All-star games to conclude West Maui Youth Basketball League season
LAHAINA – It is the future showcase event for West Side hoop dreams. The 31st West Maui Youth Basketball League All-Star Games and Award Ceremony at Lahaina Civic Center will climax the 2014-15 season this Saturday, but the verve and excitement of the extravaganza serves as assurance that the championship tradition at the higher levels will indeed continue.
With the Lahainaluna High School boys and girls charging to undefeated Maui Interscholastic League championships and deep runs into the state playoffs, the community model WMYBL put its guarantee stamp on the future of the dominant programs.
According to third-year WMYBL Commissioner Sean Gordon, the model program experienced success across the board with burgeoning numbers, exciting games, sportsmanship, and smiling, happy faces throughout the season.
“Our thanks goes out to the County of Maui Parks and Recreation Department, the West Maui staff and all of the volunteer coaches and officials for their support of the league. A special mahalo to the decades of help from Jeff Anderson, Alvin Kametani, Yolanda Dukes, Kapono Hong, Ray Lasco, Steve Ashfield, Al Dasugo, Casey Smythe, Anela Gordon, Michelle Gordon, Don Rosenthal and Nani Kenolio,” said Commissioner Sean.
“We’re looking forward to a fun and exciting all-star day to top off a great year. And, for the fourth straight year, Leilani’s and General Manager Jason Donez have maintained their leadership in community support by sponsoring the all-star day.”
The league started a new division last year called the Termites for the under five age group. “Commish” Sean reported that the league instituted a ban on slam-dunks for the kindergarteners to protect the rims at the Civic Center. Nonetheless, some of the top plays of the year came from this group, but they are too worn out from the regular season to have an all-star game.
The Tiny Mite Division for five- to seven-year-olds will have an official all-star game, but the age group does not display a score for its contests.
The East Team, coached by Chris Salem of the Blazers, includes James Williams and Christopher Salem representing the Blazers; the Celtics’ Zion Wolf, Kefu Mendoza and La’akea Ko; Kupono Tihada, Juseana Delatori and Ghesiah Auwae of the Magic; and Kawika Kaili and Myles Ferguson from the Heat.
The Thunder’s Bryant Starbuck will coach the West squad, and the team is made up of Quentin Starbuck, Sylas Jenkins, Landon Long and Sosaia Ma representing the Thunder; Casey Talana and Gustavo Garcia from the Pistons; the Hawks’ Jackson Hussey and Jordan Newsome; and Chevus Nahooikaika and Pono Kuluhiwa Kim of the Bulls.
In the Pee Wee Division (ages 8-10), Ferdinand Palma will coach the East squad with a lineup of Cash Palma, Anthony Felice, Bennett Bluh and Kiera Kaniho from the Hawks; Levi Basurto, Denver Duque and Vincent Iwamura representing the Heat; Xavier McKay and Margie Sana from the Pistons; the Blazers’ Zyrome I’i-Kahahane; the Bulls’ Kana’au Castro; and Asa Howard from the Timberwolves.
The Lakers’ Edgar Brand will coach the West Team, with a roster that includes Kasen Gordon and Kaedin Hanohano of the Lakers; Gave Telo, Dylan Falk, Jimmy Falk and Ian Cabanilla representing the Thunder; Pono Dukes from the Magic; the Knicks’ Kalolaine Pasikala; Cameron Watson and Kealaoula Medeiros of the Celtics; and Emerson Flores and Joshua Dagulo representing the Rockets.
In the featured Midget Division match-up of middle school age players that tips off at high noon (following the Tiny Mite and Pee Wee contests that start at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively), the Timberwolves’ Judson McCall will coach the East Team that includes Cash McCall, Markus Bettencourt and Michael Crisafulli from the Timberwolves; Malino Jacinto, Leroy Taukeiaho, Joshua Tihada and Calvin Supnet representing the Magic; and Joshua Calaoagan, Landen McLaughlin and Jake Bell of the Lakers.
Jeff Locke will coach the West roster of Gunnar Locke, Alexia Plaza, Hunter Higdon and Matthew Rabino from the Nets; Kamaka Ko and John Dangtayan representing the Celtics; Ka’ike Dizon and Micah Barroga of the Hawks; and Zarian Luis and Zaeden Luis from the Pistons.
Special recognition will be given to the “Sportsman of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” for each division at half-time of the respective games, and each and every player will receive a participation trophy.
These awards and the jerseys for the players are supported by a long list of community sponsors, including Jim Falk Motors, Aloha Mixed Plate, Old Lahaina Luau, Hula Grill, Leilani’s on the Beach, Beyond Beauty Salon, Lahaina Fire Station, Kaanapali Ali’i, Lahaina Plumbing, Kimo’s Restaurant, State Farm Insurance, Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Ed’s Union 76, UFO Parasail, SHOPO, Thad Henry Design Group, Maui Photo World, Westside Hoops, MauiGrown Coffee, King’s Painting, Key to Life Chiropractic, Kahana Family Dental Center, Kumulani Chapel, Title Guaranty, Honolua Surf Co., Scott Bros. Pacific, Nagasako Okazu-Ya Deli, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Ink, No Ka ‘Oi Deli, Cool Cat Caf, Captain Jack’s Island Grill, Breana’s Polynesian Wear & Gifts, A Hui Hou Storage, Maui Brands Massage, The Snorkel Store, Billiards Services Maui, Jolie Boutique, Valencia Construction, Stroller Strides, Kaanapali Beach Ministry, Action Photos of Hawaii, and Lahaina Town Surf Co.
Congratulations to all, and a huge mahalo to Sean Gordon and the entire staff, volunteers and sponsors for their contributions to the betterment of the youth of the West Side. Way to go, everyone!