“The Unrelenting Pursuit”
Heads UP Basketball in Lahaina, HI was founded by Maiki Tihada (Maiki Viela in her playing days). UP stands for “The Unrelenting Pursuit,” which is vital for an athlete to stay ahead of the competition. Heads UP specializes in basketball skill development as well as multi-sport agility and conditioning services. Innovative training techniques are used to help improve athletic performance and overall function.
Maiki Tihada has been playing basketball for as long as she can remember and honed her skills on the basketball hoop her grandfather “Pops”, Lanny Tihada, put up in the driveway. Pops put a basketball in her crib as a baby and from there she played the game every day, wherever she could. Maiki remembers Pops putting her through basketball dribbling and shooting drills while also getting her in the weight room from a young age, which spurred her love for the game and taught her hard work and discipline. She is a life-long member of the Lahaina community and graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 2011. She was fortunate enough to receive a full-scholarship to Gonzaga University in Washington and finished her career at Morehead State University in Kentucky. While at Gonzaga, her teams won 3 straight West Coast Conference Championships and reached the NCAA tournament 3 times with an Elite Eight appearance.
A back injury suffered during the state tournament her junior year of high school affected her body by not allowing her to push it to the point it had to be to succeed at a high level. Discouraged at first, it never dampened her passion for the game and only encouraged her to help aspiring basketball players in her hometown. Heads UP Basketball was created for the sole purpose of giving aspiring collegiate basketball players the opportunities she wishes she had. In high school and when she would come home from college there were no basketball skill development trainers that she could work with or who had real experience playing at a high level. All of the extra skill sessions and long days at the gym were conducted and performed by herself, which forced her to figure it out on her own. Because of the lack of basketball trainers, especially on the west side of Maui, she decided to use her experience and knowledge to help players who have the same goal she did: receive a free education to college.
Sue D. Cooley was the back-bone and ultimately the deciding factor that encouraged and gave her the confidence to start Heads UP Basketball. Heads UP Basketball is a nod to her and named after her favorite phrase, “heads up football,” which she would constantly repeat. “Heads up football,” stands for keeping your head on a swivel and being ready for any opportunity that presents itself. The correlation fits perfectly with basketball, which is why she named the venture Heads UP Basketball and why she will forever be indebted to Mrs. Cooley for giving her the extra push she needed to help the next generation.
Why Heads UP Basketball?
Basketball has become extremely competitive and the ability to separate yourself from the competition is integral. Maiki Tihada has a wealth of knowledge from the many years playing competitive basketball in high school with the elite Nike Sponsored California Storm Team Taurasi and in college with Division 1 colleges Gonzaga University and Morehead State University. Her life experience, basketball experience, and expertise, are invaluable in teaching kids to grow as basketball players and individuals. Maiki has been where you want to be and knows firsthand what it takes to get there and be successful.
Awards & Recognitions
Maiki Tihada, Founder & Trainer, Heads UP Basketball
- Member of Hawaii National Team “Ke Apuni” (2019)
- Lahainaluna Girls Varsity Basketball Mentor (Current)
- Lahaina Girls Menehune Mentor (Current)
- 2019 Hawaii Jr. NBA Assistant Coach
- 2018 Hawaii High School Showcase Girls Coach
- 2018 Keynote Speaker for Alexander & Baldwin’s Sports Spotlight Awards Ceremony
- West Maui Youth Basketball League Pee-Wee Head Coach
- Parade All American (Resolution No. 11-58)
- June 17, 2011 received Ceremonial Resolution by Maui County Council
- 2011 Basketball Parade All American (first Maui Interscholastic League (MIL) athlete in any sport to be named a PARADE All-American) (only female from Hawaii to be named a Basketball Parade All American)
- 2011 Semifinalist for the McDonald’s All American Game
- 2011 Hawaii High School Athletic Hall of Honor
- 2010 Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin State Player of the Year
- 3x Hawaii All-State selection
- 2x Hawaii’s Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year (2010, 2011)
- M.I.L. Division 1 Player of the Year (2010, 2011)
- California Storm Team Taurasi 2010