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Chaminade men’s hoops visits Depauw farm

Chaminade men’s hoops visits Depauw farm
Chaminade men’s hoops visits Depauw farm
Members of the Chaminade men’s basketball team fill their plates as they were treated to a meal at the home of Steve and Jane Carr in Depauw Friday evening. The Silverswords played the University of Louisville in an exhibition game the night before. Photo by Wade Bell
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer

Members of the Chaminade University of Honolulu men’s basketball team spent Friday evening at a place some of them had never visited: a farm.

The Silverswords enjoyed time at 3D Valley Farm owned by Steve and Jane Carr. The Carr’s son-in-law, Eric Bovaird, is head coach of the team, a position he’s held for 12 years.

Team members saw horses and cattle up close and shared a meal featuring beef brisket, the meat from an animal raised on the farm. They also played basketball with the youngsters who were present, the Carrs’ grandchildren.

Bovaird said the team takes a big road trip every other year. It’s an opportunity for his players, many of whom have never been east of the Mississippi, to see a part of their country they might otherwise not. It also provides the chance to play in some large arenas.

The Silverswords, a Division II school, were competitive in an exhibition game Thursday night with the D1 Louisville Cardinals, eventually losing by five points in the KFC Yum! Center. During their trip, they were also scheduled to face off against Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati.

Upon returning to Honolulu, the Silverswords will host the renowned Maui Invitational, a favorite of college tournaments dating to its first year in 1984. Bovaird said U of L will play in the invitational this year.

The tournament was founded following Chaminade’s biggest glory — knocking off the University of Virginia, undefeated and ranked No. 1 — in 1982. At the time, Chaminade belonged to the NAIA. After the upset, Virginia’s head coach suggested the school consider hosting a tournament, and the Maui Invitational, now known as the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, was born. Five times the winner has gone on to win the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship.

While they are 8-96 in the tournament, the Silverswords have acquired a reputation as “giant killers,” defeating powerhouses such as Villanova, Texas and California in the Maui Invitational.

Bovaird said the event has attracted many notable programs through the years, including Indiana University, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Kansas and UCLA.
The team’s trip to the Midwest this year included a day visiting sites in Louisville, having breakfast with the Cincinnati Bengals and watching the NFL team in action.

Bovaird said basketball — the most-loved sport by far for Hoosiers — is nowhere near that esteemed in Hawaii.

“I talked about how popular the game is,” he said. “This is the grassroots area.”

At the Louisville game, Bovaird said his team was “amazed at the fans. It was eye-opening. Basketball is not the most popular sport in Hawaii. It’s down the list.”

After facing Cincinnati on Nov. 7, the Silverswords were to return to Honolulu to prepare for the Maui Invitational, set this year for Nov. 21 through 23. The tournament is carried by ESPN.