HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time since 2014, the Chaminade Silverswords will compete for a national championship in men’s basketball.
The Silverswords started the year 10-0, and have been nationally ranked for much of the season.
It will be the third tournament appearance under head coach Eric Bovaird, who is embracing the program’s success this season.
“It’s been five years since we been in the NCAA tournament,” Bovaird said. “We are really excited and looking forward to the opportunity.”
Chaminade locked down a No. 7 seed in the West Region and will take on No. 2 Seattle-Pacific Friday afternoon in San Diego.
The Swords earned an at large bid after a 23-win season and marks the Swords sixth overall appearance in the tournament.
Although Bovaird was admittedly precarious when the season started, he credits his veterans on the team for their success this season.
“To be honest with you we didn’t know what to expect," he said. "We were kind of a new team learning and our seniors have carried us all season long and they get a lot of the credit to this success.”
Senior combo forward Grant Dressler has been a big reason for the recent prosperity.
The California native is averaging 19 points a game and is the conferences second leading scorer. Dressler is optimistic ahead of Friday’s game and believes the Swords haven’t even played their best basketball yet.
“I think we can go all the way,” Dressler said. “Were really good and we really believe in ourselves, if we go out there and play our best game I think we are the best team.”
No matter how far the Swords advance, Bovaird believes that this team and this season has put the rest of the country on alert, the Chaminade program is on the rise.
“Seeing your name called on the selection show was a special moment for us," Bovaird said. "We’re looking to see our name keep advancing in that bracket.”
The Silverswords will take on Seattle-Pacific this Friday at 11:30 am HT.