Co-op boys put on a show

Majuro Co-op High School player Jonathan “Jonjon” Hawley skies to the rim for a shot in the first game at the new Assumption court Tuesday. Co-op won 73-40. Photo: Chewy Lin.

WILMER JOEL

Julius Caesar once said “veni, vidi, vici.” Translated from the Latin: “We came, we saw, we conquered.”

That fairly describes the play of the Majuro Cooperative (Co-op) High School boys basketball team that made its debut for Kwajalein Day at Ebeye last week and wrapped up its visit with a 3-0 record against Ebeye and Kwajalein high school teams.

The Majuro champion from last year’s high school league was invited to join in the annual Kwajalein Day festivities, and went up against Ebeye SDA in the Kwajalein Day championship battle last Wednesday, easily winning 58-43.

They played the Kwaj Spartans high school team the next day with a similar result, 54-31. Then came Friday’s game against Ebeye Calvary High School, which had lost by a single point to SDA earlier in the week.

By now, the Coop team was on a roll and it continued into their final game with Calvary, a game that will forever be imprinted on RMI Basketball Nation.
The game featured a runway score of 104-60 at the Jabro basketball court. The gym was packed with spectators and thousands more were watching the live stream by the National Telecommunication Authority media crew on their Facebook page.

Although the first half was relatively close, Co-op dominated the scoreboard throughout second half.

The highlight of the game that is now talked about by many basketball fans is the performance of Co-op star player Jonjon Hawley, who picked up an errant Calvary pass at half court, broke free of the pack with a couple of fast dribbles and took flight to the basket, slamming home a two-handed dunk (photo, p11). The uproar that followed was akin to the celebration that follows a championship victory, as Ebeye fans and Jonjon’s Co-op teammates erupted from the sidelines, rushing out onto the court in jubilation of the first-ever dunk at the Jabro court.

The dunk sent shockwaves in the compound as well as around the internet, electrifying basketball fans.

One fan posted on facebook that: “The first player that dunked on the Jabro complex basketball court is, was, will always be a Co-op student.”

Another fan watching the NTA live stream observed the Majuro players were tall because they were fed the baby formula Similac as opposed to the Ebeye players who were raised on Morinaga. This comment went viral and since Friday’s game, everyone — including Coop team members and fans — have used “Similac” when referring to Coop’s team.

Tuesday this week, Co-op boys took on Assumption High School’s team in the first game following the blessing and official opening of the new basketball court next to the Uliga school. The game was described by one Co-op fan as “Similac vs. Enfamil.” Co-op breezed to the win, 73-40.
Following the boys high school game, Team Majuro and Team Lae treated the crowd to a fine exhibition of women’s basketball. Majuro defeated Lae in a close game 46-39.

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