Sports

Carvalho Receives ‘Largest Scholarship Offer’ to Oregon Tech

April 30, 2014, 2:50 PM HST
* Updated May 1, 8:49 AM
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Danny Miles has spent 43 years as the head coach of the Oregon Institute of Technology men’s basketball coach. In that time, he has won 1,004 games, 14 NAIA district or conference championships, and three national championships.

With that kind of track record, it says a lot that he has never offered the kind of scholarship that he offered to Hilo High School senior Jalen Carvalho, an offer that allows him to play both basketball and baseball for the Hustlin’ Owls.

In deciding on offering the scholarship package to Carvalho, Miles sought out several people, including Hawai`i Prep co-head coach Fred Wawner and Hilo head coach Chuck Vallero.

“All of those people talked about what a great leader he is and he just hustles every place he goes and those kinds of things,” Miles said. “I liked what I heard about that.”

Miles has only six scholarships to dole out between 17 players on his team. “He’s getting the best I’ve given,” he said in a phone interview.

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“Part of that, too, is that he’s going to be playing baseball,” Miles explained. “He doesn’t have to play baseball, but he wants to, and I can help my son (Matthew Miles) out that way, too.

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Carvalho spurned offers from all of the state’s Division II basketball programs, as well as some junior colleges, to become a dual sport athlete at Oregon Tech.

“My first love is basketball,” Carvalho said. “Baseball is just another sport I could play, so I took that offer to play baseball, and I’m glad I get the opportunity to play.”

Carvalho is the younger brother of Jayce Carvalho, who excelled on the diamond at Kamehameha-Hawai`i before accepting an offer to continue his playing career at Hawai`i Pacific University. His baseball career was cut short, however, due to injury.

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Jalen is coming off a stellar basketball season at Hilo. He was named the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s player of the year after scoring 28 points per game. At 6-foot-3, his height and shooting ability were matchup nightmares for opposing teams that had no one to adequately silence him from the perimeter.

“I am just proud of myself for developing and working harder and seeing how I’ve evolved into being a better basketball player. I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone,” said Carvalho.

Don’t forget about him on the baseball diamond, though. His power bat makes him a difficult out in the heart of a batting order. His height makes him a natural fit at first base, but he can also pitch. He has had solid outings this season against Konawaena and Waiakea, two of the tougher lineups in the BIIF.

Carvalho will have familiar faces to lean on in both sports at Oregon Tech. Kohala alum Brandon Bautista and Hawai`i Preparatory Academy graduate Tyler Van Kirk are currently on Miles’ staff. Bautista was named to the Cascade Collegiate Conference Red Lion All-Conference Team after scoring 10.1 points per game and dishing out over five assists. Van Kirk just completed his freshman season.

Konawaena graduate Domonic Morris just completed his freshman season on the OIT baseball team. He hit .250 this year with three home runs and 10 runs batted in.

The Hawai`i connection runs deeper for Miles, dating back to his time as a three-sport standout at Southern Oregon University. “I used to play against Jimmy Yagi back in the ’70s and Bill O’Rear when he was playing and stuff. They had a great atmosphere then.”

The atmosphere at OIT, specifically at Danny Miles Court, may be an eye-opener for Carvalho. Last season, an average game attendance of 1,141 filled up the gym to watch Miles’ team play against NAIA competition. Reaching the postseason in 12 of the last 15 helps build that strong fan base.

Carvalho still has some work to do, however, before heading to Klamath Falls, Ore. Besides graduating next month, Carvalho still has the BIIF baseball championships ahead of him. The Vikings face Waiakea next Wednesday to open a best-of-three series, determining the league champion. After that, Hilo will compete in the Wally Yonamine Foundation / Hawai`i High School Athletic Association Division I Baseball Championships, held at Oahu’s Les Murakami Stadium.

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