All-BIIF: St. Joseph’s DeSilva Soars to Top Honor
Cole DeSilva has grown through basketball. His game, and his team, thrived because of it.
St. Joseph’s once-quiet shooting assassin was a key part of the Cardinals’ return to the OC16/Hawai’i High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Championships, their first appearance since 2011. He averaged 14.7 points per game in St. Joseph’s improbable run to the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II Boys Basketball tournament championship.
“The first three years with him, he kinda stayed to himself,” said head coach Mike Scanlan, who was named Coach of the Year in Division II. “This last year, he’s been a lot more outgoing. He’ll joke around with everybody, stuff like that. He kinda let loose a little bit. I told him during the season that it’s probably what I’m most proud of him for is being more of a kid.”
DeSilva’s change in demeanor seemed to show on the basketball court as well. It allowed him to have a little more fun while still respecting the game and working hard to improve his talents.
Growth was a theme with the St. Joseph boys basketball program, which was revived a decade ago by the late Harry Scanlan-Leite, Mike Scanlan’s dad. Despite a few years of missing the BIIF postseason, this year brought about renewed optimism about where the team could go. It brought a large range of emotions together for Scanlan when the Cardinals pulled off their title win.
“When we beat HPA [in the championship game], I actually cried,” Scanlan recalled. “I saw my daughter crying and happy, and then I saw coach Ron [Masulit], and then I saw other people and I just kinda broke down. I just kept crying like a baby. It meant a lot.
“I know my dad, when he was sick, he kept saying ‘I’m gonna beat it. I’m gonna beat it. I still have a lot I wanna do with basketball.’ I was just really happy.”
St. Joseph hasn’t always been blessed with enormous amounts of talent, and a lot of teaching and fine tuning goes into the coaching staff’s daily routine. The returning core of DeSilva, Kaena Naho’opi’i, Jakob Au, and Manato Fukuda made life easier for Scanlan and his staff, but there was still a lot of work to do in getting everything in place.
“It was nice to see everything come together,” Scanlan said.
Growth didn’t begin and end with St. Joseph’s top talent. Scanlan, who just completed his second year as head coach, learned and evolved along the way in how he led his team.
“I definitely changed the way I was coaching them,” Scanlan explained. “I kinda tried to take the pressure off of them a little more this year…I just told them that at the end of the day, we’re just throwing a leather ball in a metal hoop. It’s nothing to really worry about too much.
Scanlan said he received a lot of help from the team’s parents, as well as each of the players. A former member of the United States Army, he said that basketball, and the cooperation he’s received from everyone along the way, has been a major assist to him.
2015-2016 All-BIIF Division II Boys Basketball Awards
Cole DeSilva, St. Joseph
Jonathan Charbonneau, Honoka’a
Jonas Skupeika, Hawai’i Preparatory Academy
Keinan Agonias, Pahoa
Manato Fukuda, St. Joseph
Kili Oliveira, Pahoa
Chance Pang, Kohala
Koa Callihan, Honoka’a
Jonah Hurney, Hawai’i Prep
Kaena Naho’opi’i, St. Joseph
Hawai’i Prep – Dylan Ngongo Dikobo, Matija Vitorovic, Michael Hanano
Honoka’a – Kysen Datuin, Kamuela Spencer-Herring, Kelvin Falk
Ka’u – Evan Manoha, Janslae Badua, Pete Dacalio
Kohala – Isaiah Salvador, Maui Hook
Laupahoehoe – Aasyn Datuin, Kadan Stamm
Pahoa – Joel Rosario Jr.
Player of the Year – Cole DeSilva, St. Joseph
Coach of the Year – Mike Scanlan, St. Joseph