Drew Triplett, who played basketball for Camas last season, won a state title this year for Maui Prep
The Camas Papermakers fell one win short of reaching the state tournament in boys basketball this season.
But in a way, they can celebrate a state championship.
Drew Triplett, a former Papermaker, did play on a championship team, and he credits much of his success for learning the game almost all of his life in Camas.
Triplett was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s Division II tournament after leading Maui Prep to the school’s first state championship in any team sport. It was also the first time since 1982 that a team from Maui won the Hawaii title.
A year ago, Triplett was playing for the Papermakers.
Today, he is thanking the Papermakers.
He specifically noted Ari Smith, his freshman coach at Camas. And current Camas head coach Ryan Josephson, along with assistant coach Brian Witherspoon.
Then he thought some more. It wasn’t just those guys. It was all of his coaches in Clark County through all of the years. All of his former teammates, too.
Triplett has had an interesting journey as a Clark County resident who moved to Hawaii, returned to Camas, then went back to paradise.
The family has always had a part-time home in Hawaii. Whenever there was a break from school, the family was in Hawaii, Triplett said.
It was during spring break his freshman year when the family was wondering if the small, private school would be good for Drew’s younger sister. The family set up a tour for her. Drew asked if he could go, as well.
Drew loved what he saw, and the family was on board. He would be going to Maui Prep. Triplett said it was a difficult decision to leave Camas. It turned out, he’d get another shot with his Camas teammates anyway.
Triplett played his sophomore season at Maui Prep, but there was no high school basketball in Hawaii his junior year. So the family moved back to Camas, and Triplett was welcomed by the Papermakers for that abbreviated season.
“The whole Camas team, everybody was super embracing to me,” Triplett said of last season.
He specifically noted Carson Frawley, who would be named the co-player of the year this season in the 4A Greater St. Helens League. Frawley would always push Triplett to new heights in practice.
For Maui Prep, Triplett is the go-to guy, the top scorer. At Camas, though, he did not need to play that role. So his junior year, he became an all-around threat, thanks to his coaches and teammates. Triplett was voted second-team, all-league with Camas in the spring of 2021.
This school year, Triplett was scoring in bunches during the season in Hawaii. In the state championship game, though, the other team keyed on him.
No problem. He took out his skills he learned in Washington, and unleashed them in Hawaii. His final tally in the title game: 10 points, 16 assists, and eight rebounds. He was named the best player in the tournament. For the season, he averaged 24.3 points per game to go with 6.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds.
Triplett said the plan is to return to the mainland for college. Right now, he expects to attend Pepperdine University, where he said he would consider trying to play there as a walk-on. He also is talking with smaller colleges about playing basketball.
In the meantime, he is going to enjoy his final days as a high school senior in Hawaii.
Triplett said he and his teammates have become minor celebrities. People greeted the team at the airport. The fire department was on the tarmac, giving the team a water salute as the plane taxied to the gate.
“It was fun to be recognized,” Triplett said. “We’d be walking around the street, and someone would say, ‘You play for Maui Prep, right?’”
Yes he does, but those people do not know that this state champion grew up in Camas.