Warrior headed for Washington showcase

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kapaa’s Michael Encinas (23) moves the ball upcourt under pressure from Kauai’s Jim Ehia in the third quarter of a KIF varsity boys basketball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa, in this Jan. 15 photo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kapaa’s Michael Encinas (23) corrals a rebound over the efforts of Waimea’s Wade Pimsaguan and Matsu Shigematsu in the first quarter of a KIF varsity boys basketball game at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa, in this Feb. 9 photo.

KAPAA — Kapaa High School senior Michael Encinas will be headed to Washington state to show his stuff.

The Warriors basketball player will participate in a showcase hosted by The High School All-American Showcase at Shoreline Community College near Seattle.

“I know it’s going to be a good experience. I know it’s going to be cold, so I got to bring something warm,” Encinas said. “It’s basically going to be a business trip. I’m just going to be there for basketball, but I’m going to be having fun, too.”

Encinas, 18, who played forward for Kapaa High’s varsity boys basketball team, said he was invited to take part and that about 125 players will be there.

At the showcase, Encinas will participate in a skills session and will play in games, which will be observed by college coaches.

“I know it’s going to be tough. I know the nerves are going to be there, but just going to do what I do best,” Encinas said. “Just play my game and do everything that I’ve been taught to do. I know what I have to do from what my coaches have been telling me. I know there’s going to be big kids up there. I know there’s going to be coaches watching. I don’t know if that’s going to get to me or not, but I’m used to playing with some big kids.”

The Warriors senior, who is originally from Ontario, Ore., aims to earn a college scholarship.

“My goal is to get an offer to go play somewhere, and just be able to represent Kapaa over there,” Encinas said. “It’s a big thing for me because I’ve been putting in a lot of work, and I’m seeing it pay off finally.”

Kapaa High School varsity boys basketball head coach Kamahalo Kauhane said: “I know a lot of these camps are meant for the purpose of getting these boys prepared for the next level. Michael has aspired to continue playing basketball. So, it’s a great opportunity for him to continue to work hard. It’s pretty much what his senior year has been about — showing all the strides of him working and that he’s determined to do whatever is necessary.”

Encinas, who’s 6-foot and 135 pounds, averaged about 13 points a game for the Warriors during the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season.

Kauhane said Encinas was a leader of the team this past season.

“He’s been more vocal this season than he’s been in all his other years,” the Warriors coach said. “That’s pretty much what he’s (shown). He can lead by example. That’s what he’ been doing. So, that’s a testament to his maturity, too. He works hard. I know he continues to hold a job at the same time, goes to school and plays basketball, which requires a lot of discipline.”

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Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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