Maiki Tihada Joins Betty's Hawaii Real Estate Corner to Discuss Her Non-Profit Hoop Heads Academy - Sakamoto Properties

Maiki Tihada Joins Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner to Discuss Her Non-Profit Hoop Heads Academy

Home » Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner » Maiki Tihada Joins Betty’s Hawaii Real Estate Corner to Discuss Her Non-Profit Hoop Heads Academy
January 20, 2022
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Betty Sakamoto: Aloha and welcome to Betty’s Real Estate Corner brought to you by Sakamoto Properties, Roy and Betty Sakamoto, Coldwell Banker Kapalua. It’s kind of going to be an interesting day today. We are going to kind of have a little bit of real estate from time to time. I am hoping Norm Estin might be calling in and giving us the recent report. I am sure we are all seeing that too much right now because it is all pretty frightening. I still like it if I hear from Norm, I trust it a little bit better. In the studio today, we have Maiki Tihada. Maiki was a celebrity basketball player here at Lahainaluna High School who was top in the state boys or girls and I could tell you things and somebody might later say exaggerated which is possible could happen. She is absolutely amazing. Lanny Tihada’s granddaughter you know of all the football thing. Maiki graduated from Lahainaluna, 2015 Maiki?

MT: 2011.

BS: Okay, I guess it must be 2011 she would know. She had a full-ride scholarship to Gonzaga to play basketball of course and fortunately, everybody came back here. We are going to start just talking to Maiki a little bit and hear what she’s been up to. I am going to intermittently come up with a couple of real estate pieces of information. Maiki welcome to the radio.

MT: Thank you betty for having me. I am so excited to be here. Recently, I’ve been having my own basketball training company. It’s called Heads Up Basketball. I came up with that name because I was working with a…

BS: Let’s say I am making it too hard for you. Let me kind of think about some of these things. She came back here and started out actually because and we’ll build up to this because she started out here just getting ready to go for her masters which she did get. Sue Cooley was a person who was a really good friend kind of like a mother to me and I miss her so much. She was the person in Lahaina that funded the stadium. She ended up putting up approximately $8,000,000 so Lahainaluna would end up with a stadium. All the time that we were doing that one of the other things we would do. We would come and see Maiki play basketball and sue loved it and had met Maiki over a long period of time. Of course, as time went on, she knew Lanny, grandpa, or pops as Maiki calls him. Their relationship is so beautiful and wonderful. Anyway, Sue needed some additional help and Maiki ended up helping Sue. The whole relationship of all of us kind of just grew and grew. It’s a little hard but I think in a minute let’s see Maiki started training a lot of the basketball kids, boys, girls I think more boys at the moment.

MT: A lot more boys. I have quite a bit of High School boys now who are juniors. Starting for their teams at Baldwin, at Maui High, at Lahainaluna, Kamehameha. It’s been great to be out in the community and watch these kids.

BS: You also Maiki did a bit of a stint. Let’s say for Maui prep trying to help get the girls started with basketball and I think that was a little bit of an uphill struggle a part of it probably was also pandemic related.

MT: Yeah, definitely. They were trying to go in the direction of starting a girls’ basketball team but with the numbers and the school size and also them offering other sports like cheerleading and whatnot. They just didn’t necessarily have the numbers to start a women’s basketball team. Instead, I am going to be helping actually Maui prep with their summer program.

BS: That’s great. I didn’t realize.

MT: Summer should start at the beginning of June. I actually did it last summer with them. We had I want to say almost 80 kids up at the campus during the pandemic with the covid protocols and whatnot. We are hoping again that come this summer around June time we have more kids up there.

BS: Was that primary basketball or a little bit of training and everything?

MT: It was more of an actual summer school and summer camp type of program. There weren’t many sports-related activities.

BS: I didn’t realize all of that Maiki. That is great.

MT: They have a robotics program within the or like a robotics room within the campus and they have these little tiny robots that the kindergarteners and first graders love to play with.

BS: And the adults.

