West Maui Youth Basketball League to conclude season with all-star games
LAHAINA – It is the marquee youth sports event of the winter for the West Side. For the 33rd consecutive year, the West Maui Youth Basketball League will celebrate its season with the All-Star Games and Awards extravaganza at Lahaina Civic Center this Saturday, March 12.
The event showcases the program’s top players and honors all participants. Sportsmanship awards are presented to players in all four divisions, and coach of the year recognition is awarded to mentors in each level as well.
League Commissioner Sean Gordon, who grew up in the program as a player, coach and official, is now completing his third year at the helm.
He had high praise for all involved in the continuing success of the WMYBL.
“We’ve had another great season structured around the NAYS (National Alliance for Youth Sports) guidelines that emphasize sportsmanship for players, coaches, officials and family supporters. This is the result of the dedication of our staff, the coaches, the officials, the families and friends, and all of our sponsors,” he said.
Gordon, who succeeded WMYBL founder Dandy Don Rosenthal (who guided the program for 30 years and set the successful pathway to realize the hoop dreams enjoyed by the community today), had particular praise for West Maui Parks and Recreation District Supervisor Danae Marin, Recreation Leader Alvin Kametani, Aid Yolanda Dukes, and league officials Kupono Hong, Steve “Specs” Ashfield, Al Dasugo, Nani Kenolio, Michelle Gordon, Steven McCabe, Casey Smythe and Anela Gordon.
“Thank you also to Jason Donez and Leilani’s on the Beach restaurant for their sponsorship of the league and as the title supporter of the All-Star Games and Awards day,” said Commish Gordon. “This has been an outstanding season for the 400 or so kids involved in the league and for their parents and families as well.”
The four divisions of the WMYBL included the Termites for preschool age kids, the Tiny Mites for first- and second-graders, the Pee Wees for third- through fifth-graders, and the Midgets for sixth- through eighth-graders.
The Termite level had four teams and held scrimmages only, while the Tiny Mite Division played games but did not keep score.
The 12 teams in the Pee Wee level played full-court games, and the Lakers, coached by Edgar Brands, went undefeated to take first place, followed by the Hawks (led by Ferdinand Palma) in second. The Midget Division had seven teams paced by the unbeaten Magic, coached by Una Taukeiaho, followed closely by the Timberwolves guided by Judson McCall.
The Tiny Mite all-star teams will tip-off the day at 9 a.m. The East Team, coached by Chris Salem (who coached two teams during the regular season), is made up of Hoku Arnold, Zolten Poulsen, Jaxson Navarro and Flynn Williams from the Blazers; Mark Agonoy and Kamaha’o Frias Kaauamo of the Bulls; Tyson Keanini and Ethan Lanes representing the Celtics; and Pedro Ochoa Cardenas and Dylan Riley from the Pistons. Bud Daumen will guide the West Team that includes Jason Trisdale and Ethan Chapital of the Heat; Ghesiah Auwae, Zedekaiah Campbell and Tali Buenconsejo representing the Magic; Cameron Henry, Tiffany Sana and Asher Halik from the Hawks; and Adriel Flores and Trasyn Nava from the Thunder.
The Pee Wee contest will tip off at 10:30 a.m., following the special awards presentations. The East squad, led by Joel Navarro, is made up of Tim Smith and Joa Navarro from the Heat; Cash Palma, Kade Cunningham and Ivan Flores of the Hawks; Mata Faleta and Gabriella Fernandez representing the Knicks; Ian Cabanilla and Patricia Haufekai of the Thunder, Troy Concepcion and Tyrone Concepcion from the Celtics; and John Balisco representing the Blazers. Wyatt Loft will coach the West Team that includes Jeremy Kahahane Lived and Shyla Rodrigues of the Magic; O’Kaedin Hanohano, Lola Donez, and Noa Gordon from the Lakers; Margie Sana and Noa Arnold representing the Warriors; Emerson Flores and Dylan Sagon from the Rockets; Travis Koyama and Kana’au Castro of the Bulls; and Ian Chapital from the Timberwolves.
In the feature contest of the day at high noon that spotlights the middle school age group, the East Team will be led by 30-year veteran WMYBL coach Ray Lasco with a roster made up of Kai Johnston Branum, Caleb Cajudoy, Tobey Mizuno and Maika Barroga representing the Hawks; Cash McCall, Markus Bettencourt, Kaleb Barromeo and David Kiai Advincula from the Timberwolves; and Zaedan Luis and Levi Basurto of the Pistons. The West squad will be guided by Leipua Puloka and includes Malu Ho and Wayne Fernan from the Celtics; Calvin Supnet, Christian Palado and Kai Payne representing the Magic; Landen McLaughlin, Jake Bell and Chris Theobold of the Lakers; and Matthew Rabino and Ikaika Galarita from the Nets.
Congratulations to Sean Gordon and all who take part in this model youth program. Way to go, WMYBL!