A Second Family
Boy’s basketball team is close-knit in victory and defeat.
By Sean Aronson
The next night brought an even bigger Molokai fan base and this time, the fans taped two ‘Go Molokai’ signs to the wall. But their opponent, Castle High School, is a local favorite and they too had a crowd to match that of the Farmers.
After a first half that saw the opposing team hit eight three pointers and Molokai miss a half dozen easy shots, the Farmers were down fifteen. The crowd looked sullen, but knew their boys wouldn’t give up without a fight. They were proven right when the team stormed out of the locker room and brought the crowd to their feet with a spirited third quarter comeback.
Things got heated as the Farmers climbed all the way back to within six points. After a mad scramble for the ball, a Castle player rose to his feet looking to taunt a Molokai player, Scottie Rapanot. Rapanot, bigger and certainly stronger than the skinny guard, just walked away without a word or so much as a dirty look.
It was the perfect image for a team that never allows it to get involved in the taunting and mind games so often found in basketball. And this resistance is made even more admirable when you consider the hard-nosed intensity Molokai plays with.
Their on-court tenacity is something to behold. Every loose ball, every rebound sees a Farmer or two or three darting to the floor or boards to secure the ball. More times than I can remember, I overheard fans comment about the ferocious focus with which Molokai plays. It can be seen in the eyes of every player, on every possession.
That kind of passion can not be taught, but it can be fostered, and Coach Lee DeRouin has done just that in his short time with the program. He and Assistant Coach Lester Delos Reyes (a stand-out player in his own MHS days), have brought discipline and drive to this team.
This is epitomized by their chant of ‘1, 2, 3, hard work’ every time they leave a huddle.
I’d like to thank the entire team and coaching staff for letting me witness their passion on and off the court, and for a short time, feeling like a member of their family.
Mahalo Nui Loa,