Author Archive

Good Intent

May 27th, 2014

Kamehameha Schools Maui isn't what most people would call an athletic powerhouse — not yet, anyway.

But if helping student-athletes to continue competing in their sports in college is a barometer of success — and I think it certainly should be — this school has got it going on.

According to figures from Kamehameha spokesman Pakalani Bello, a whopping 17.5 percent of the Pukalani campus' 120 seniors (that 120 includes 43 who did not play a varsity sport) have signed a letter of intent to compete in intercollegiate athletics next school year. The total of 21 is up from six the previous year.

The team of new athletic director Blane Gaison and second-year athletic counselor Michelle Arnold deserves a lot of credit. Obviously the student-athletes themselves do, too.

They are:

Chandler Alo (Notre Dame de Namur, soccer), Kiana Antonio (Linfield, track and field), Taylor Awai (San Francisco State, volleyball), Patricia Batoon (Notre Dame de Namur, volleyball), Marley Duncan (Willamette, soccer), Leimana Hassett (Whittier, water polo), Lily Higashino (Pacific, soccer), Travis Kanamu (Laney, baseball), Mikaele Kane (Hawaii, swimming), Quinn Kihune (Chabot, football), Cheyenne Maio-Silva (Linfield, softball), Paula Siaosi Ngalu (Brevard, football), Daniel Quenga (Pacific, soccer), Charity Sadang (Sheridan, volleyball), Jarom Santiago (College of The Siskiyous, baseball), Avinash Singh (Chaminade, soccer), Kaui Uweko'olani (Pacific, softball), Kauanoe Vanderpoel (St. Martin's, track and field), Madison Vaught (Buffalo, soccer), Kaiulani Vila (Alvin, softball), Emma Yen (Chandler-Gilbert, volleyball).


Extra innings: UH baseball

May 25th, 2014

You will get more of my thoughts on the University of Hawaii baseball team's just-completed season in Monday's column in the paper.

Here's what didn't make it into the column due to length:

It is telling that the four pitchers who started 10 or more games are the four team leaders in ERA. The bullpen never got it together with any consistency.

The Fire Mike Trapasso crowd (of which I was once a card-carrying member) doesn't take a couple of things into consideration.

One, while 6-18 and last in the Big West is unacceptable, 22-31 overall is much better than 16-35 last year.

Two, injuries were again a huge problem. This time, a healthy freshman Marcus Doi would've made a big difference throughout the lineup, as well as defensively. Losing Lawrence Chew in the bullpen and Jarett Arakawa, Andrew Jones and Quintin Torres-Costa coming back perhaps too quickly from missing most or all of last season made for a shaky overall staff lacking relief depth.

It would've been interesting to see if Tyler Young, coming off labrum surgery, could've helped UH win more games if the senior catcher had played in more than 11 of them — and not just because of his .417 average in 24 at-bats. Young nailed 29 percent of guys trying to steal, significantly better than all three of UH's other catchers.

Catcher is an extremely important position at all levels of baseball. And even in college ball where coaches call the pitches, the catcher sets the tone for the entire defense, especially the man on the mound. This is especially true in the current small-ball era. Catcher by committee is far from ideal, especially when receiving and throwing skills are inadequate.

It was a downer of a season for everyone, including the head coach.

"Nobody is more disappointed about this season than I am," Trapasso said. "We have to get better. And I believe we will."

Cuban Misspeak Crisis? Nah

May 23rd, 2014

If I were walking down the street and encountered someone wearing a hoodie, of any race, I wouldn't cross the street to avoid him or her. Same if it were someone with tattoos and a bald head. Would my guard be elevated? Perhaps.

His examples were clunky, but I think what Mark Cuban said Thursday regarding racism was honest and universal. He related a lot of things many of us think, but don't have the courage to say.

The awkwardness of Cuban's example of encountering people on the street says a lot about racism. Even someone as smart and articulate as the Dallas Mavericks' billionaire owner has a difficult time expressing his precise feelings on the topic.

When the Donald Sterling racist-comments issue first erupted my initial reaction was the same as many, if not most people -- this guy's a cretin and a terrible human being and he needs to be out of the NBA.

I was on vacation in Las Vegas, so I didn't write about it. And about a day later my thoughts had changed to, hey, even if this guy is a cretin and a terrible human being, he's within his rights to say what he wants, right? Should he be penalized by having his business taken away?

Especially considering Sterling's less-publicized prior record of unsavory behavior, it became obvious that this was an issue of timing and the NBA had to act quickly in admonishment of  Sterling or perhaps suffer a player walkout in the middle of the playoffs.

With his comments, Cuban expounded on why punishing Sterling for unpopular thoughts, beliefs and speech is a "slippery slope" as he described it early on.

If you read or watch the entire interview you will get much more out of it than via snippets, which can easily be misinterpreted in the context of what Cuban is really trying to say. Cuban doesn't say how he will vote in the June 3 owners' meeting, in which a three-quarters vote can terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. Now  Sterling has agreed to turn over his stake in the franchise to his wife, and that could complicate or simplify things.

I applaud Cuban for speaking so candidly, and also for apologizing to Trayvon Martin's family for the hoodie example while standing by his overall message and stimulating discussion of a topic that is important for all Americans, basketball fans or not.


May 21st, 2014

From a reader who requests anonymity:
To me, your recent writing points to UH becoming a D-II school (e.g. UH can't even do a little bending of the rules and get away with it, the travel costs associated with D-I schools limit many scheduling possibilities, and NCAA investigations could limit recruiting success).
In addition, the failure of the football team to recruit more than a few local blue chip players over the last several years shows that UH has made little progress in this area, and the declining attendance at most venues (which adds to the deficit) shows lessening local interest in some areas--even recognizing that wins in any sport has an effect on attendance, the UH athletic department can't do much to remedy the situation.
Given the above factors and others unknown to me, it seems that UH is on a very slippery slope toward sliding into D-II with little or no choice in the matter--this possibility is known to be vehemently opposed by some in UH, the government, and the community, but it seems the handwriting is on the wall.


In response to Monday's column about UH basketball coming under NCAA scrutiny despite lack of postseason success. (This reader also requested anonymity.)

Hi Dave.U.H. must be real honest then.

I think it's a cultural thing.In Hawaii,everybody like show aloha.What better way then to let the other guy win?
Notice how Hawaii is getting overrun with "foreigners" and the local culture is getting "watered down",like U.H. teams.No more local pride like some good mainland teams that recruit players from their own areas.They get "local pride".Most of our good local players take their local pride elsewhere.
Trepasso and Chow must go now,or maybe U.H. needs to go to a lower division.

Four UH football games set for national TV

April 17th, 2014

The Hawaii home football games against Washington (Aug. 30) and Oregon State (Sep. 6) and road games at San Diego State (Oct. 18) and Colorado State (Nov. 8) are slated for national television, according to a release today from the Mountain West.

The Colorado State game is scheduled for ESPN Networks the others are on CBSSN.