Westside Hoops a community force for youth basketball
LAHAINA – It is no secret that Westside Hoops, the nonprofit youth basketball organization here in Lahaina, is building a jet way to success for the Lahainaluna High School program. But beyond the bright lights of the polished Lahaina Civic Center floor and Maui Interscholastic League championship banners, the immeasurable benefits of this pathway to a college education through basketball brings center court attention.
Led by Dan Williams, Genevieve Ruvald and Luna coach Jason Justus, Westside Hoops has grown over the last three years into a community force for youth basketball. Built on a mantra of character, community and family, the organization has organized boys basketball into a bona fide contributor to the success on and off the court.
They have locked arms with a similar organization in Reno, Nevada, and recently returned from their annual seven-week hoops camp there. The camp included three-a-day practices and tournaments on the weekends throughout California and Nevada. The 14 youths – ages 14-18 – from Lahaina were hosted by families of the Reno club.
Moreover, Westside Hoops has been able to provide college scholarships – to the tune of $50,000 – over the years, and several Lahainaluna student athletes have been able to attend college with the help of this organization.
Among the recent recipients are Luke Williams (Penn State Fayette), Marvin Sidon (Penn State Fayette), Ryan Madera (DeAnza College), Kalalani Kaaikala (University of Hawaii at Hilo), Jeremi Santos (Cypress College), Tavake Faleta (Cypress College), Carver Locke (Barstow College) and Gage Johnson (Chemeketa College).
These days, Lahaina Civic Center is a beehive of activity, as Westside Hoops reaches out to the younger age groups to polish skills and character for the future. And Williams, Ruvald and Coach Justus all carry a demeanor that exudes confidence and determination to do what is right. Imua!