Boys Basketball All-State Fab 15, All-Defense

Christmas Togiai leads the 2019-20 Star-Advertiser Boys Basketball All-State selections published in Sunday’s edition.

Voted by coaches and media as player of the year, Togiai outpointed Niko Robben of Maryknoll.

Kelly Grant, who guided Maryknoll to a second consecutive state championship, was voted coach of the year by the panel of coaches and media.

Below are coaches’ comments on the Fab 15, as well as the list of All-Defensive team selections.

1. Christmas Togiai, Kamehameha
6-2, Sr.
Near-unanimous selection as Player of the Year despite missing the state final due to a knee injury. Also voted No. 5 on the All-Defensive Team.

On paper, Togiai averaged 14 ppg, but his value as a rebounder, passer, ballhandler, defender and primary decision-maker is why Kamehameha was No. 1 for most of the season.

Kelly Grant, Maryknoll: “The injury was huge. I couldn’t sleep last night because usually when I prepare for a team, I make one game plan. But I had to make two. I didn’t know if Christmas was going to play or not. In the morning, I got word that he had a torn ACL. My heart goes out to the guy. Four years of tremendous basketball. It is what it is. It makes a big difference.”

Robert Shklov, Mid-Pacific: “Christmas Togiai, (a) very special player. His value was only cemented by his unfortunate injury in the state tournament. His impact goes beyond the court. He has a special charisma that lends itself to being a leader. Beyond his incredible intangibles lie his immense talent. He can score by imposing his will on you down low, off the dribble, off the catch and in transition. Very unselfish distributor as well. Doesn’t get enough credit for his defensive awareness and rebounding either. Plays the game the right way and is held in very high regard around the league by players and coaches alike.”

Dan Hale, Saint Louis: “True leader for his team. Whenever they needed a play he would take over.”

Steve Hathaway, Roosevelt: “I think it was obvious that he was the most valuable player in the state when he missed the state championship game. He could guard any position on the floor and I don’t think you could really guard him. He could take a taller player outside or take a smaller player inside. He was the LeBron of that team.”

Larry Park, Kamehameha: “He’s been a tremendous competitor and player for our program for four years. His hard work, his leadership, hopefully our younger guys can take that example and move forward with that. At our banquet, he talked to them about playing hard, building relationships with each other. Basketball’s not everything. They have to take care of their school work and their relationships.”

2. Niko Robben, Maryknoll
6-4, Sr.
12 ppg and voted No. 6 on the All-Defensive team. Transformed from a PG to a go-to scorer and tough rebounder for the state champions.

With one of the state’s toughest schedules, Robben was often the Spartan who consistently attacked tough defenses to keep the Spartans ahead in a gritty style of ball.

Shklov: “If advanced stats were taken in the ILH, I wouldn’t be surprised if Niko led the league in them. His efficiency, ability to make the right read, defensive flexibility and feel for the game are sometimes unquantifiable. They don’t always show up in the stat book, but he routinely makes the correct play. High IQ, unflappable and their closer in league play.”

Hale: “Most versatile player in state. Always found a way to impact the game and help his team. Could do anything on the court.”

Ryan Hirata, ‘Iolani: “Nikko has improved every year since his sophomore year, especially transitioning to a point guard who can run an offense and take care of the ball. He has very underrated strength and his IQ is very high in all things he does on the court. He never gets rattled and will always make the right play.”

Hathaway: “Very tough player. Much like Christmas he is tough to guard because he can play inside and out.”

3. Kordel Ng, Kamehameha
5-9, Sr.
Kamehameha’s leading scorer at 15 ppg and voted No. 2 on the All-Defensive Team. A dunker, playmaker and shot blocker with one of the greatest verticals in state history.

The incredible vertical lift made Ng a highlight-reel star, but his ability to block shots of players a foot taller, run the point, attack the rim, finish with dunks and generate offense was a big addition to an already deep Warriors team.

Hirata: “Kordel has unbelievable explosiveness and athleticism. He’s one of the best jumpers and dunkers I’ve ever seen for his size. He scores in bunches and puts a ton of pressure on your on-ball and help side defense. He has a knack for playing passing lanes and getting deflections, which makes him so dynamic in the open court off steals.”

Hathaway: “Most explosive leaper in the state in a long time. Saw him attack the rim and go right up and over the 7 footer at Maryknoll. Very good shooter too. Reminds me of Spud Webb.”