MT: Yeah. The parents would come and pick their kids up and be like oh my gosh man we didn’t have this technology and this type of program for them. The kids had a great time and I’m excited to actually go and put on another one.

BS: As a community question, I mean it’s interesting how much Maiki has done now but as a community question this year there have to be a lot more kids at Maui Prep. There have been so many new families that have come here not just Maui Prep, Lahainaluna, etc., but still, it has to be a huge thing this summer. It will be great.

MT: Yeah, it will be great. I think they’ve had a boon in numbers it’s within the past year. They have a head of school who is Miguel Solis who has a great relationship with. He is trying to move it in a new better direction so I’m excited to see what happens with that.

BS: It’s a great school a lot of the people that came here, are fortunate for a lot of us realtors. In particular, any of us that have been working Kapalua for so long. It really was amazing because a lot of the people came here, they ended up buying houses all over the island in reality. In West Maui, a lot of the kids end up going to Maui Prep. That wasn’t everybody a lot of them also did Lahainaluna or other schools even Saint Anthony’s depending on what was going on. The younger kids have gone everywhere but again it’s hundreds of kids. That really has been great. I know you’ve added a lot to all of the programs there Maiki. It’s spectacular. It is great.

MT: Yeah, it was honestly my first time ever running some type of summer program outside of basketball. To have an actual summer program that I was in charge of and had organized and had to find the right people and things like that. It was a different experience.

BS: You did it.

MT: It was so fun. I am excited to do it again and put on these different programs that we had last summer.

BS: Maiki is a great organizer. She is also over the years helped us at Sakamoto Properties or now Coldwell Banker Sakamoto. It’s been amazing that she will come sometimes and can help me reorganize something in a flash that will take me the rest of my life if I don’t get some help. She is an amazing organizer so I am sure that will keep going in anything that you do in the future. I am going to see to it by next year this time she will have a real estate license. It may not be her total career, but I think she will have a lot of fun with it because you are smart, you meet a lot of people. Here’s another thing that I could let go of or forget about if I’m not careful. Another thing that she’s doing right now, and I really give her so much credit. She has started a not-for-profit to be able to do some additional things with the kids and to be able to help. Maui, we need a lot of help with things. I’ve been on the Lahainaluna High School Foundation board for what seems like now forever. A lot of people were there before me that have really made things happen. It’s an amazing group. It’s all in a way about fundraising. In our case, at Lahainaluna High School Foundation without Sue Cooley, there never would have been a stadium. There was never going to be enough money. Maiki now is going to have to at some point start fundraising. We are going to help her a little. I think that it’s going to be really an interesting moment to be able to raise funds. Tell us some of the thoughts you’ve got for being able to help in the community with the basketball kids or in general the kids.

MT: I have this is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while but haven’t gotten to it because I’ve been wanting to make sure that I am able to do it with the right people and able to do it the way that I want it to be done. I’ve named my non-profit Hoop Heads Academy.

BS: Oh, that’s great.

MT: Which is kind of a playoff of already my private training and my business called Heads Up Basketball. Hoop Heads Academy will just help me give these kids these basketball players more exposure. Allow me to take create a travel team and take them to the mainland to different competitions and different camps that I didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to do when I was playing in High School in 2011. There were no AAU basketball teams on the island.

BS: We are going to take a quick moment Dr. Norm Estin who’s been on the show a lot and also is a really great friend of all of ours. He is going to give us a little bit of information again. He is on here now. Aloha Norm.

Dr. Norman Estin: Aloha Betty and Roy good afternoon on a gorgeous Maui day.

BS: I’m not sure if you know who’s in the studio with me. It’s Maiki Tihada.

NE: Maiki

MT: Hey, Norm.

NE: A Lahainaluna basketball legend.

BS: She is a legend. She is going to make more legends and exciting things coming up but you will learn more about that later. She will come and have dinner with us one night.

NE: That’s fantastic. It’s great to have her back. That’s terrific.

BS: What are we thinking Norm?

NE: It’s gorgeous out here on the Westside. All are wonderful. The whales are everywhere, the water is flattered glass and we are turning the corner in this coronavirus pandemic all the signs are good.

