WEST MAUI – Buoyed by their success on the indoor and outdoor hard courts here on Maui, as well as the financial aid of local and national organizations, 2015 Lahainaluna High School graduates Marvin Sidon and Max Linder are on their way to college educations at schools on the Mainland.

Both Maui Interscholastic League All-Stars – in basketball for Sidon and tennis for Linder – the two standout student athletes recently received word of financial awards that will help them attend the higher institutions of their choice.

Sidon, a fireplug of a point guard for the MIL champion Luna hoopsters, will attend Pennsylvania State University-Fayette thanks to the support and backing from the Lahaina community, Westside Hoops, and his family both here in Hawaii and in the Philippines. He will room with former Luna basketball standout Luke Williams, and both will compete for the Roaring Lions team.

“I am very fortunate to have Marvin join me here at (Penn State) Fayette. He is a close friend and former teammate at Lahainaluna and a great basketball player. I look forward to seeing what he can accomplish on and off the court during his college career,” said Luke.

Dan Williams, founder and director of Westside Hoops, a nonprofit organization focusing on creating opportunities for West Maui youth through basketball, has high hopes for Marvin.

“Marvin Sidon is a fine example of what hard work and dedication looks like. Westside Hoops is proud to present him with a check for full tuition and board to Pennsylvania State University-Fayette. It is because of the generosity of the Lahaina community and the entire Luna Nation that this was possible. There is no doubt in my mind that Marvin will make us all proud,” he said.

It was on the outdoor tennis hard court that Sidon’s fellow 2015 Lahainaluna graduate, Linder, made his mark. A four-time MIL All-Star as well as a four-time qualifier for the state tournament, Linder overcame a health condition in his youth called hydrocephalus – a condition that causes fluid to build up in the brain – to becoming a dominant force on MIL tennis courts and also on the junior circuit.

He used his interest in tennis for his senior project at Lahainaluna and paid forward the influence of Luna coach Macario Pascual – who in turn propagates the teachings of the late Shigeto “Shigesh” Wakida, the legendary wizard of Lahaina youth tennis successes – on to future generations.

Linder plans to concentrate his college studies at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on tennis coaching and management and business.

Linder applied for a USTA scholarship and wrote an essay for it that described his health condition as a youth, as he had undergone four surgeries by the age of 12.

“I told them my story and how when I overcame it, I could do anything. My biggest interest is tennis, and I didn’t want to do a job I wasn’t interested in,” Linder explained.

Last week, Linder was informed by the USTA that he will be one of 53 recipients of the organization’s $8,000 scholarships towards their college educations. At Methodist University, Linder will try out for the tennis team, but his main focus will be to pursue a business degree with concentration on tennis management.

Congratulations to both Max Linder and Marvin Sidon for carrying on the Lahainaluna torch of excellence to higher education.

Lahaina News, September 3, 2015
Walter Chihara