From Larry Park to Dunn Muramaru, basketball and baseball coaches rave at Aiva Arquette, who is this week’s featured high school student-athlete in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Saint Louis senior is aware of his impact on the hardwood and the diamond. He just doesn’t seem affected by the attention whether it comes from coaches, media or fans.
Even his perspective about the weight room — Arquette has gained roughly 20-25 pounds of muscle since sophomore year — is minimalist on talk, maximum on commitment.
“Baseball’s kind of different, doing specific kinds of lifts, more lower body. Lunges, dead lifts and stuff,” Arquette said. “
The effect in baseball is huge; he added power to his versatility and became a legitimate five-tool prospect. In basketball, the strength work has transformed Arquette, a smooth jump shooter, into a finisher with some thunder at the rim.
Last winter, with the official season cancelled by leagues statewide, Saint Louis went 13-0 in exhibition games. Arquette averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds per game, showing his newly explosive lift-off burst. In the spring, the baseball team went 8-2 and won the ILH crown.
This winter, the Crusader hoopsters are 6-0 with a balanced group of talent, a mix of experienced and new players. That’s where Arquette is more enthused about the spotlight. He’d rather share.
“Our team, we’re young, you know? I think we’re feisty. Everyone is goal-oriented and no one slacks off. That’s what matters. Work hard, show up at every practice and make each other better,” Arquette said.
Three of Saint Louis’ six games stood out to him: Baldwin, Moanalua and Mililani.
“That was an eye-opener for the team, one of the first games to play with each other,” Arquette said of 58-42 win over Baldwin at the James Alegre Invitational. “That was a true test of where we were and made us stronger as a team.”
Moanalua’s roster was severely depleted in a 74-34 loss to Saint Louis.
“Everybody got their share of reps,” Arquette said.
Then came a 63-61 overtime win over Mililani.
“That was an awesome game. Out of all the games, that was the one to see where we were. We were down in the fourth quarter. It was good to see where our team was with their competitiveness and will to win,” Arquette said. “We saw that. I think Coach Dan (Hale) was happy that we got the ‘W.’ Win or lose, it was good to see where we are. We were up by two and Hayden (Bayudan) stole the pass.”
Between the non-stop training for baseball and basketball since last spring, Arquette has traveled extensively, signed to play baseball at the University of Washington, and is prepared for any role asked of him. Post up on offense, no problem. Pitch an inning or two on the diamond? Sure.
In the ILH, competition will be fierce. Five ILH D-I teams currently occupy the top five spots in the Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball Top 10.
“It’s really neat to see everyone I played against since sophomore year and how they’ve developed into the players they are. This year’s going to be tough, a lot of taller guys. It’s going to be exciting,” Arquette said.
Aiva Arquette’s Lockdown Staples
Three things I’ve learned:
1. Optimism and consistency
“Put your head down and keep grinding. this pandemic really sucks. You’ve got to keep your head up through the ups and downs of everything you do and work hard.”
2. Embrace everything
“There’s always a good that comes out of everything. This whole summer was like one great thing for me. For me as a player, it developed me to see where I stand with all these other athletes.”
“Take advantage of the opportunities given to you.”
Top 3 movies/shows
1. “Major League II”
2. “Field of Dreams”
“That’s where we went (with the Hawaii Baseball Group team). it was really cool to see where that movie was played at. There were so many people. It’s a sightseeing place.”
3. “Kicking and Screaming”
“Will Ferrell. It’s hilarious.”
Top 3 food/snack/drink
“This holiday season I ate a lot of prime rib. My dad (Athens) and mom (Marisel) are great cooks.”
2. Pasta (Alfredo)
“My mom and dad make it. I can’t make it, but I can make chicken Parmesan.”
3. Coconut water.
“The one from Costco. I forget what it’s called. I think it’s better than Gatorade. I was never a fan of it. I liked it, but not a fan. My grandpa (Addison Arquette) always brings me coconut water after games.”
Top 3 music artist
1. Polo G – “Martin & Gina”
“It gets me going before a game.”
2. Hall and Oates
“:Any song is good.”
3. Lionel Ritchie
“Every song is really good, to be honest.”
“It would be higher if I didn’t play sports. No regrets.”
“I can’t answer that one. Every teacher has taught me in a different and good way.”
“That’s hard. There’s subjects I like a lot. Probably Economics. That’s been pretty cool to learn about this year. How inflation works and how our economy with all the stimulus checks are given out and affects the community and the world.”
“I think the future. The past events made me who I am today. I would go into the future to see where I end up.”
“To my parents. My coaches. Coach Gus (George Gusman) and coach Dan. My whole family. My school and my friends.”
Comparisons to another 6-4 shortstop, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, who also loved to play basketball during the offseason.
“I watch his videos on YouTube. Basketball, there’s just something about it. I just love the sport. It really gives me more adrenaline.”
Versatility: Can you play point guard or post up on the block?
“I’m ready. We got some solid guards, too, that are coming off the bench. I might not have to do that. I think I can score in the paint, I guess.”
Dunking in traffic last year:
“My dunks were off the dribble, one poster, and the rest were fastbreaks and transition.”
Baseball coach Gus Gusman’s mantra
“Don’t fool around at practice, come in every day and compete. He just wants us to compete at practice and get something out every day as a team.”
Coach Dan Hale’s mantra
“Work hard and let’s work on getting each other better.”
Funniest teammate: Pupualii Sepulona
“Pupu. He says the right things at the right times.”
Smartest teammate: “I don’t know. I would say Hayden. He’s a point guard, commands this team.”
Most underrated teammate: “Shoncin Revuelto. He really developed his game to a different level. He’s going to be one of the guys this year, for sure.”
Which teammate has a hidden talent?
“Makamae Du Pont. He can sing. One of the songs is on and he gets us going. I think it runs in the family. One of his uncles (is talented).”
On ‘Iolani, which shares the No. 1 ranking with Saint Louis.
“They’re different, coming together as. team. Really talented, really good.
“This team can.go as far as we want to as long as we keep grinding, working hard, keep humble. Whatever God has in store for us. I wouldn’t be shocked if we went undefeated because of the amount of work we put in.”
Wow. Like this kid because he listens to Hall and Oates
Also visited his great grandpa and great grandma when they live on Kbay dr. across Castle HS.
Congrats Aiva! Good luck in your journey. I know you had to take the vaccine so please take Pine Needle oil and Dr. Zalenko’s protocol.
I wish is that one day UH will start keeping young men like this on the island.