KAPAA — Team Lihue coach Max Manera said he’s been attending the Agena Kalakau basketball clinic as a volunteer for almost as long as Coach Dennis Agena has been coming to Kauai.
“I can see how the kids benefit from coach Agena,” Manera said. “My daughter Malyssa is a guard for Kauai High School and she learns. We have to take advantage of this kind of clinic because it’s not every day we get the opportunity.”
Sponsored by the Kauai Youth Basketball Association and the County of Kauai, Agena opened his three-day clinic to 91 registered basketball players from all parts of the island.
“This is the most kids we’ve had attend the clinic,” Steven Matsumoto of KYBA said. “The county helps by having The Kauai Bus make a run so kids from the outlying area can attend the clinic.”
He said putting on a clinic is hard work and requires a lot of help.
“We need volunteers,” Steven said. “We have some volunteers here who took vacation from their work so they could come and help out. We really need the help.”
Sylas Farias is a five-year player with the Westside Basketball program in Waimea. This was his first clinic.
“It’s already helped me dribble between the legs,” Farias said. “I didn’t know how to do it before coming here. I’m having a lot of fun, and I hope they come back, again.”
Angelito Angala, a Supersonics player for three years, said the clinic is all about fun.
“This is my second year attending,” Angala said. “This clinic is to learn about things you don’t know how to do. I learned to do the drop step.”
Marissa Layosa, finishing play last week with Team Lihue in the county’s Division II youth league, said she’s been playing for five years, and plans on playing in the summer league.
“This is my second year coming to the clinic,” she said. “It’s a really good way to learn new skills and strengthen weak areas.”
Malia Iaea Constantino said she likes the clinic.
“I like learning,” Constantino said. “I already learned how to dribble faster and work on how to go between the legs. Now, I’m learning how to go behind the back.”
Hunter Yoshioka, completing his Division II league with Team Central, said he’s also been to the clinic for the second time.
“We work on a lot of dribbling skills,” Yoshioka said. “We also get some shooting techniques.”