Kamehameha Maui girls basketball player named national finalist for Jersey Mike’s Naismith Courage Award
Kamehameha Schools Maui high school senior Kealoha Baricuatro has been named a finalist for the 2024 Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Basketball Courage Award. Baricuatro, who tragically lost her father due to COVID-19, and lost her home during the Maui wildfires, was selected as one of 10 national finalists.
The national nomination process saw hundreds of entries from coaches, parents and athletic directors across the country.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, which administers the Naismith Awards, celebrating high school and college basketball’s most prestigious national awards, will announce a female winner and a male winner on March 6.
The Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Basketball Courage Award recognizes a high school basketball player who has consistently gone above and beyond throughout the basketball season and has demonstrated courage in their approach to their team, school and community.
Baricuatro’s academic and athletic achievements, amid profound personal losses, highlight her extraordinary resilience. Despite the grief of losing her father to COVID-19 and losing her home in the Maui wildfires, Baricuatro maintained a GPA above 3.0 and pursued a specialized certificate in Information Security.
“Her dedication to perpetuating the Hawaiian language and culture, alongside her outstanding athletic prowess in multiple sports, illustrates her strength, leadership and determination,” according to the announcement.
“Every year, we’re moved by the stories of these young basketball players from across the country, whose bravery and leadership inspire us all,” said Eric Oberman, the head of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “It’s a joy to recognize Kealoha as one of the top ten contenders for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Basketball Courage Award. She truly represents what this honor is all about.”
For the two final winners, Jersey Mike’s will make a $2,000 donation to the players’ high school basketball programs in their honor and reward each overall winner with an additional $2,000 per student. Winners will be recognized at their school and through a video tribute shared across the Naismith Trophy and Jersey Mike’s websites and social media accounts.
“All of us at Jersey Mike’s applaud these 10 courageous student-athletes,” said Rich Hope, Chief Marketing Officer of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “Their fortitude and their communities’ support are a testament to the power of perseverance.”
For more information about the winners, visit www.astudentabove.com.