Team Aloha Basketball Will Head to the Mainland in late April

MW-Mufi-040214-Mfi-Laurie-DellaIt’s that time of year when the conch shell is blown as a signal to island residents to sign up to “take control of your diabetes” (TCOYD) through the 15th annual TCOYD Conference and Health Fair Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hawaii Convention Center.

For more on the TCOYD Conference read: A Poipourri Of Health and Sports

For examples of physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, eight of Hawaii’s most talented scholar/athletes have been selected to be a part of the latest edition of Team Aloha: Hawaii women’s basketball that will head to the Mainland in late April to play in the Arizona Elite Spring Classic.

This is the eighth group of young women who have made this sojourn to the Mainland, which enables them to gain exposure in front of college scouts and hopefully attract interest and scholarship offers.

The other benefit is that it has helped demonstrate that our local wahine can compete at the highest levels, as evidenced by the fact that Team Aloha has won 75 percent of its games, including one in 2006 when it won the prestigious Nike Storm and Swish tournament in California.

TA alumni who received scholarships from Division I colleges competing this season include Konawaena’s Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa at Washington State; Milika Taufa and Maiki Viela from Lahainaluna playing at Indiana and Gonzaga; Punahou’s Shawna Kuehu and Kalei Adolpho of Molokai, of UH’s Rainbow Wahine squad; and Iolani’s Alex Masaquel at William and Mary, and Kylie Maeda, whose BYU Cougars advanced to this year’s NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen.

The Lady Cougars also gave a scholarship to Kamehameha-Kapalama senior Alohi Robins-Hardy, a three-time TA player. In years past, TA alumni also have received scholarships to other Division 1 powers, including UNLV, USC, UC-Berkeley and Utah, to name a few.

Looking to build on this tradition, from the 2014 roster is the state’s most outstanding player, sophomore Chanelle Molina of Konawaena, who will joined by her classmate Ihi Victor; state champion Punahou’s Tyra Moe; 6-foot-2 post Jeneva Toilolo of Farrington; Hilo’s Alexis Pana; Patria Vaimoana of Kailua; Millilani’s Shantel Appleby; and from Maui, Lindsay Bates of Lahainaluna.

One of the assistants to head coach Fran Villarmia-Kahawai is Keisha Kanekoa, a former Honokaa standout who, like Villarmia-Kahawai, lettered at UH. Kanekoa was a member of the 2006 TA championship team that was tutored by former UH head coach Dana Takehara-Dias.

Lady Eagles sign Aiea High School’s Point Guard, Mich’lae Higa


Photo Courtesy: Facebook Profile of Mich’lae Higa

ESPANOLA, NM- The Northern New Mexico Women’s Basketball program has signed Hawaii High School Basketball stand-out Mich’lae Higa. Mich’lae played at Aiea High School near Honolulu, Hawaii. With a scoring average of 15.3 points per game, Mich’lae was the fifth leading scorer on the island of Oahu. Mich’lae also played on the Hawaii Xpress Hoops summer team in some big tournaments here on the Main Land. “We couldn’t have asked for a better recruit. I knew within one minute of watching game film from her trip to the End of Trails Tournament in Portland, Oregon that she was a special player. Mich’lae has escape speed and a great pull-up there is no doubt about it. But the thing that struck me is that you can tell that she doesn’t just go out and play, she takes the floor expecting to be the best player on that floor, she’s competitive and she’s tough! The bonus with Mich’lae is that she is as great a kid as she is a basketball player” says Coach Jack Ballard.

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“I know that Mich’lae has been working hard with Coach Rodney Cavaco of the Hawaii Xpress Hoops Club, and I know that she is going to be ready to go when she gets here. Mich’lae is going to be a dynamic player for us, she is going to be a big part of this programs future” says Coach Ballard.

Rainbows Shine bright over Titans. 65-62

Photo Courtesy: Hawaii Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Hawaii Athletics

Shooting 45% (25-55) from the field, UH Rainbow Basketball Wahine’s take to the sky with victory over the Titans. Leading the way with 14 points, 3 of them perfect 3 pointers – Freshmen, Briana Harris. Just a couple points shy, Senior Shawna-Lei Kuehu to trail with 12 points. Point Guard Morgan Mason with 11. Leading the assists of 7 Sophomore Destiny King with a 10 point addition. Let’s not forget Hawaii’s rebounder Ashleigh Karaitiana with 9.

