Chase Iwata-Bartelme and Cameron King grew up playing basketball together.
Now, with their Maui Interscholastic League careers behind them, they stand as The Maui News MIL Players of the Year.
Iwata-Bartelme of King Kekaulike High School garnered the Division I award for the second straight season and Seabury Hall's King joins his brother, two-time winner Dylan King, on the Division II list.
Chase Iwata-Bartelme of King Kekaulike High School is the Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys basketball Player of the Year for a second straight time.
GLEN PASCUAL photo
Cameron King has been named Maui Interscholastic League Division II boys basketball Player of the Year after helping Seabury Hall finish third in the state tournament.
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
The selections are made by the league's coaches.
"I'm very relieved, very happy," said Iwata-Bartelme, a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 16.9 points, 3.4 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game this season for Na Alii. "But first of all, I can't claim anything without thanking my team and my coach for all of that. I wouldn't have received anything if not for the team giving me the ball, the team distributing it."
Iwata-Bartelme is joined on the D-I first team by Baldwin's Teva Eldridge and Ryan Garces, Maui High's Tristan Nichols and Lahainaluna's Cyrus Kama.
Outgoing Lahainaluna coach John Dudley was named MIL D-I Coach of the Year for leading the Lunas back from an 0-2 league start to a state-tournament berth.
The rest of the D-II first team comprises Seabury's Jaxson Stinger, Lanai's Marcus Koep, Molokai's David Rapanot and St. Anthony's Preston Masanda.
Scott Davenport is MIL D-II Coach of the Year after St. Anthony recorded six league victories one season after winning once.
Iwata-Bartelme and King have competed with and against each other since kindergarten. They spoke soon after King was notified of his award last week.
"I have known him since we were 5 years old, we are pretty close," Iwata-Bartelme said. "He is actually one of my best friends growing up and I'm very proud of him because he really did some damage and it was really cool watching him play.
"I actually talked to him about how the season went and he was so stoked to find out just yesterday. It's pretty cool."
Na Alii went 5-9 this season, one year after winning their first MIL boys basketball title. The only two players to return after having meaningful playing time on the championship unit were Iwata-Bartelme and second-team All-Star Elijah Engoring.
"The first year was kind of the team that I grew up with," Iwata-Bartelme said. "I was playing with Jansen (Agapay), Jacob (Havron) and Colton (Beesley) guys for a long time, so we had a chemistry. Me and Elijah, we still had the chemistry but it just seemed to, like, not really fit as well this year. So, it was a learning experience going through adversity.
"We had to put together things, pieces of the puzzle that didn't really fit this year. I felt that we did all right and I was very satisfied with the way our team finished."
King, a 6-1 guard, led Seabury to third place in the D-II state tournament, the highest finish ever for an MIL team.
"It feels really good, I'd like to thank my coaches and teammates for supporting me all season," said King, the Spartans' scoring leader, who was named to the state all-tournament team. "I had a couple off games during the season, but we worked on the offense a lot in practice and I was able to execute and get some good looks."
Both players of the year are up in the air about their college futures.
Iwata-Bartelme has an invited walk-on opportunity at Portland State and a tryout with Tyler (Texas) Junior College later this month. King said he may play in college, but right now is leaning toward attending Colorado State, where he would not play.
King couldn't wait to tell his older brother, who is currently redshirting with an injury at Regis University in Denver - Dylan King will be a fifth-year senior next season.
"I'm sure he will be very proud," Cameron King said. "He's done it two times, but I'm sure he will be proud of me. He taught me a lot - we still work out during the summer. He has helped pushed me to go to my limits."
Cal Lutheran and La Verne are also among Cameron King's college possibilities. Wherever he ends up, King will take historic memories with him.
"We wished we could have got to the finals, but it was good to get third," he said. "I hope next year they can do better."
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