BS: What about the big numbers? What about these huge numbers that are so scary Norm to all of us?

NE: We are hypnotized by the numbers and the numbers are a good sign because the severity is very low and what’s happening now around the world we are finding with this Omicron variant is that it’s relatively mild especially if you’ve been vaccinated and boosted. We have very few people around the whole world that have been vaccinated, boosted that have gotten sick with this. In fact, what’s happened is they’ve boosted their antibodies and their ongoing level of protection by being exposed to the Omicron. It turns out this is going to help us probably get over this entire pandemic relatively quickly. We find everywhere the numbers are starting to go down. They’ve gone down in South Africa where it started. They are already going down in England. There are a couple of states where they are going down. We are at the peak now. You are going to see over the next couple of weeks these numbers are going to plummet of cases of the Omicron. The hospitals are busy but not swamped. Very few people are requiring intensive care only an occasional person on a ventilator. We are doing great in Hawaii and around the country with this omicron variant. Now, the immunity that people are getting from being exposed to this is especially good if you’ve had the vaccine. It’s not as good if you haven’t had the vaccine. If there’s anybody out there who hasn’t been vaccinated yet hop on it and get to it. If you haven’t been boosted yet all the pharmacies and almost all the doctor’s offices have the booster whether it’s Pfizer or Moderna and that will protect you going forward. Our numbers are going up slowly of people getting vaccinated and boosted which is what we want. We need a bunch more but so far it looks pretty good for the spring here in Maui and in Hawaii. I think we are going to still be testing for a few months. We are obviously going to be checking vaccine cards for indoor dining. We are going to be checking vaccine cards for people to come into the state. That’s not going to change for a while. We are starting to get used to this and I think long term the feeling amongst all the infectious disease experts is that we are going to be able to live with this. Barring that we have another variant in a few months that’s a terrible one. The natural history of this coronavirus family is that we are not going to have a really bad variant coming out. We never know but right now things are moving in the right direction.

BS: We are feeling pretty good then, Norm. We are feeling pretty good. We are going to go with it all.

NE: We are going to go with it all. The federal government is providing masks and testing through the postal service. A little bit late but better late than never. If you are at all concerned and you are feeling it all sick run into your doctor’s office and get a test. If you are positive you still have to isolate yourself. Remember, isolation is what people do if they are sick. Quarantine is what you do if you are exposed to somebody who’s sick.

BS: I think we are probably good with that.

NE: Yeah. We are good. We still have to wear masks in public places and in transportation to not only protect ourselves but to protect others and to slow down the transmission. It doesn’t create immunity or build up our resistance that comes from just one being vaccinated and boosted and two getting mild exposure to the omicron that’s out there.

BS: You know, Norm I think we probably Maiki sharing some information with us. If you can listen because it’s going to be interesting what she’s up to. I think we are probably good at having that report. For most of us, I always feel more comfortable when we get the report from you than when I hear it in the morning or look in the newspaper. Thank you so much for doing that for us. We really appreciate it.

NE: My pleasure. I think it’s great. We still have to pay attention and again this isn’t going to go away miraculously in one day. We are going to wake up and there won’t be any. It’s going to be with us forever but just like a cold or the flu. We are going to get over this bad pandemic hump.

BS: Perfect. Thank you again, Norm. I will see you later today, I hope. Aloha. So, Maiki.

MT: Back to what I was saying.

BS: Yeah, back to what you were saying. Well, I’m glad we got that report because it helps everybody. The more we hear and for someone a lot of people here in Maui to hear from Dr. Estin who everybody knows. I believe he is optimistic. He is genuinely optimistic. We are going in a good direction. Tell us a little again. You were starting to tell us about the not-for-profit and again it takes a lot of guts as a young woman trying to be able to live on Maui and have a life here and make money. You are doing all of those things. Also, being able to come up with a way that you help someone and have set up your not-for-profit and hopefully a lot of people will be able to step up and help with it. Tell us more because it will help the kids so much. The young people.

