HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Furtado resigns as girls coach
In his 10 seasons as girls basketball coach at Kalaheo High, there was no way Chico Furtado could be ignored. After five league championships, the longtime coach has resigned his post.
Ryan Hogue, a former all-state player with the Kalaheo boys team, will take over as coach of the Lady Mustangs.
"When I entered girls basketball in 1997 'til now, I hope my presence has impacted the game in some way," said Furtado, who stepped down as the Lady Mustangs coach, but will remain as boys basketball coach.
Furtado will also keep his Hawaii Select all-star summer team intact. That program has helped local girls basketball players showcase their talent in summer mainland tournaments since he became Kalaheo's coach.
"More teams are going to the mainland and there's a higher level of play now. If nothing else, we've upped the bar a little bit in terms of what coaches need to do to get to a high-intensity level," Furtado said.
The former Iolani standout guard always brought red-alert levels of rigor to the gym, but Kalaheo's emergence under his watch may have surprised some watchers. They didn't realize Furtado's palette of coaching skills went beyond game-time debates with officials.
"I think their passion to want to learn is always there," he said of coaching girls. "I had two freshmen this year, they were like sponges and always wanted to get better. For the most part, almost all of my teams played hard. I've always been the first one to say that whether they're boys or girls, to treat them as players first. Their reason for being out there is basketball. Everything else, like their gender, comes later."
Furtado's trademark white towel and constant management was no different with the girls.
"I used to get on them as hard as I did on my guys. People wanted me to ease up because they were girls, but what I expect out of them is what I expect of a basketball player," he said.
He may have eased up in recent years, but that had more to do with expectations than anything.
"I really was very pleased with my team this year. With the kind of talent we had, for us to get as far as we did, we lost three key players from last year's team and were still able to get to the (OIA) championship game," he said. "I think it was one of the better jobs we've done."
Constraints of coaching two teams factored in his decision.
"I really think that the three-week overlap between boys and girls is crucial, I really feel like the last few years I wasn't comfortable to work with the girls at a time when you need to put in stuff and teach," he said.
The time for a change could've been a lot sooner.
"It's gotten to a point where I realize it's never a good time to leave. The best time to leave, I should've left after Brandy's last year," he said, referring to All-State Player of the Year Brandy Richardson. "But Bre Carson comes along, Latoya Wily comes in. The year after that, Kaliko (Kepa) comes in, I wanted to see Shantel (Marumoto) develop, and Shan comes in."
Shanadee Canon will be back for her senior season after being voted to the Star-Bulletin All-State Fab 15.
"It's a good time for somebody to come take over while there's still a premier player. I talked with Shanadee. My decision to leave was centered on her more than anything else, making sure she's OK," Furtado said. "She's got three or four Division I schools looking at her. I feel good about the summer and the Hawaii Select and some of the things we'll be doing for her in the fall. She's met the qualifications."
At 24, Hogue will be the youngest basketball coach in the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
"I'm excited," said Hogue, an assistant athletic director, who is at the HIADA conference in Wailea this week. "We're playing in Punahou's summer league right now."
Furtado, meanwhile, will enjoy watching his niece, Alexis, play at Kamehameha.
"Nikki Fu (of Maryknoll) is one of the best players in the state, and I haven't seen her play," said Furtado, who is a counselor at Maryknoll. "There are some top players I've never seen play yet."
Maui coach also steps down: Bill Naylor has stepped down as coach of the Maui boys basketball program.
The former UH-Hilo Vulcan had his most successful year with Tevita Finau at center and Gabe Rivera at guard three years ago. That team finished 28-1.