Swords ‘Disappointed,’ ‘Hurt’ to Not Be in Maui Invitational


Dan Mangum

Chaminade tipped off the 2017 Maui Invitational.

The Maui Invitational is one of the biggest men’s basketball team tournaments in the states, and Chaminade created it. Ever since 1984 Chaminade has been participating in the event and yet, 2018 will be the first year the Swords will not be competing in Maui.

“I was kinda disappointed that we weren’t able to be in the Maui Invitational this year because that’s a huge event and it was a major attraction to me coming to Chaminade,” said freshman Isaac Amaral-Artharee.

Chaminade University athletics has made an agreement for the next 10 years to play in the Maui tournament every other year, while the other years the team will go to a mainland tournament. The men’s team recently went to San Diego State and Arizona State.

“After going to the Maui for the past three years, now it’s odd watching all the games on TV instead of actually preparing for them at the hotels and at Lahaina Luna HS,” said redshirt junior Masa Swain. “Honestly, it really hurts to not be in it this year. Although we did get to play at SDSU and U of A in exhibition matches, nothing really compares to the energy inside the Lahaina Civic Center. It being my senior year all I can do is look forward to watching my guys next year have some fun and upset another D1 school.”

The contract to change Chaminade to play every other year was made in order to lift the level of play. Considering every school in the tournament is a top Division I school, it was a decision of whether to keep the Division II school involved or not.

“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,” said previous Chaminade president Brother Bernard Ploeger to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser when first asked about the agreement.

Chaminade, in recent history, has created major upsets in the tournament, for example, when they beat Virginia in 1982, which started the tournament, Texas in 2012, and recently Cal in 2017. The Swords also had close games with Division I teams SDSU and Arizona this past month. Chaminade lost 74-64 to Arizona and 68-63 to San Diego State.

“But the truth is when I told the kids about the change, they weren’t too fond of the idea. Let’s face it, Chaminade is known for two things: the upset of Virginia and the Maui Invitational,” said head coach Eric Bovaird to the Washington Post in August.

Chaminade not being in the Maui Invitational is a change for the Silversword program, but the team currently won games over Alaska Anchorage, Alaska, and Oakland City. The next home game for the men’s basketball team is Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m., versus Fresno Pacific.

The Maui Jim Invitational starts Nov.19-21. The tournament will include Arizona, Auburn, Xavier, Iowa State, Duke, Gonzaga, SDSU, and Illinois.