Tre Rickard excels on the hardcourt and the gridiron
LAHAINA — The West Maui Youth Basketball League has inspired the hoop dreams of hundreds of West Side keiki for over 40 years. From the “Termite” Division of preschool age kids on up to the middle school ballers, the program at the polished hardcourt at Lahaina Civic Center has proven to be the premiere launching pad for successful high school and college basketball careers of student-athletes here.
The children of Todd and Emerlita Rickard are shining examples of the nurturing and development of youngsters within the framework of department of recreation and school sports programs in the community. Rachel, TJ and Tre Rickard all began their basketball involvement with the WMYBL, moved up through the Menehune League club organization, and then became major contributors to the success of the Lahainaluna High School basketball teams.
The Lady Lunas have dominated the Maui Interscholastic League with 16 consecutive championships and a state title, while the boys team has also climbed to the top of the conference standings.
Most recently, Tre Rickard has been a dominant force for the Luna hoopsters. A 5’7″ slasher and defensive stopper, Tre has impressed coaches, teammates and opponents alike with his intensity and quickness on the court.
Lahainaluna coach Nick Webb said, “Having been able to coach him and watch him every day in the gym, I got to see what a competitor he is. Tre always wants to be out there playing — no matter how banged up he might be, he will be out there competing.”
“That’s the kind of players we want to mold in our program at Lahainaluna. Tre fits that mold, which makes this year so tough. Him being a senior, I know how hard he worked this off season along with his teammates. He has aspirations of going to college or a college prep school after he graduates, and we hope to see him bring that competitive spirit to the next level on the court or the gridiron.”
Indeed, Tre Rickard also excelled on the football field as a defensive back, running back and a kick returner. During the Lunas’ recent run to four consecutive state Division II championships he excelled as an elite pass defender with closing speed rarely seen at the high school level and as a punt and kick-off returner.
Lunas co-head coach Garret Tihada has special insight to Tre’s gridiron career as a mentor since Rickard’s middle school years.
“Players like Trey see the big picture, so he needs to understand and believe in what he is being told before there’s a total buy-in. Once there’s buy-in, he will run through a brick wall for you.”
“He is one of the most athletic and dynamic players we have seen come through this program. I would bet that Trey has the most punt and kick-off returns for touchdowns in the history of Lahainaluna and probably even the MIL. Trey has a lot of confidence in himself. In his sophomore year, I was giving him a ride to practice during the week that we were playing Roosevelt in the semifinals. This would be his first taste of state playoff competition,” he continued.
“Tre told me that this was ‘his time.’ I asked him what he was talking about. He said this (the playoffs) is what he plays for and that he was going to have a good game. He had two punt returns for touchdowns. I guess he knew what he was talking about.”
Tre credits his family first for his success on the hardcourt and the gridiron.
“I have deep respect for my family, and especially my mom and dad for their influence on me. All of my coaches throughout the years have helped me become a better player and person. Especially Coach Dean (Rickard) and Coach Lanny (Tihada) and my friends Treven Tihada, Kalei Storer, TJ Galoia, Hookipa Sakalia and many others have helped me get to where I am today.”
Rickard will graduate with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average this year and hopes to attend a college in Arizona or Nevada. He will pursue a career in real estate or heavy equipment operation at a trade school. With the dynamic intensity and confidence he has displayed as a student-athlete, there is no doubt he will continue to further successes in life.