Kaiser Hosts Regional Basketball ‘Exposure’ Camp For Kids

Exposure has not always been easy to come by for basketball hopefuls on the island, especially given Hawaii’s reputation as a football state.

But this weekend’s inaugural Phenom Basketball Exposure Camp (Hawaii Regionals) at Kaiser High School was set up in part to help Hawaii kids serious about basketball to eventually enter the mix with their Mainland counterparts for college scholarships.

“It is one more way to try to get our kids in front of college coaches,” said Kalani Silva, a Kaiser grad and the director for the camp.

The Regional Camp concept is used around the country by Phenom Basketball to tap players to attend their national camps in the summer. All eligible players there must go to a regional camp for evaluation and qualification before being invited to nationals. College coaches attend nationals at several levels, including Division I.

The Saturday and Sunday camp at Kaiser, for boys and girls 5-8, is the first of its kind in Hawaii. In past years, players from Hawaii hoping to be invited to Nationals had to attend a Regional on the West Coast.

“We’ve been sending kids to the coast for three or four years,” Silva said, “so we’re just so happy that they let us have our own regional.”

Through his own family, Silva has seen “the difference in the level of competition between Hawaii and the basketball played on the Mainland,” which is one of the appeals to advancing to the nationals.

“Not just on the outer islands, but in the rural areas like Kahuku, our kids don’t get the (high-level) competition,” said Silva, whose nephew Lanaki Apele (Kamehameha-Hawaii) has been active in the Phenom Camps. “From the (Hawaii) kids I talk to, they like being able to see how they measure up.”

A Phenom-150 Hawaii Regional Camp also will be held for high schoolage players March 10-12 at Manoa Valley District Park.

The cost is $195 for both levels, and each player will receive an Adidas Phenom uniform. The camp’s daily schedule will include no less than four full games in addition to the hours spent on individual skill development as well as “breakout” sessions.

Each regional camp offers instruction from some of Hawaii’s best coaches and clinicians. Among the subjects covered are nutrition, academic and SAT/ACT information, NCAA clearinghouse information, strength training and film sessions.

For more information, call 808-747-9887.