Prep Basketball: Australian teams impress at World Youth Basketball Tournament
The World Youth Basketball Tournament Holiday Invitational has attracted great teams and talented players to the Big Island in recent years, and if Wednesday’s results are any indication, the 2013 edition meets that high standard.
The visiting Australian teams — coached by former NBA player Sedale Threatt — won all three varsity games at Kekuaokalani Gymnasium by double digits against Kealakehe and Konawaena.
“We really enjoy coming here,” said Threatt. “We were here last year and were very successful.”
The Australian teams, which are part of the same program but split into separate squads to allow players to record more minutes, have been on the road for nearly a month, playing prep teams from Las Vegas, Texas and Los Angeles.
Konawaena put up the best fight against a much taller Australian team. The Wildcats drew within nine points as the final minute approached, but a three-pointer by the Aussies sealed their 75-65 victory.
Despite the loss, Konawaena coach Donny Awa was in good spirits after the game.
“It’s great. Here so many times you play the same guys again, again and again and this is something different for the kids,” Awa said. “Australia is big. I think it gives the kids a taste of what the game might be at the next level where everyone is 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4.”
In addition to showing local teams what the world has to offer, the tournament also serves as a showcase for the Australian players. Current Chaminade University guard Kuany Kuany played in the tournament last year. Threatt mentioned the tournament as one way the 6-foot-7 Kuany gained exposure outside of his home country. Through the program, 32 boys and three girls have received scholarships to play at the next level, Threatt said.
The action takes a break tomorrow, but picks up again Friday. Teams from New Zealand, Kentucky and Kansas are scheduled to play.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Stephens Media LLC or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Stephens Media LLC is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.