Basketball:Rainbow Wahine’s Clinic at Waianae Boys & Girls Club

Great Futures Start Here…

With the opportunities provided by Waianae’s Boys & Girls Club we couldn’t agree more with where futures begin.  One thing is for certain – To get involved and start your journey all you have to do is show up!

Where: Waianae Boys & Girls Club (Fri – Oct 25, 2013 @ 4pm)
Pokai Bay (Sat – Oct 26, 2013 @ 10pm)
Rainbow Wahine Basketball

Roosevelt’s Mikela Thoemmes Sets Rebounding Record in HPU Win

Mikela ThoemmesHilo, HI (February 18, 2013) – Mikela Thoemmes set a school record with 20 rebounds as the Hawai’i Pacific (15-6, 11-4)Women’s Basketball Team held on to defeat the University of Hawaii at Hilo (11-10, 8-7) 62-61. The victory assures the Sea Warriors no worse than the fourth seed in the PacWest postseason tournament.

Similarly to the last meeting between the two teams, the Sea Warriors jumped out to a big lead in the first half. A jumper by Melody Ladrido with 2:48 left in the first half would give HPU a 20 point advantage. The Vulcans went on a 9-1 run to close the half, but HPU still held a 36-22 lead.

The Sea Warriors would hit 13 of their 34 (38.3%) shots from the field in the first half while only allowing the Vulcans to hit nine of their 34 field goals.

HPU stretched its halftime lead out to 21 points in the second half after Thoemmes found Ieva Nagy for a three-pointer. With 8:39 to play, the Sea Warriors led 50-29. The Vulcans answered with 30-10 run over the next six and half minutes reducing the HPU lead to one point with two minutes to play.  The Sea Warrior defense clamped down in the closing minutes and Skye Savini would hit a pair of clutch free throws to seal the game for HPU.

Thoemmes set a single game record by grabbing 20 rebounds, surpassing the previous record of 19 held by former Sea Warrior star Courtney Buster. Thoemmes also added 16 points. Other HPU standouts included Savini who finished with 16 points and nine boards and Susannah Walmsley who added nine points to go along with her team-high five assists.

The HPU women now head to Phoenix, Arizona to face 13th ranked Grand Canyon on February 23rd; tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 PM PST.

Box Score

Source: HPU

Shawna Kuehu – Injuries and Adversities Can’t Keep Her Down

Calling junior forward Shawna-Lei Kuehu of the Rainbow Wahine basketball team “resilient” might be an understatement.

KuehuSince her junior year of high school in 2007, Kuehu has been injured or missed playing time in five of those six years. Kuehu has battled through a pair of knee injuries, a shoulder injury and missed time last season to have her first child.

But through it all, Kuehu has remained strong in the face of adversity, fighting back each time to return to the game she loves.

“I have thought about throwing in the towel – a bunch of times actually,” Kuehu said. “But now, there’s a bigger purpose than just myself. There’s me, my daughter, and that just keeps my drive going. During the times where I feel like throwing in the towel, it’s not an option for me. It’s the love for the sport, I guess. Going through things and making it out of it has a lot to do with the people that I have behind me.”


Assistant coach Gavin Petersen, who has observed Kuehu since her days at Punahou School, credits her success to her drive and determination.

“She definitely has the characteristics necessary to go through adversity time and time again,” Petersen said. “She keeps coming back, working hard and putting herself into a position to be successful. I wanted to see if her passion would come back. To me, it has come back.”

Petersen applauds Kuehu for her resiliency and is glad that she is getting the opportunity to play.

“I’m happy for her,” Petersen said. “All of our girls put in such hard work. During the course of the year, it’s school-basketball, school-basketball – kind of like clockwork. For her, having her daughter, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that they can look back on. There’s going to be pictures, interviews, newspaper clippings – all kinds of stuff that she’ll be able to share with her daughter, and one day, she’ll be able to say that ‘You know, mommy sacrificed a lot for me and still was able to follow her dreams.’”


