KAPAA — There were no summer league basketball games at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa Saturday.
The basketball players under coach John Kaneholani picked up paint brushes, rollers and manned weed whackers, and instead of perspiration, their bodies were dotted with spots of green paint.
“This gym is 50 years old,” Kaneholani said. “We need to take care of it. It’s also where the high school division games from The Kauai Hoops Classic, also known as the Merv Lopes Classic, will be played starting Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Kaneholani took advantage of having no basketball games Saturday morning to collect players from the different divisions to repaint the facia of the gym on the Kapaa High School campus.
“This is a service project for the boys,” Kaneholani said. “We got some community sponsors, and will have the players take care of the gym they play in. We can do this until around lunch, or until we run out of paint.”
Kaneholani said the players who turned out ranged from eighth-grade, including several who are playing up from the sixth- and seventh-grades, through varsity high school, and plan on participating in The Kauai Hoops Classic.
“According to the schedule, we’ll be playing at least three games here on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Kaneholani said. “Last year, the boys wanted to participate, but they couldn’t make up their minds fast enough. This year, they learned to decide fast. We’re playing.”
Coach Clarence Sales of the Kauai Lynx and Team Central basketball program said this year’s event is already sold out with teams from around the state and California coming to Kauai for the tournament which is named after former Chaminade College basketball coach Merv Lopes.
With tipoff poised for Thursday, the field includes 10 teams in the boys seventh-grade division, 15 teams in the boys ninth-grade division, 12 teams in the boys 12th-grade division, and seven girls teams in the ninth- and 12th-grade divisions.
Games are scheduled to take place at four venues, including the Island School, considered the tournament’s headquarters, the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, Kapaa and Kauai high school gyms.
The first games tip off at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Wilcox Gymnasium at Island School when the host Voyager seventh-grade team takes on Papalina, a team based out of Kalaheo.
The California Bearcats 1 will tip off against Imua in the first ninth-grade division match at 4 p.m., also at Island School.
Kahuku will go up against Imua-Blue in the opening game of the boys 12th-grade division Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa, and WBC will tip off against the Aiea Blazers at 6 p.m. at the Kauai High School gym.
The first girls division games will tip off Thursday starting at 2 p.m. when the Lady Phenom go up against host Kauai Lynx at the Kauai High School gym.
Full tournament results will be posted on The Kauai Hoops website, kauaihoopsclassic.com.
Kaneholani said sponsors for the gym re-painting project include Kauai Dream Realty, Pono Market, Deja Vu Surf Hawaii, the Mermaid Cafe and Kurt Osaki Designs, one of the creators of University of Hawaii logowear.