Kids win at Eastside Basketball

KAPAA — There will be no games for the Eastside Basketball League Saturday.

“This is a bye week for the league,” said Dominique Matayoshi, a league coordinator for the Eastside Basketball League. “Games will play on March 21, March 28, and the final league games on April 11.”

The Eastside Basketball League is a community basketball program started nine years ago by Fred and Dominique Matayoshi, incorporating young players from kindergarten through sixth grade.

“This is really fun,” said Taeani Largusa, a third-grade student. “I started playing last year, and we’ve always won.”

Largusa was playing in the Eastside’s Division 2, for students in the second and third grades, Fred said. Division 1 incorporates students in kindergarten and first grades. Division 3 includes students in the fourth through sixth grades.

“We start the games at 10:15 a.m. for the younger students,” Fred said. “The gym is filled because the young players bring their parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties and everyone. It’s a lot of fun. The last game starts at 4:30 p.m., so it’s a full day of basketball for everyone.”

The day progresses with Division 2 following the Division 1 games and ends with the Division 3 players taking the floor at the end. Teams play two games on each outing.

“This is our third week of the season,” Dominique said. “So far, we have 70 children registered in the Division 1, 40 children in Division 2, and 45 children in Division 3.”

John Kaneholani, the Kapaa High School basketball coach, coaches a sixth-grade team in the Eastside program.

“Bobby Kamakele asked if I could bring some teams to his program in Kalaheo,” Kaneholani said. “I don’t mind, but I don’t know if the parents want to drive that far. This league is in Kapaa.”

Arlon Miner-Ho was coaching the Kapaa Bulls, a Division 2 team, on Saturday.

“This is the first time I’m coaching something like this,” Miner-Ho said. “But my son Lincoln is on the team so I thought I would give it a try.”

Fred said the public is invited to come and watch the fun as youngsters develop their skills in basketball. There is a food booth, proceeds from which help keep the program going.

“I live at the gym,” said Trisha Daligcon-Kamoku, whose daughters Tori Daligcon, a Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls basketball all-star, and Tamare Daligcon, play for Kapaa High School. “My son Ty plays in Division 2 so we’re here. This is his third year playing. It’s really good they have things like this to keep the kids off the streets.”

Britt Cocumelli was watching her son Nico, a third-grade student at St. Catherine’s School, play.

“We love it,” she said. “This is his second year playing. The kids have so much fun, the coaches are great, and it’s good they have some place to go and something to do.”

Games for the Eastside Basketball program resume March 21 starting at 10:15 a.m. at the Bernice Hundley Gym at the Kapaa High School.


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