all I saw him do on the field. It was like he was tiptoeing while playing at full speed.
He also had the smoothest backhand, often thrown around his neckline and spins so softly it lands nicely on the receiver’s hands. His throws, whether long or short, were all the same speed which made it very easy to judge. His pulls were a beauty to watch, always the same trajectory, nothing wild like Jonathan Linstow’s throws that often land in the bushes, the disc bent and damaged never to be used again. Jake had that easy going playing manner that I always admired, never huffing, never puffing, just gliding and tiptoeing, never breaking a sweat like George the Iceman Gervin.
Jake was also very quiet, always smiled and just played with the team. I had to be reminded that he was on the HKUPA team than won the Manila Spirits tournament in 2003. That was how unassuming he was. That team was not loaded with talent, just a few star players like Joel Melanson and Steven Lee and the rest were role players like Jake. But it was the role players that made that team IMO one of the best that HKUPA has ever fielded in an international tournament. Jake just did his thing, like the rest of the role players, to perfection which propelled that team to win against a very strong Singapore team. We won that tournament and it was players like Jake that made it happen.
There will never be another Jake in HK Ultimate and sadly, this will be my last Halili Report about him. The guy with the Robin Williams smile, Mork from Ork has taken off.
There will be a memorial for Jake at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club this Thursday, 25th of January 2018 at 4:30pm.
In his memory, HKUPA will be naming the Hong Kong Beach Hat Spirit Award after Jake. We will also host a pickup session in his honour on the 3rd of February 2018 for those to gather, reminisce and share stories about Jake.