Standhardinger wins King of the Beach
True to his word, Christian Standhardinger won the Hawaii basketball team’s “King of the Beach” competition on Saturday at Waikiki Beach.
Standhardinger, a junior forward, edged senior Hauns Brereton to reverse the top finishing positions of a year ago. Brereton took the title last year, and Standhardinger vowed to his mother that he would return to take the crown in 2012.
“It feels amazing,” Standhardinger said. “Last year I lost by one point against Hauns … I told my mom on the tape that I would get it this year, I promised her.”
The King of the Beach competition has become the annual end to preseason conditioning for the Warriors. It features various strength and conditioning drills in the soft sand at Waikiki.
This year’s competition consisted of 15 drills, including sand sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, various relays, a long jump and a weighted-ball toss.
“It’s a little bit about bringing out the fifth grader in me,” said head coach Gib Arnold, who created the drills. “Just having some fun – something we all did at one time or another when you grow up near the beach. I tried to make it hard, but fun at the same time.”
Standhardinger said he put in extra beach time this summer in preparation for the competition. While most of the other Warriors returned home during the summer months, Standhardinger – who is from Germany – stayed in Honolulu. He was quick to credit teammate Jace Tavita for training with him this summer.
As the new King of the Beach, Standhardinger received the perpetual koa bowl trophy, which he gets to display above his locker throughout the season. Bill Amis won the inaugural competition in 2010, and Brereton won it last year. Upon presenting the trophy to Standhardinger, Brereton said: “Put it above your locker and kiss it before each game.”
Brereton won the final drill of the day – an elaborate concoction that awarded more points than any of the other drills – but it still wasn’t enough to make up the difference.
“I think it was the beginning, he beat me on the first couple,” Brereton said. “I took a little bit longer to get going, but Christian came out and he was there. He was ready – good competitor.”
Freshman Michael Harper placed third. “I thought Harper had a good chance – he was my dark horse,” Arnold said. “But those upper classmen are a little bit smarter and some of those events that they know how to do, they have an edge.”
Among the other Warriors who fared well were Brandon Jawato, Jace Tavita, Davis Rozitis and Dyrbe Enos. Perhaps most impressive, every player that participated in the competition scored.
“We take a photo of them the first day of class with their shirt off and we weigh them and get the body fat and do all their testing,” Arnold said. “And just in the photos alone you can start to see these guys starting to get ripped and getting bigger, stronger, faster, and that’s what this first season is all about.”
Senior center Vander Joaquim observed the competition with a brace on his right knee. Here is a quick interview with him:
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