West Maui Youth Basketball All-Star Classic tips off on Saturday
LAHAINA – One of the West Side’s top youth sports events of the year tips off this Saturday, March 17, at the Lahaina Civic Center, as the West Maui Youth Basketball League hosts its annual All-Star Games and Awards Ceremony sponsored by Leilani’s on the Beach.
Played on the sparkling floor of the LCC – home of the top preseason collegiate basketball tournament, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational – this day will belong to the hundreds of youngsters ages four to 14 as they fulfill the hoop dreams of their own in front of their families and friends.
The action begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Tiny Mite Division contest that will feature the top players from the first and second grade bracket, followed by the Pee Wee game for third- to fifth-graders at 11 a.m., and concludes with the Midget Division faceoff at 12:30 p.m. At halftime of each game, the Sportsmanship and Coach of the Year awards will be presented for each division.
For the Tiny Mites, the East roster coached by Ann Kenolio Kaina will include Zyan Berry, Kobe Cunanan, and Stylez Sa from the Blazers; Kamakana Casco and Nalani Pata of the Bulls; Weston Chapin, Kaiokukahi Maximino, Wayden Sibayan and Jacqui Beresford representing the Pistons; and Elizabeth Ganer, Amaziah Larrobis and Kaikealoha Kenolio Kaina from the Magic.
The West team will be coached by Andy Alavazo and includes Paulo Galoia, Harper Royer and Laendoin Estabillo from the Celtics; Trevor Watson, Mac Rinell Garde and Lokelani Requelman of the Heat; Brycen Acio, Kanoa Moreno and Junior Kafoa representing the Hawks; and Joseph James Rosenthal, Kaina Yamada and Nolan Agmata from the Thunder.
The Pee Wee category East team will be led by Warriors coach Chris Salem and will be made up of Kai Shively, Hoku Arnold and Christopher “Shodan” Salem representing the league champion Warriors; Jackson Hussey and Cameron Henry from the Rockets; Kailikea McCabe and Bryson Torrier of the Hawks; Thailyn Toombs from the Knicks; Kupono Tihada and Trasyon Nava representing the Magic; and Selah Justice of the Blazers.
The West all-stars are led by Celtics coach Karyn Murphy, and the player roster consists of the Celtics’ Kefu Mendoza, Solomona Kuresa and Zion Wolf; Sylas Jenkins, Juseana Delatori and Kamaha’o Frias Kaauamo representing the Lakers; Quentin Starbuck, Tiffany Sana and Sosaia Ma from the Heat; Shallowe Estabillo of the Timberwolves; and Ghesiah Faleafine Auwae and Kaimiloa Kaina from the Thunder.
The Midget Division champion Thunder will be represented on the East team by coach Lee Aaron Yap and players Anthony Felice, Ian Chapital, Larry Abut and Kaulana Tihada; the Pistons’ Bennett Bluh, Tyrone Concepsion and Troy Concepcion; and Kaedin Hanohano, Travis Koyama and Noa Arnold from the Mavericks.
Magic coach Marcus Badua will lead the West team in this feature contest of the day showcasing the top middle school athletes here on the West Side. The player roster includes Asa Howard and Jayson Yap from the Magic; Pono Dukes, Kasen Gordon and Shyla Rodrigues of the Celtics; Shayden Agapay and John Simon representing the Hawks; and Zyrome Ii Kahahane, Euri Tariga and Andre Ambida of the Timberwolves.
League Commissioner Sean Gordon praised the many volunteers who dedicate their free time to coaching and caring for the 300 kids who participate annually in the program.
“It is really amazing to see the coaches come back year after year to give their time for the kids of the community – some of them have been here for 30 years or more. And, of course, our trusty volunteer staff that officiate and keep score for the games all week long, and our league sponsors – especially Leilani’s – that always come through with team jerseys and the awards at the end of the year. The NAYS (National Alliance for Youth Sports) has had a real positive influence on the program, and the smiling faces on everybody at the all-star day tells it all. It’s simply a great experience for everyone – especially the kids,” Gordon concluded.