’Sword Falls Not Far From Tree

The competitive streak that Chaminade great George Gilmore projected on the basketball court figured big in his success. If the last few years are any indication, that competitive fire also thrives within son Kaleb.

There’s even a little friendly competition between the two, according to George: “He wants to break all of my records, and he’s up for the challenge.”

Added Kaleb, “We’re competitive about everything — it doesn’t even have to be about basketball. I love basketball. It’s my life right now.”

Kaleb Gilmore announced last week that he also would play his college basketball at Chaminade University, when he signed his National Letter of Intent. He became the first member of Silversword head coach Eric Bovaird’s recruiting class for 2015-16.

The 5-foot-10 Gilmore, now a senior at Kalaheo High School, was previously a standout at Maryknoll, where he averaged 18.2 points per game last year in the ILH, helping guide the Spartans to a third-place finish in the HHSAA Division I boys state basketball championships last spring. Gilmore’s efforts earned him a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

“I’m excited Kaleb decided to sign with us,” Bovaird said. “I have been anxious to find good local talent that can help us continue our winning ways at Chaminade. I think Kaleb has the chance to be a really good player at this level.”

“He had some other offers,” said George, “so I was surprised he wanted to follow in my footsteps.”

As for breaking his dad’s records, such talk is all in good fun, despite Kaleb’s own considerable talents. “That (breaking records) would be something,” he said, “but I’m going to play the way Coach wants me to, and whatever happen, happens.”

George Gilmore was the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year in 1992 and is the only Silversword ever selected as Most Valuable Player at EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in 1991, where Gilmore scored 37 points to lead the ‘Swords to a first round upset of Big East Conference member Providence, lifting the team into a second-round matchup with then-No. 2-ranked Arkansas on national television a day later.

He averaged 30 points over his two seasons with Chaminade, after playing as a Junior College All-American in Myrtle Beach, Fla.

Bovaird, who signed a two-year contract extension last spring, and the Chaminade coaching staff also figured into Kaleb’s decision to stay on the Island. “He loves the coaches, and it was all his decision, but it’s huge he decided to stay in his homeland,” George said. “I want to keep helping him with his skills. He still needs to work on some things. It will be great to have him here.”

Chaminade’s up-tempo, high-scoring style was another big selling point for Kaleb in making his decision. “Right now, I really like our style of play at Kalaheo, so I thought Chaminade would be a perfect fit, since they play an up-and-down style.”

Chaminade is seeking a third straight NCAA Division II tournament appearance this season.