It was born out of college basketball’s “biggest upset.”
In 1982, the Silverswords grabbed national headlines — and the national imagination — when they dominated No. 1-ranked Virginia. The final score: 77-72. Two years later, Chaminade launched what’s now known as the Maui Jim Maui Invitational as the premier early-season basketball tournament.
And the invitational is still going strong.
The 38th annual event, held in Las Vegas this year because of COVID protocols, wrapped up in November and once again attracting the nation’s top programs and continuing to underscore Chaminade’s outsized role in college basketball. There’s hope the invitational will return to Maui in 2022.
But this year at least, the Ninth Island was close enough — and a popular stand-in for attendees. Spectators converged on the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from Nov. 22-24 to watch the action. This year’s eight participating teams were:
- Chaminade University;
- Butler University;
- University of Houston;
- University of Notre Dame;
- University of Oregon;
- St. Mary’s College (making their first appearance);
- Texas A&M University;
- and University of Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Badgers took home the championship title, beating St. Mary’s College.
Chaminade, which participates every other year in the tournament, was the sole Division II team represented. The Silverswords went up against the Oregon Ducks, Notre Dame and Butler Bulldogs.
Chaminade’s role in the tournament — both on and off the court — has continued to underscore the University’s strong tradition of basketball. So it’s no coincidence that a long list of Silverswords go on to play professionally. Here’s a look at some of the Chaminade alumni who are currently playing pro:
- Grant Dressler ‘19 plays in Slovakia and previously played for a team in Germany.
- Kuany Kuany ‘17 used to play in Australia and now represents Osijek in Croatia.
- Rohndell Goodwin ‘17 plays with VfL Kirchheim Knights in Germany. Averaging 16.3 points a game, Goodwin previously played with the UK’s Bristol Flyers and for other teams in Germany.
- Tyler Cartaino ‘20 plays for the Reading Rockets in the UK, averaging 18.8 points a game.
- Eliet Donley ‘20 is playing with Japan’s Toyama Grouses.
- Marko Kolaric ‘08, averaging 20 points a game, plays with a team in Austria.
- Andre Arrissol ‘20 is on the UK’s VfL Kirchheim Knights team.
- Previously playing in Denmark, Austin Pope ‘18 has signed to Serbia’s Novi Pazar team.
- Sam Daly ‘17 plays with Australia’s Sturt Sabres.
- And Kendall Small ‘20 plays for the San Diego Guardians.