MT: Yeah, like I said this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve talked with my grandpa pops about many times when I was playing in High School. When I graduated in 2011 there were no travel basketball teams. When I traveled, I was able to get seen by these colleges. I had to play on teams on Oahu, on the Big Island. In my junior year, I was lucky to get selected for team Taurasi Cal Storm which is a nationally recognized girls’ amateur program. I was able to travel to Chicago.

BS: That’s huge from Maui, Lahainaluna girl.

MT: Yeah. South Carolina, Virginia just to play basketball and hopefully get seen and get that exposure. When I came home in 2015 from Gonzaga, I saw that there were maybe 3 or 4 programs. Basketball programs have popped up for the youth and I’ve always wanted to do one but just wanted to wait till the right time and I had the right people around me who had the same vision and who are in it for the right reasons. Who could really put value into what I’m trying to do. I’ve been able to do this Heads Up I mean that Hoop Heads Academy. With Mahina Hannemann-Gago who is an associate, I want to say athletic director at Kamehameha Schools.

BS: Wow. That’s fabulous.

MT: She has her doctorate and she’s extremely intelligent and perfect to help me along on this journey.

BS: You are going to be able to provide a lot more than just basketball or sports. I mean, one of the things you were saying was to help the kids because you know young people everywhere, not just Lahaina, you know in Buffalo in New York and everywhere. You know some of them go to these huge schools that get all of this. It is good to learn how to maybe every so often put on your best clothes. To every so often to be able to talk to not mumble. It’s just hard. We all went to High School. You are doing a lot more or hoping to have people around you that are going to bring so much to the young people of Hawaii in particular Lahaina.

MT: Yeah, I always use the quote with my players “don’t let basketball use you, use basketball to get where you want to go in a career because at some point the ball will always stop bouncing.”

BS: Yeah, that’s right.

MT: With Hoop Heads this allows me to yes I can give these kids exposure and use my connections and networking to help give them a better chance to play at the next level but more than anything else I will be able to give them the skills that they need to be successful. The study habits, the life-building skills, character-building skills, mentorship, things that my grandpa set a great foundation and a great blueprint for me when I was little. Just using that same blueprint for these kids to hopefully give them a chance.

BS: That’s all going to mean a lot for the kids here. It will take a lot of people working with you because it does. It will take all of us to try to find people that will step in and help a bit. There’s so much to be done and it will be really great. I am hoping that if anyone is looking to listen to this show and learn more about what Maiki’s doing check out our website at and you will be able to learn about it. Call Maiki. Would you want to give your phone number if somebody was trying to reach you interested in helping in some way?

MT: Yeah, my phone number is (808) 866-8235. If you have any questions about my non-profit and the direction that we are going in I would love to have a chat with you.

BS: Now, as long as we are here, we’ve only got a couple of minutes left. If you are looking for any real estate information you can call Roy who you can maybe reach right now. Roy Sakamoto at (808) 870-7060. You can reach me at (808) 870-7062 and we will help you with anything. It’s a market that’s really difficult right now there aren’t as many listings as there once were. Give us a call even if you are looking for buying in 5 years, we can help direct you. There’s a number of people in our office that are really ready and able to get to you quickly. If you call and check with one of us, we will see to it that you get somebody. We are now going to come up pretty quickly. We have Danny Couch coming back so we can rock out here too. Where I live there’s Hawaii which is, I always say my all-time favorite. Kanaka Wai Wai is my real all-time favorite Hawaii song but I love Hawaii is certainly one of the most meaningful. I guess from Maiki we’ll say goodbye pretty quickly.

MT: Thank you for having me.

BS: I am so happy.

MT: The best realtors on the island.

BS: Oh, thank you.

MT: Don’t miss out.

BS: We are going to try to get her as one of them even if it’s only going to be a small thing. Danny Couch again with I love Hawaii. I always feel fortunate that we’ve been able to have Danny Couch as our lead-in lead out. Aloha. Aloha Maiki.

MT: Aloha.