West Maui Youth Basketball League announces its all-star rosters
LAHAINA – The 36th edition of the iconic West Maui Youth Basketball All-Star Game and Awards Ceremony has been in an on-again, off-again limbo pattern for over a month now, but with the Covid-19 pandemic crippling the world, the event has been officially cancelled.
Maui County officials began closing down public facilities last week to bolster social distancing in response to the united effort to combat the worldwide disaster that has rapidly spread to all corners of the planet.
In this strategy, group gatherings of more than ten people are banned, and people are encouraged to stay at home to limit human contact.
As the WMYBL All-Star event annually brought hundreds of West Siders to Lahaina Civic Center for the match-ups of the elite players in the program – and to recognize the coaches, sponsors and family supporters involved – the special day was forced to be cancelled.
Nevertheless, league Commissioner Sean Gordon hoped to recognize all of the support groups of the program as well as the coaches and players selected to the all-star teams. First and foremost, Commish Gordon thanked the Maui County Department of Parks and Recreation, National Alliance of Youth Sports (NAYS) and the staff at the LCC for contributions to the program that served some 410 keiki this season.
That recreation staff includes original officials Yolanda Dukes, Al Dasugo, Michelle Gordon, Nani Kenolio and Anela Gordon, as well as Milton Rickard, Jade Chihara, Steven McCabe, Casey Smythe and Ana Lauese.
Sean also praised all of the volunteer coaches – many of whom have stayed with the WMYBL since its inception – and also the Coach of the Year honorees for 2020.
For the Tiny Mite Division for first- and second-graders, the Coaches of the Year were Judson McCall and Cash McCall of the Raptors. For the Pee Wee category for third- to fifth-graders, the honorees were Bud Daumen and Ray Mohrman of the Blazers. And in the Midget class for sixth- through eighth-graders the winner was Gibson Mariano of the Hawks.
The coveted Sportsmanship Awards honored Kaimana Kukahiko of the Thunder in the Tiny Mite Division, Mikah Bodick of the Rockets for the Pee Wees, and Shane Ambida from the Timberwolves in the Midget category.
The Tiny Mite player rosters included, for the East team, Alaia Cunanan, Treven Cabanilla and Shanti Doss from the Bulls; Eli Sa, Isaiah Sa and Trey Spillar representing the Raptors; the Blazers’ Harris Gruber, Zion Casey and Ryder Alvarez; and from the Thunder, Kaimana Kukahiko, Koby Lee and Liam Hirouji. Shelly Meirozitz of the Bulls is the East coach.
The West squad, coached by Aina Kohler of the Magic, included Kini Varona, Koby McLaughlin and Zaid Finlayson from the Magic; Kolten Magno, Luke Lepone and Kainui Frias Kaauamo representing the Heat; Keiji Kukahiko, Kayson Maielua and Noah Becker of the Celtics; and Keoni Webb, Ryder Webb and Mason Manalili from the Timberwolves.
The Pee Wee Division East team, coached by Bud Daumen of the champion Blazers, was made up of Cash Taylor, Taj Mohrman and Taj Ames representing the champion Blazers; Jack Gleeson of the Hawks; Elizabeth Ganer and Jannel Palacio of the Thunder; Aiden Navarro and Zyan Berry from the Knicks; Justice Gonzalves and Mikah Bodick of the Rockets; and Aina Kapu and Lawrence Abut representing the Celtics.
The West lineup, coached by Oscar Andaya of the Timberwolves, included Kahi Maximo and Jacob Haia Shim from the Timberwolves; Brayden Valencia and Lily Buden of the Magic; Tiffany Sana and Liam Dagupion representing the Heat; Trevor Watson and Mac Garde of the Warriors; Hans Ganoot and Brycen Acio from the Bulls; and Beniah Faleta and Dan Tuscano of the Lakers.
For the Midget Division, the East coach is Gibson Mariano, and the player roster includes Kainoa Keanini, Kefu Mendoza and Kaimiloa Kaina Allen representing the Hawks; Angel Noveda, Shane Ambida and Kalaeloa Tancayo from the Timberwolves; Harley Ganoot, Randel Buemio and Trasyn Nava of the Celtics; and Xavier McKay, Enoka Balinbin and Benjamin Aquino from the Bulls.
The West team is led by Marcus Badua of the Magic, and the team is made up of Shane Ueki, Landon Long and Jimson-Taj Acio of the Magic; Aiden Alibin, Jackson Hussey and Rodnyl Tuscano representing the division champion Thunder; Jayah Bayol, Stephen Soriano, and Christopher Salem of the Mavericks; and Gian Andres, Juseana Delatori and Guillermo Lopez from the Lakers.