CUH To Host Maui Invitational Every Other Year


Dan Mangum

Chaminade tipped off the 2017 Maui Invitational.

Chaminade University, the host of the popular Maui Invitational Basketball tournament, will no longer be an annual participant starting in 2018. Chaminade University will host the 34th annual Maui Jim Maui Invitational from November 20-20.  

Next year Chaminade will not play in the Maui Invitational. Instead, the Swords will travel to mainland arenas and play opponents in opening rounds. They will not be competing in the nationally televised part of the tournament on Maui. The Swords will only be participating in the three-game Maui every other season. The news was announced in late October 2016.

“It sucks. The whole tournament was created because Chaminade defeated Virginia in the [’80s],” said Jorge Santos, a senior Chaminade student majoring in Communications who is against the new arrangement for 2018. “This is a David vs. Goliath like scenario, and to take that away because larger schools make more money is messed up. A main reason most athletes commit to play at Chaminade is for the chance to play in the tournament. With the event, now held every other year, our athletes won’t get top recruits.”

Chaminade is known for a biggest upset in college history by beating No. 1 and undefeated Virginia 77-72 in 1982. This particular game was not broadcasted nor heavily covered by sport media outlets. Two years later, the Maui Invitational was born.

The event has been held every year since 1984, and Chaminade will only be hosting it every other year starting in 2018.

“This new arrangement expands the reach of Chaminade University, the men’s basketball team and our student-athletes,” said Chaminade president Brother Bernard Ploeger in a press release in 2016. “Our players will have increased exposure competing on the mainland in some of college basketball’s largest arenas and our coaching staff will have an opportunity to extend their recruiting presence, thus amplifying the visibility of the University and our brand.”

Besides missed opportunities in Maui on odd years for the Swords men’s basketball team, the student programming and activities on campus are also affected. The tournament has always been more than just the three games played by the teams, Chaminade has given opportunities for students to explore Maui before the game where students are able to support and show their spirit the team.

Jacelyn Yoshimura, a junior majoring in Communications (Integrated Marketing), is neutral on the arrangement. She attended the Maui Monday with OSAL when she was a freshman in 2015.

“The actual basketball game was fun,” Yoshimura said. “Although it was a great experience, the transportation/commuting was inconvenient in terms of stops for to use the bathroom. It was a great experience to bond with a different range of people. I went solely without the knowledge of other students attending Maui Monday. I got to go to Maui for the first time. It was a really good discounted trip to experience. Sightseeing was fun. This is a great experience, especially as a freshman. This is a good experience for individuals to do. I’ve made at least six new friends from that trip.”

The OSAL student programming and board provide current students the opportunity to explore by providing a planned day full of events before the game. Maui Monday gives students the opportunity to attend the games and bond with other Chaminade students.

William Schulte, a 1986 alumnus of Saint Louis High School, was also a spectator of the 1982 upset game while he was freshman. He sees the positive side of Chaminade not playing in Maui every November but getting to play on the mainland instead.

“It’s good for Chaminade to play in the mainland and travel,” he said recently. “They will get more out of it than getting blown out by a Top 25 team. These changes will allow exposure for the team. If you’re a school trying to put your players in a position of success it’s best to put them against teams who match up against them. I get there’s always a chance for anything to happen like the upset in 1982 but look at the odds.”