The HPU Men’s Basketball team has partnered with Manoa and Noelani Elementary Schools throughout the months of September and October. The team has provided mentorship through read aloud programs, healthy living discussions, bicycle helmet safety program, PE classes, basketball clinics and awards programs. The schools will be invited to attend a game highlighting their schools.
The Sharks have also recently volunteered to have a work day at the He‘eia Fish Pond near Kane‘ohe. The student-athletes and coaches assisted in the ongoing restoration of the 800 year-old cultural relic. The squad planted kalo and fertilized it with seaweed from the pond. The team also helped remove invasive mangrove trees from an overgrown area as well as re-establish a previous ‘auwai that feeds fresh water into the pond. The day began with an oli and a blessing, then concluded with a tour and an educational presentation to gain a better understanding of ancient Hawai‘i and the importance of preserving cultural and natural resources. The event was set up by Associate Head Coach Jesse Nakanishi.
When asked about the day Head Coach Darren Vorderbruegge commented, “This is a valuable experience for the young men on our team, an opportunity they would not get anywhere else. As Hawai‘i residents we place a high significance on teaching our student-athletes to respect our ‘aina. Coach Nak does a terrific job of coordinating ways for us to ‘give back’ and learn from our community.”