Finally injury-free, Kuehu has come on strong for the Rainbow Wahine, especially in conference season. In Big West play, Kuehu is averaging 9.6 points per game, second-best on the team behind junior forward Kamilah Martin. She also ranks fourth on the team in rebounding with 4.4 per game and leads the ‘Bows with 13 blocked shots.

“It feels really good,” Kuehu said. “It was really frustrating my first year because I wasn’t able to help my team out and that’s a lot of what I want to do. I want to help my team out in any aspect that I can and do anything they need me to do.”

But Kuehu said that the time away from the game has helped her improve as a teammate and a player.

“As a player, you always want to grow,” Kuehu said. “Being a player on the court is one stage of growing. But seeing the court from another perspective, as a coach, is another step of development as an athlete.”

But now, able to play, Kuehu’s contributions have become indispensable.

“She was never really able to come back and have a full season and get back into the flow of the game,” Petersen said. “This season she has, and she’s really showing everyone what she is capable of.”


Hawai‘i is having its best season in years, currently tied for second in the Big West at 7-4, and 11-11 overall. But for a team that has gone through so many losses and disappointments throughout the years, Kuehu stands as a form of inspiration for the squad.

“I could embody that because I’ve gone through so much, and this team has gone through so much and losing a lot of games,” Kuehu said. “Like it was for me, it comes down to the support staff that this team has behind it. It’s all about what we believe in, who we believe in and how much we trust each other.”

Credit: Jeremy Nitta – Associate Sports Editor

Kamuela’s Lia Galdeira game-winner gives Cougars win at Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman guard Lia Galdeira hit the go-ahead jumper with three seconds remaining to give Washington State a 51-49 road victory over Oregon State University Friday.

Lia Galdeira

“Defense, defense, defense what an amazing job by our defense tonight, especially on the last two possessions,” head coach June Daugherty said. “We relied on our defense tonight and we were able to pull out a big win over a tough team on the road.”

Washington State won for the fifth in time in its last six games and improved to 10-14 overall and 6-7 in Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon State dropped to 9-16 overall and 3-10 in conference. WSU held the Beavers to 30.6 percent shooting and scored 20 points off of 18 OSU turnovers.

Galdeira finished with a game-high 17 points, five assists and four steals while junior forward Sage Romberg added 13 points and a team-high six rebounds.

Up 16 early in the second half, Washington State saw Galdeira hit a turnaround jumper from the left elbow to give the Cougars their third straight victory over the Beavers in Corvallis. OSU had two chances with under two seconds remaining to get a potential game-winning or go-ahead shot off but the Cougars defense came away with two stops to clinch the conference win.

“Lia is tough, tough exciting player who wanted the ball in her hands for that last shot and came up with a big time shot tonight,” Daugherty added. “Sage was in a great rhythm tonight. We had to keep on the floor and we ran some sets for her as she knocked down some big time shots while being matched up against some of their tougher defenders.”

Washington State scored the game’s first seven points as Galdeira opened with a three, Romberg followed with a jumper from the right elbow and Galdeira capped the run with a no-look pass to senior center Carly Noyes for a layup.

The Cougars defense continued to fluster the Beavers, allowing WSU to expand its lead. Galdeira delivered to more bullet passes in transition that resulted in layups for junior forward Hana Potter and sophomore forward Shalie Dheensaw. Minutes later, Dheensaw banked in a jumper for a 6-0 spurt and 21-10 lead. Minutes later, Galdeira knocked down a long three from the left wing, Noyes followed with a bucket and Romberg capped WSU’s 14-6 run with a three.

Washington State held Oregon State to 20 percent shooting and scored 14 points off 10 Beaver turnovers to lead 29-16 at the break. Galdeira led all scorers with nine points and Romberg recorded seven points along with five boards.

Galdeira hit at three and Edmondson added a pair of free throws to give WSU its largest lead of the night, 40-24 at the 14:55 mark. Minutes later, Oregon State caught fire from the outside, hitting a pair of threes and added two more buckets for a 10-2 run that cut the WSU lead to six with 6:53 remaining.

