Champion Goes To Hawaii
Aloha! This year Champion men and women's basketball teams were blessed with the opportunity to go to Hawaii for 7 days to participate in outreach, fellowship, and play the game they all love. This was an incredible event with memories made that will last a lifetime, as the entirety of both teams were able to see the island, the people, and the culture of Hawaii.
While on the island, both teams played in two games against Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University, respectively. These schools are both NCAA DII, and have storied histories, with Chaminde being the host of the Maui Invitational. The Lady Tigers split 1-1 on the trip, losing in a close game against Hawaii Pacific 65-56. The Lady Tigers had a very balanced game at the top, as Tori Hayes led the way scoring 18, Kam Gentry finished with 15 and 21, Aaliyiah Clark had 14, and Alysia Pickett had 9. Against Chaminade, The Lady Tigers were able to hold off the Swords and take home a 78-76 win, pulling off a major upset. Alysia Pickett led the way scoring 33 points, shooting 50% from the field and making 8 3 pointers. The men's team dropped both matchups, although they will not count to the teams total as they were considered exhibition games. Poor shooting plagued the Tigers, but overall a great opportunity, as every player in the program including the Development Team was able to get to suit up and play in the 2 matchups.
Outside of basketball, the teams were able to experience all sorts of things on the island. Days were spent going to the beach, whether it be looking for wild life at Turtle beach, playing football at the Disney Resort cove, or jumping in the massive waves at the North Shore. The teams also were able to go to the malls and downtown on New Years, and then ring in the New Year watching the Fireworks on Waikiki Beach. There was opportunities for group activities as well, as some went on helicopter tours, swam in waterfalls, and even a trip to Pearl Harbor for the history buffs.
The Tigers also attended Friendship Baptist Church service on Sunday, January 1st. It was a great way to start the year fresh, hearing the word from pastor James Reid, and the Men's Basketball team had 3 players make professions of faith, a blessing that makes the whole trip worth it. The men and women's teams also hosted a free basketball camp for the Christian School there at Friendship Baptist, as well as open to all youth on the island. It was a great time to make connections and build relationships while also playing basketball.
The trip was an incredible mission that will not be forgotten any time soon. We would be inconsiderate to not thank all those who made it possible. To the families, friends, former coaches, etc. who donate to the players flights, It would not have been possible to get there with out you. To the Administration of Champion Christian College, a major thank you for allowing us to do things like this. A special thanks to Pu'uhonua Farms for allowing our teams to stay, we truly mean it when we say this would not have been possible without your generosity and grace. Lastly, thank you to the leadership of Mo Capaci and Deanthony Ellison for making this dream become reality. Mahalo!