Kaua‘i High’s Basil Walton is all about basketball

Basil Walton spent yesterday surfing the North Shore.

But come the afternoon, it was all business for the 17-year-old Kaua‘i High School senior, as he showed up just in time for basketball practice.

Walton is one of the team’s leading scorers — he scored 27 points in the KIF season opener against Kapa‘a High School and 18 against Waimea High School on Saturday — but he knows that it’s not just about the buckets.

“The thing is we’re not really playing basketball,” he said. “We’re trying to work on discipline. We score a lot of points, but we’re rushing ourselves.”

Kaua‘i is known for its quickness on the court and its ability to score big, but Walton said in order for them to succeed and get to the next level, the Raiders have to learn to slow things down a bit.

Last season, Kaua‘i lost the first round to Waimea and came back in the second to force a playoff. Kaua‘i won the playoff to a packed gym and advanced to the state championships on O‘ahu.

The Raiders lost in the first round. That loss is still on their minds a bit, but Walton and the team are hoping to change that.

“Now we have to prepare for the season and the state championships,” he said. “We know we have the potential to make it there. We want to show those guys on O‘ahu, we can play.”

Walton said it’s always added pressure when they play O‘ahu teams because the competition is tougher; whether or not a Kaua‘i team is able to compete against them will almost always be an issue.

That may all change if the Raiders can make it back to the state championships and make it past the first round.

Kaua‘i High School head basketball coach Ipo Yoshioka, who coached for the past year, credits Walton’s success on the court to his character.

“Basil’s a great kid. He’s a strong-minded kid who plays with his heart,” he said. “Any time you get a kid who plays with his heart, he becomes a good player.”

Walton started playing when he was 6 years old. He was born into a baseball and soccer playing family, but those sports didn’t sit well with him.

“I tried playing soccer for a year, hated it and stopped playing,” he said.

He did try a hand at baseball, but didn’t like that either and decided he was going to dedicate himself to basketball.

“I just like it. We watch a lot of videos,” he said of him and his teammates. “Travis (Stine) and Tyrus (Ceria-Lux) and I will just sit around and watch basketball videos all the time.”

Walton watches the videos for the moves.

“I like to watch the dunks. I don’t really shoot from the field, I like to take it inside,” he said.

The lifestyle of superstar basketball players interests him, too. He recognizes that it’s not all glitz and glamor and that hard workers make it to that level.

“A lot of people think it’s all about money in the NBA, but you have to work hard training, lifting weights and doing all kinds of activities to make yourself a complete player,” he said.

Walton said he would like to play basketball in college and possibly get a shot at the NBA.

“It’s hard because not a lot of scouts come out here,” he said.

But he thinks he can do it.

“When I first got to the varsity squad, I didn’t really play. I was third string, but I pushed myself to making the first string. It’s all about how you work hard.”

He doesn’t have any colleges picked out yet and he still has the rest of this season to go.

Kaua‘i has the night off tomorrow and won’t play again until Saturday.


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