Romberg and Noyes answered with jumpers and Galdeira added a free throw to put Washington State back up nine with 1:57 remaining. Oregon State didn’t go away and made one more frantic rally, hitting a three and then stole the ball on consecutive WSU inbounds plays and hit buckets to tie the game up at 49 with 32 seconds left.

Washington State turned to Galdeira for the final shot as the freshman drove the lane and knocked down a turnaround jumper from the left elbow with three seconds to put the Cougars up by two. OSU then stepped out of bounds at midcourt on the ensuing inbounds play but the Cougars turned it back over on its inbounds play. OSU called timeout with 1.5 seconds left but Dheensaw broke up a pass before the Beavers got a shot off.

“We knew it was a going to be a battle tonight and it was great to come out of here with a win. We continue to see what this team, and these freshmen, can do in pressure situations and they played pretty well today,” Daugherty added. “Sunday is going to be a test to guard their (Oregon’s) up-tempo offense. We are going to have to play solid transition defense.”

Source: KREM

HPU: Women’s Basketball’s Big First Half Leads to Win

HPU Big Win

Honolulu, HI (January 14, 2013) – Four Sea Warriors (8-3, 4-1) reached double-figures in scoring as the Hawai’i Pacific women’s basketball team defeated Chaminade (1-10, 1-6) for the 15th consecutive time, this time a 85-71 win at Moanalua High School.

The Sea Warriors would lead from the opening tip to the final whistle as HPU remained just a game back of first place in the Pacific West Conference. Just six minutes into the game, HPU’s lead had reached double-digits at 14-2 after a basket and foul shot by Skye Savini. The defense held Chaminade under 10 points till the 6:36 mark of the first half with the score at 23-11. The lead grew to as many as 17 points in the first half and was a 38-22 game at the break.

Both teams improved in the second half, but the Sea Warriors stayed in control leading by 25 points with 2:18 left to play. In the late stages Chaminade would go on a run to make the final score more respectable at 85-71.

Susannah Walmsley hit 6-10, including four three-pointers, on her way to 24 points. She also added five points and five assists. Mikela Thoemmes had her way down low, scoring 21 points on 9-13 shooting. Ieva Nagy scored 12 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Veanne Navrro, who got the first start of her career, also scored 12 points and had six rebounds. Hedi Anton just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, she added five assists.

HPU will now hit the road for a four-game West Coast swing, starting with Holy Names on January 19th at 2 PM PST.

Box Score

Source: HPU

VIDEO: Women’s Basketball Pulls Away from UC Riverside, 65-50

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RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The University of Hawai`i women’s basketball team (5-8, 1-1 Big West) won its first game back in the Big West Conference, 65-50 at UC Riverside (7-6, 0-2 Big West). Three Rainbow Wahine scored in double-figures—led by Shawna-Lei Kuehu‘s game- and season-high 14 points. Kamilah Martin added 13 and Vicky Tagalicod came off the bench to score 11. It also marked UH’s first road win under first year head coach Laura Beeman.

Kuehu went 6-of-10 from the floor with a pair of free throws to lead Hawai`i. She also grabbed three rebounds with an assist and three steals coming off the bench. Twelve of Kuehu’s 14 points came in the second half as she kept UH’s offense for the win. It was the most points Kuehu has scored since she poured in 18 points as a red-shirt freshman at Boise State in 2011.

Martin ­­was 6-of-13 in field goals and was 1-of-1 from the free throw line. She swiped a game- and season-high four steals with a season-low four rebounds.

The Rainbow Wahine’s defense bounced back after a disappointing showing at Cal State Fullerton to stymie the Highlanders’ offense, holding them to 17 points below their season average and a 34.8% field goal. As a team, the ‘Bows tallied a season-high 13 steals in the game with Martin swiping four and Kuehu and Sydney Haydelstealing three apiece. Although the ‘Bows were edged out on the glass by UCR, 35-to-33, snapping UH’s string of five straight games of out-rebounding their opponents. However, UH did their damage in the paint, outscoring the Highlanders 32-to-20 in points in the paint and 11-to-2 in points off of turnovers. UH’s reserves also outscored UCR’s bench, 38-to-10. After giving up an uncharacteristic season-high 24 turnovers in the last game against Cal State Fullerton, UH bounced back to commit just nine in the game.

