Senior point guard Ty Minatoya has been starting point guard for the HBA varsity basketball team since his freshman year.
This season, his last on the court for the Eagles, Minatoya played through some pain in his thigh as he always did with other injuries, but later discovered that he had a torn quadriceps tendon and would have to sit out at least four weeks of his final season.
“At first, it was hard to overcome this challenge because I worked so hard to be at my best for my senior year. I was sad that I couldn’t play but then I realized that I can’t act sad and salty about my injury because that would be selfish of me. I told myself that ‘I can get bitter or I can get better.’ I chose to get better and support my team through guiding the younger players and helping them with challenges on the court,” explained Minatoya.
Minatoya’s love for the game began when he started playing at three years old. “My favorite part about basketball is playing games because I get to compete against other teams and display what we’ve worked so hard on at practice,” he said. Minatoya’s hard work and training helped prepare him to join the varsity team as a freshman.
I told myself that ‘I can get bitter or I can get better.’ I chose to get better and support my team through guiding the younger players and helping them with challenges on the court
“Playing on varsity for four years has been a blessing,” he said, “because I’ve been able to learn from older players the nuances of the game and how to run a team. Being pulled up as a freshman was an honor but it was hard because I had to work extra hard to earn my place and compete against great players.”
As the season came to a close early this year, Minatoya was able to return to the court for the last four games. In spite of being sidelined for a significant part of the season, Minatoya was named to the ILH Division II All-Stars Second Team. Looking back as his long career with HBA Basketball, Minatoya said, “I’m going to miss the players and camaraderie that I’ve had with them, especially hanging with the boys on and off the court.”
With graduation and college just around the corner, Minatoya is looking forward to more freedom and new experiences outside of Hawaii. Although his career playing high school basketball has come to a close, Minatoya said, “Basketball has affected my life immensely because it’s been a part of my life for over 15 years. Basketball has taught me to work hard, be humble, and always compete.” These are the skills and lessons Minatoya will carry with him the rest of his life.