Testing, 1-2-3: Kamehameha, HBA to play hoops this weekend

Kamehameha forward Alize Pratt (15) stole the ball and started a break the other way in the first half against Mililani in this 2019 game. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Girls and boys basketball never went away in 2021.

The game simply waited, and this weekend, there will be a cathartic moment or two for the Kamehameha Warriors and Hawaii Baptist Academy Eagles.

Kamehameha will host Hawaii Baptist on Friday, 4 p.m., at Kekuhaupio Gymnasium in an exhibition game. Girls and boys varsity games are on with full protocols, including COVID-19 testing, in effect.

“We all tested yesterday. Players, referees, scorekeepers, announcers and more,” Warriors Coach Pua Straight said on Wednesday morning. “Our administration has been awesome. They basically wrote out a proposal with all the safety protocols and procedures, and sent it to other schools to see who would be interested in playing following all the protocols they outlined. Once they sent it out, we had games, five games scheduled.”

The Kamehameha girls’ five-game mini-schedule was organized within the next two days, Straight added. The HBA-Kamehameha games on Friday are closed to the public, but will be viewable.

“All the games will be streamed. The links will be posted to our Kamehameha Athletics website and will be active five minutes prior to the game,” Straight said.

Like most private-school girls basketball programs, Kamehameha felt the brunt when the Interscholastic League of Honolulu cancelled higher-risk winter sports. The Warriors continued to work out, and played a senior-night game last week.

After hosting HBA, Kamehameha will return the favor and play at the Eagles’ gym on Saturday beginning at 12:30 p.m. Those games at Dan Liu Gymnasium are also going to be streamed live, HBA Athletic Director Deren Oshiro said.

On Tuesday, the Warriors will host Hanalani (4 p.m.). Then they will travel to meet Maryknoll on Friday, Feb. 26 (6 p.m.). Maryknoll then goes to Kamehameha for a rematch on Saturday, Feb. 27 (noon).

Maryknoll Athletic Director Ben Valle indicated that the games with Kamehameha are not set in stone yet, but the process is underway.

The HBA-Kamehameha series is believed to be the first girls and boys basketball games between two Hawaii high schools in 2021. On the boys’ side, Damien and Saint Louis have played twice in the past month, but Damien operated as a club team. Saint Louis has hosted eight games, all exhibitions, so far this winter.

On Maui, four boys basketball club teams, stocked with players representing four schools, participated in a tournament at Maui Prep Academy last weekend.

On Oahu, the seven-day moving average for new cases of COVID-19 is at 37, including 13 announced on Tuesday with a 1.2-percent rate of positivity. Mayor Rick Blangiardi had expressed a goal of below 70 daily cases and 2.5-percent rate. He had also cautioned about the possibility of increased numbers this week due to a post-Super Bowl effect.

The previous administration’s tiered system had required a seven-day average of 20 or fewer daily cases to reach Tier 4, when organized youth sports would be resumed.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday afternoon, 17 new cases were reported, lowering the seven-day moving average to 33 with a 1.2-percent positivity rate.


  1. OIA Parent February 17, 2021 9:22 am

    OIA need to learn from this. Everyone playing except the OIA. All other leagues making OIA look stupid. It can be done.

  2. Wj February 17, 2021 3:35 pm

    LeJardin Boys and girls varsity teams have already played games , girls vars played HMA, and will Hanalani on Friday 2/19, boys vars also played HMA, and played STL vars 2 and int teams last night.

  3. Falcon Future February 18, 2021 8:51 am

    These schools deserve applause for taking matters into their own hands. However, I am still wondering what the ILH and HHSAA has to say about this? The ILH and HHSAA already canceled basketball season and these schools are openly defying it by creating their own rules and regulations. I know they are calling this exhibitions to get around the legal issues, but still.

    It begs the question, are leagues and the HHSAA even necessary right now? It appears some schools have the strength and support to get things done on their own. Why not try and salvage some sports and do independent state tournaments just for this year?

  4. Rams33 February 18, 2021 9:01 pm

    Paul, just wondering why the reference to youth sports and the tier system at the end of the article here? Schools have the authority to run sports provided they can do so safely.

    The emergency order that limits sports is pretty clear: “Sports associated with educational institutions may operate in accordance with Department of Health guidance.”

  5. Paul Honda February 18, 2021 11:39 pm

    The OIA has acknowledged that the C&C tier system does have an impact. Not a major factor, but it is influential to a point. I’ve written this before and the OIA is on the record publicly with this.

  6. Falcon Future February 19, 2021 8:10 am

    ^^^ Cool and good to know. Now what do the ILH and HHSAA (and OIA for that matter) acknowledge on the record about the schools hosting their own basketball games?

  7. Paul Honda February 19, 2021 9:44 am

    Private schools apparently are free to schedule activities on their own accord. The ILH cancelled basketball season. No liability for them.

    HHSAA defers to the DOE/State of Hawaii regarding leagues. The DOE Superintendent (and that office) defers to the HHSAA.

    Will any entity challenge private schools hosting extracurricular activities on non-state property? Unknown.

  8. Falcon Future February 19, 2021 10:41 am

    Thanks for this info and for clarifying what a cluster-f*%^ the HHSAA, ILH and DOE are in regards to the situation.

    I go back to my first post here and say that other schools might as well follow and start organizing their own competitions for all sports until someone tells them otherwise. It is clear that the HHSAA and DOE will continue to defer and therefore it makes no sense for schools to sit and wait for them when schools such as Kamehameha and HBA are showing that they can pull it off on their own before the school year runs out.

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