After trading early leads in the first half, UH went on a 9-0 run to go up 15-5 on a jumper by Tagalicod. Later, the ‘Bows went up by as much as 11 points twice, but then the Highlanders—who UH held scoreless for over six minutes—then started to make a run of their own. UH led by 10 with 1:49 left, but UCR closed in fast ending the first half on a 7-0 run to cut their deficit to three, 26-23.

The Highlanders extended their run to 13-0, scoring the first four points in the second half on a jumpshot by Brittany Crain and a pair of free throws that tied the game and then gave UCR their first lead since 18:02 left in the first half. Hawai`i, however wasn’t fazed, as they proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to jump back to a 10-point lead at 37-27 on a pair of Martin layups, an old-fashioned three-point play by Tagalicod, two made free throws by Sydney Haydel and a bucket by Kuehu. The ‘Bows never looked back, allowing UCR to get as close as six points once, but building their lead to as much as 17 points with 1:07 left in the game.

The Rainbow Wahine return home to host a pair of conference contests against UC Irvine on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. and Long Beach State on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 5:00 pm.


Hawaiian Named Official Airline of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational

Hawaiian Airlines has been named the “Official Airline of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational” basketball tournament and the benefit of its sponsorship begins this week with the hosting of free motivational programs and clinics for kids and coaches on Maui and O‘ahu.

Hawaiian is the title sponsor for nine youth-oriented programs and basketball clinics that start this Wednesday and continue until the start of the Championship Round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational held in Lahaina, November 19-21.

“We are thrilled to be involved with the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational and all the good it does for Maui’s economy, and especially excited about sponsoring programs that will help kids improve their basketball skills and reinforce the commitment needed to succeed in any endeavor,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Hawaiian’s sponsorship agreement runs through the 2014 tournament.

Motivate & Educate Programs

This Wednesday, October 17, the first of five “Motivate & Educate” inspirational presentations sponsored by Hawaiian will be conducted for students at Lahainaluna High School. There will be three more programs held on Maui at Maui High School and Baldwin High School on October 18, and King Kamehameha High School on October 19, and one on O‘ahu to middle school students in 6th to 8th grade at Chaminade University on October 22.

Coaches Clinics

Hawaiian is sponsoring two “Coaches Clinics” for basketball, the first on Maui at War Memorial Gymnasium on October 18, and the second on O‘ahu at Chaminade University on October 21.

Coaches participating in the Motivate & Educate presentations or Coaches Clinics will include the following:

  • Dave Odom, tournament chairman and former head coach of Wake Forest University where he coached two-time NBA MVP Tim Duncan;
  • Bobby Cremins, former head coach of Georgia Tech University and a national Coach of the Year;
  • Eric Bovaird, men’s basketball coach at Chaminade University;
  • Bobby Keanini, women’s basketball coach at Chaminade.

Youth Clinics

Hawaiian is sponsoring two “Youth Clinics” on basketball for boys and girls in 3rd to 8th grade on O‘ahu at the Ewa Beach Boys & Girls Club on October 27, and on Maui at the Lahaina Boys & Girls Club on November 17. Kids from Läna‘i and Moloka‘i will also participate in the Maui clinic. Conducting the clinics will be the coaches and players of Chaminade’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Now in its 29th year, the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational is hosted by Chaminade University and considered one of the nation’s premier college tournaments to start the basketball season, as it regularly attracts highly regarded teams each year.

About Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past eight years (2004-2011) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the highest of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i.

Now in its 83rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, as well as the largest provider of passenger air service from its primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawai‘i from more U.S. gateway cities (11) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. New nonstop service will begin between Honolulu and Sapporo, Japan (October 30, 2012), Brisbane, Australia (November 27, 2012), and Auckland, New Zealand (March 13, 2013). Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at Follow updates on Twitter about Hawaiian (@HawaiianAir) and its special fare offers (@HawaiianFares), and become a fan on its Facebook page (Hawaiian Airlines).