LIHUE — Chaminade University basketball coach Eric Bovaird just got back from playing the University of Alaska Anchorage on Sunday.
Tuesday, Bovaird was joined by basketball coach Dave Odom, the Maui Jim Maui Invitational chair, and former head coach at Wake Forest and Carolina, in hosting a basketball clinic for a hundred basketball players in grades 5 through 8 at the Kauai High School gym.
“The high school season is already on,” said Lenny Rapozo, director for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “Because of the NCAA rules, the Chaminade coaches cannot work with prospective student-athletes so we couldn’t involve the high school players.”
Instead, the clinic ran with players from portions of Lihue, westward to Waimea.
“We had a lot of interest,” Rapozo said. “But the coaches said they could only take a hundred players. They will be back, so on the return trip, we’ll work with the Lihue teams who were not able to attend and open it to teams Eastward to Hanalei.”
Players, each receiving a Maui Jim promotional shirt and a basketball, worked with Bovaird and Odom in ball movement, and shooting techniques before the Chaminade coaches hosted a coaches clinic.
“Everyone can become a good basketball player,” Odom said. “It takes a lot of practice. Everyone who is great started at this point. They became good because they practiced hard. Do you know that the most missed shot in high school basketball is the lay up?”
Coaches from the recent Veterans Day basketball tournament watched their players go through the various drills like practicing lay ups, and ball movement drills.
“This is really good,” said John Quinones, coach of the A‘o aku Rebels. “The girls are working hard.”
Rapozo said Chaminade University is looking at expanding the Maui Jim Maui Invitational brand and community services to other islands in Hawaii by offering these youth and coaches clinics.
“The Silverswords start play Monday on Maui,” Bovaird said. “How many of you are planning to attend?”
Rapozo said Bovaird and Odom, who coached Tim Duncan while coaching at Wake Forest, have been doing these clinics since 2010 on Oahu and Maui. Attendance at the Oahu clinics have been fair, and over the past few years, have declined.
This led the coaches to try and rotate the clinics to different islands, keeping Maui clinics going beause the Maui Jim tournament is housed on the Valley Isle.
James Kealalio of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation said the department is also helping Laurie Yoshida and organizers with the University of Hawaii Men’s Volleyball clinic which takes place Friday afternoon for middle school and high school students at the Kauai High School gym, and the Green-and-White volleyball game Saturday evening.