Chaminade to face UH Warriors at Sheriff Center after long absence
The basketball buzz on the Chaminade campus was heavy last month when a Dec. 9 date game with University of Hawaii was confirmed.
UH approached CUH about the game, according to Chaminade coach Matt Mahar, and K5 will televise it to a statewide audience.
“We’re fortunate Coach Nash gave us this opportunity,” Mahar said. “I think he wants to reach out to the other Hawaii schools and give them a chance, and it’s good for basketball. We played a good exhibition against them last year, and it worked out for both. What played to our favor was that they already had BYUH and Hilo scheduled for exhibitions, and you can only have two. They learned they could add one more and, rather than pay another school a lot of money to come here, they just said let’s get CUH. They called me in August to see if we were interested. We need games like everyone else, and the next thing you know, a contract arrived.”
The meeting between Chaminade and Hawaii will be their first “scheduled” regular-season game since Dec. 15 of the 1982-83 season. The Silverswords, then an N.A.I.A. program, prevailed 56-47 that night at Blaisdell Arena, only a week before Merv Lopes’ team defeated Ralph Sampson and Virginia, the top-ranked Division I team, in what has been called the greatest upset in the history of college basketball. The two met in 2003 at the Maui Invitational, with the Warriors winning 68-54, but that one came up by way of the tourney’s bracket. Their only other scheduled game was in the 1980-81 season, a 64-58 Hawaii win, when Chaminade was in its first year of N.A.I.A. Following their 1982 game, the WAC discouraged member schools from playing teams of lower affiliations.
Kalaheo High head coach Chico Furtado was a CUH guard from 1976-1980 and recalls longing for a chance to play against the state’s only Division I college program. He missed his chance by a year, as the Silverswords moved from Division III to N.A.I.A following his graduation, and the Swords were added to the Hawaii schedule by thencoach Larry Little.
“We definitely wanted a chance to play them,” said Furtado, a Chaminade assistant on the late Pete Smith’s staff in 1989-90. “We used to go down to Klum Gym in the summer and play against them. In summer league we played with and against a lot of them. They had toomuch to lose then (by playing Chaminade). They don’t have