All-Mike Champs

All-Mike+Champs

Darren Langrine

The crowd goes wild after Lakesyde (red) beat the team from Chaminade University (blue).

The second annual All-Micronesia (All-Mike) Championship tournament took place last week Saturday, April 28. Among the teams playing was a small group of boys from Chaminade University.

Four games were played last Saturday. The two teams that played the first game were team Namdrik representing the Marshall Islands and a team from Kosrae, Micronesia. The second game was played between team Lakesyde from Salt Lake, Hawaii, also representing the Marshall Islands, and the a compromised of Micronesian, Samoan, and American-born players, all of which were students of Chaminade University.

The  All-Mike was started by group of influential people who sponsor events that cater to the Micronesian communities. Countries in that region that are involved in these events are Palau, Yap, Guam, Common Wealth of the North Mariana Islands (CNMI), Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Marshall Islands, Gilbert Islands and the Independent Republic of Nauru.

According to its facebook website, the group strives to empower, encourage and share positive information about the Micronesian Community. Its first series of events last year was a success as far as attracting a huge number of participants. The students from Chaminade University finished fourth in the All-Mike Championship last year, which was held at the Blaisedell Arena.

This year, the championship games were held at the University of Hawaii KLUM building. The men’s basketball team from Chaminade came in second and is looking forward to taking home the gold next year.

Erick Paul, 21, is a junior at Chaminade University and a citizen of Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has competed in the tournament both years and plans to compete again next year.

“It’s a fun event,” Paul said. “I’m excited for next year.”

The All-Mike tournaments started in January 2011 as a fundraising for an issue concerning health care for low-income Micronesians. It is a matter that has been ongoing since August 2009 when the Lingle administration announced that their health care would be reduced significantly.

The All-Mike events have been a great help funding for the health care issue. The total revenue acquired from the events is donated to the attorneys for the Micronesian people.

Unfortunately, none of the food sold at the event were cultural dishes. Nonetheless, there was food, drinks and music. In between games and during half time shows, dancers took the court and swayed their hips to traditional Micronesian tunes. The people there were very friendly and very festive.

People were running around with flags from the Marshall Islands, Kosrae, Pohnpei and the United States of America, all of which represented teams playing that evening. It was an eventful Saturday night.

“I’m here to have fun and win,” said Erick Pedro, right before the basketball games started. He played as a center for team Namdrik of the Marshall Islands. He also competed last year, but played for a different team.

Kuldip Shergill, an MBA student at Chaminade University and a participant at the basketball event lead his team to an undefeated season. He is a citizen of Samoa, but was invited to play for Chaminade by his friends who are from Pohnpei and Palau.

“It kind of sucks because commencement is on the same night,” Shergill said. “All the people we thought were coming had to drop out last minute because they had commencement to go to.”

There were people blowing their horns and others kept screaming and yelling as loud as they could. Every team had their own group of cheerleaders that consisted of friends, moms, dads, siblings and other relatives who helped keep the crowd energized.

“It was exciting,” said Christina Cooper, a junior at Chaminade University. “There needs to be a bigger crowd for Chaminade. Next year, I can’t wait.”

The All-Mike events also consist of volleyball tournaments. The tournaments will be for girls only. The first game will begin Saturday, March 12. The place has not yet been decided