Agena clinic helps hoopsters

KAPAA — Ferdinand Constantino, coach for the Supersonics community basketball team, said it was a good thing to have a good basketball coach teach so many young players the right way to play the game.

Constantino, who had his son and daughter participating in the Agena Basketball Clinic, said his son was complaining about being tired.

“You see how easy we take it on you?” Ferdinand said. “You need to work hard to get good, and coach Agena makes the kids work hard. Everyone runs.”

More than 65 young players in the fifth through 12th grades turned out Monday for the first day of the three-day camp at the Bernice Hundley Gym on the grounds of Kapaa High School.

“Coach Agena always tries to do a camp during the breaks,” said Karen Matsumoto of the Kauai Youth Basketball Association, the clinic coordinator. “This one ties in with the fall break (between semesters), and he’ll try to do another in the spring break.”

Steven Matsumoto said some of the participants are younger than fifth grade, but are all right because these are players who play up during the basketball seasons.

Tristee Souza, a fifth-grade student, said she was at the clinic because her father is a basketball player and she likes playing basketball.

“This is kind of hard,” the first-year clinic camper said. “But it’s pretty good because I did learn some things from when I used to play with Coach Luther Yam. I like playing so this is good.”

Jacob Danoey of Anahola said he’s been playing basketball for about five years and has already noticed an improvement in his game.

“This is the first time I’m at the clinic,” Danoey said. “I kind of got better at some of the things I’m doing, but I’m really looking forward to learning new things. I just keep having more fun each year I play ball.”

Agena told the group that attitude is key in basketball.

“If you have a bad attitude, you’re not going anywhere,” Agena said. “Good coaches can see when you get sent in and how you carry yourself and how you are when you’re on the court. A car with a flat tire can’t go very far.”

The clinic wraps up Wednesday.

“This clinic is pretty much fun,” said Kyler Cabebe. “I learned how to juke. I also learned about why we pass and the different ways of dribbling. I’m going to sign up with Coach Max Manera in Lihue.”

Agena said the goal of the clinic is to try and get players to a level where they can be competitive beyond the community and high school level.

“This is my second year at the clinic,” said Braelyn Cayaban. “I started playing in the second grade and now, I’m in the seventh grade. I’m going to play for Waimea High School, and coming to the clinic, I’ve learned to improve my ball handling and shooting skills. The clinic has helped me become a better basketball player and put my best foot forward.”

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