Maiki Tihada to lead new girls basketball team at Maui Prep
LAHAINA — The Tihada family of Lahaina has long been recognized as a stalwart supporter of the true grit character of the West Side community. Canoe club leaders, youth football directors, police officers, nonprofit organizers — this ohana truly represents the altruistic nature of Maui Nei.
The late Dougie Tihada was a pioneer leader in the development of the highly revered Hawaiian canoe paddling surge of the 1970s along with Eugene, Nori, Joey, Mike and all of the clan with Napili Canoe Club.
And up the hill at Lahainaluna High School, Lanny Tihada, Garret and Joey all have been steadfast mentors of one of the top interscholastic football programs in the state.
Now, the next generation steps up.
Maui Preparatory Academy Athletic Director and College Counselor Keenan Reader announced last week that Maiki Tihada, a standout All-State and Parade All-American for the 2010 State Champion Lahainaluna Lady Lunas who went on to play collegiately at Gonzaga and Morehead State Universities, was named as the inaugural Pueo girls basketball head coach.
“After an extensive search of applicants across the globe, including many with professional backgrounds, we are ecstatic to find the best candidate for the job right in our community. Maiki’s passion for the game of basketball and working with youth is unparalleled. She stood out for her strong reputation for working with kids to achieve goals through hard work and commitment, a cornerstone of our athletic program. As a local girl, Maiki’s ability to relate to kids and focus on growth with girls at various skill levels will be pivotal as we get started with this new program. It was clear that she was the best fit to start the program,” said Reader.
Maiki earned a Bachelor’s Degree in University Studies and a Master’s in Business Administration before returning home to Maui to launch a youth development program called Heads Up Basketball.
She credits Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard and Lanny “Pops” Tihada for always steering her in the right direction.
“Coach Todd has always been supportive, and especially in helping me make this decision,” said Maiki.
“And Pops? Well, he has always been there in support for me — loading all sorts of toy balls into my crib, shooting sessions in the driveway, lifting in the mornings with the football boys, always building the work ethic and correct habits in me.
“I am excited and nervous, but confident we will be able to build the program. I want to build the community support and bring in the local girls for a college preparatory education. Bring in girls such as Malika Taufa, Cameron Fernandez, Jade Chihara to coach and mentor them. There is solid direction here at Maui Prep,” Tihada concluded.