Xavier Navigators Headed for Pohnpei

When I first arrived at Xavier in 1963 to begin teaching, basketball was all but unknown in the islands. Baseball was the sport of that era, dating back to the Japanese administration before the war. By the end of my first year, the Xavier team had uniforms and were playing the Filipino workers around the island. The next year they were playing Truk High School, which also had put together a team. Basketball in Chuuk was on its way to becoming the popular sport it is today.

 

Basketball at Xavier in the 1960’s.

 

For the past few years, the Xavier basketball team has been taking its game to Pohnpei, where a high school tournament is held during the holiday season.  The Navigators, the Xavier team, tries to find its way to Pohnpei to participate in the tournament, but certain navigational problems must be overcome first. Not strong contrary winds or a cloudy sky that eclipses the stars to steer by, but the funds to get the team aboard the plane for Pohnpei.

The team looks good on the court, as I can personally attest, and the Navigators are ready to challenge other high schools for bragging rights in a sport that has a fifty-year history at Xavier. All they need is the price of the tickets to Pohnpei.

If you can help, please check out the link for the fund-raiser:  https://www.gofundme.com/XavierNavigatesToPohnpei

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About the author

Francis X. Hezel, SJ
Francis X. Hezel, SJ

Francis X. Hezel, SJ, is a Jesuit priest who has lived and worked in Micronesia since 1963. At different times he has served as high school teacher, school administrator, pastor, and regional superior to the Jesuits of Micronesia. He spent thirty years directing the Micronesian Seminar, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Pohnpei, Micronesia. He has written and spoken widely about social change and its impact on island societies. He has also written several books on Micronesian history, including The First Taint of Civilization, Strangers in Their Own Land, and The New Shape of Old Island Cultures. His most recent book, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, is available through University of Hawaii Press.

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