Big Island

Hawaii Island Hoops Senior All-Star Classic

Ladies Hawaii Island Hoops Senior All-Stars

I love to watch a good basketball game. I grew up in Indiana where Hoosier Hysteria is real, so how could I not? On Sunday, I was so disgusted with the pathetic Laker performance, that I turned off the TV at half-time and headed to the Kekuaokalani Gym in Kona to watch the First Annual Hawaii Island Hoops Senior All-Star Classic. My husband had been invited to photograph the event, so I tagged along. I’m sure glad I did.

Hawaii Island Hoops is a 501 (C)(3) non-profit organization that helps high school student athletes achieve their goals through sports and education. Hats off to their President and Director, Andy Smith. Andy founded Hawaii Island Hoops to give back to young student athletes and help them achieve their dreams of someday playing college basketball, and getting a college degree. I was impressed with how smoothly they ran this event. You could tell that all the athletes respected the organizers, exerted good sportsmanship, and had fun too.

The top senior basketball standouts from the island were invited to participate in an East vs. West clash, starting with the girls game and culminating with the boys. For me, I enjoyed the girls game the most, but I am a girl, so I’m prejudice. It brought back so many fond memories of playing on my high school basketball team. Not that I was any good, but the lessons learned about commitment, perseverance, and being a team player were invaluable.

Half-time of each game featured a 3-point shooting contest. The shooter making the most 3-point shots in 45 seconds was the winner. Since the 3-point shot didn’t exist when I was a youth, I can’t even imagine accomplishing the feat that these athletes did. The winning girl hit 11 3-pointers and the boy sank 15. Wow…that’s one every 3 seconds! It was fascinating to watch it unfold.

Lady seniors battle at the All-Star Classic

Congratulations to the West Hawaii Ladies Senior All-Stars for their victory defeating East Hawaii by a margin of 57 to 29. The East Hawaii boys were victorious over West Hawaii with a 57 to 37 score.

I guess 57 was the magic number in this tournament. I’m not into numerology, but the number 57 coming up so often seems eerie—that happens to be my age as well. So, is it a sign of some sort?

Boys Senior All-Star dunking champion

In addition to the half-time 3-point shooting contest, the boys also had a slam dunk contest. These boys showed a lot of determination and guts attempting feats that even the taller, more experienced athletes could not have accomplished.

This is just one of many athletic opportunities for the youth on the Big Island. I find it heart-warming and so encouraging for their futures. Back in the day, in my small mid-western town, we didn’t have these kinds of opportunities. Kudos to the organizers and supporters of these worthy events.

Their next event will be a College-Prep Basketball Camp this June, where the athletes have the opportunity to get noticed by college coaches. Learn more by checking out their website

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