Hale: “Awesome athlete who was a big reason for Kamehameha’s success.”

Shklov: “Explosive and dynamic. By far the most impressive athlete we saw all year. (And we played against Oak Hill!) Plays the game in attack mode. You can see the hard work he puts in permeate throughout his game as he turned some of his perceived weaknesses from last year into strengths.”

Park: “On the court his highlight reel dunks brought so much excitement, he could score in so many different ways (threes, pull-ups, etc). He led our team in deflections, which led to transition points and dunks. Off the court he provided so much leadership and friendship with our entire group. He would give great suggestions in pre-game discussions and encourage his teammates. What makes this even more impressive was he had to change schools. I cannot imagine how hard that was to face that uncertainty heading into his senior year and handle it so well.”

4. Sage Tolentino, Maryknoll
7-0, So.
At 10 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game, voted No. 1 on the All-Defensive Team. He thrived in the state tourney, blocking five shots in the state final against Kamehameha.

At 7 feet, he is a natural 3-point shooter with a post game that has developed along with his overall strength.

Park: “Defensively, he gives you so many problems to have to deal with. He also does a great job of rebounding and is someone you have to account for on offense because he is so skilled. Great free throw shooter and his ability to step back and knock down a three gives him so much to deal with.”

Shklov: “His exponential improvement is scary. His potential is through the roof. A genuinely nice kid who has been coached very well. Disciplined and plays to his strengths. His leap from league to states solidified him as a superstar. He is the best rim protector I’ve seen since DeForest Buckner, but DeFo didn’t have that smooth jumper or glide up and down the court as easy as Sage does!”

Hathaway: “Tough to stop a 7-footer who can shoot the 3. Once this kid establishes a back to the hoop game he will be unstoppable. Kind of like Dirk.”

Hale: “Huge impact on D with an emerging O that really improved during the season.”

Hirata: “Sage makes a difference on both ends of the court because of his height and length. Add his ability to shoot from the perimeter and his offensive rebounding ability and he’s a problem. Defensively, he improved on moving his feet and is very disciplined when it comes to holding his ground and forcing you to score over him.”

5. Liko Soares, Maryknoll
6-2, Sr.
Even after a meniscus injury, he was steady in the state tourney, shooting 69% from the field, including 16 points in the state final.

Efficient and savvy, Soares was often unstoppable on the block and scored 10 ppg.

Park: “Tough as nails. I think how he finished the season with his meniscus injury helped inspire his team. Great post moves, good mid-range jumper, smart defender and really just does his job well all the time on both sides of the floor.”

Shklov: “A load down low. Amazing touch and footwork. Maybe the best back to the basket feel since (Kaimuki’s) Keone Reyes. An adept passer, he is also a guy who seems to always be in the right place at the right time. What a great young man, too, a very strong leader who fought through injury.”

Hale: “Tough and skilled. Blue-collar worker.”

Hirata: “Liko has the best footwork on the block and in the paint in the state. He uses his body well from start to finish and has a great feel and pace for where he is around the basket.”

6. Geremy Robinson, Moanalua
6-1, Jr.
Averaged 19 ppg and stepped up defensively under first-year head coach Michael Johnson.

Shklov: “Simply put, the best scorer in the state. He has a very mature game and coach Michael Johnson got him to buy in more at the defensive end, which really sparked that team down the stretch. Tough! Took a lot of punishment going to the basket as he was always the focus of the other team and you never see him lose his composure. Respectful. You can tell he loves playing and his mentality will carry over and he is primed for a spectacular senior year.”

Park: “Great basketball IQ. Can score in bunches. Leader of his team for two years now.”

Hathaway: “Tough player in the open court to stop. He attacks and finished well around the rim. Attacks and finishes like a Ben SImmons.”

Hale: “Very electric and explosive on O and D.”

Hirata: “Geremy is a pure scorer. He got a lot better at getting to his sweets spots on the floor and puts a ton of pressure on you defensively because of his ability to score from all angles and situations on the court.”

7. Oscar Cheng, Kahuku
6-9, Sr.
The high-motor center hustled for 15 ppg, often outworking foes in transition and on the offensive boards.

Hathaway: “To me the best part of his game was his defense. He was very good about altering or blocking shots and not committing fouls. Like a Rudy Gobert.”

Shklov: “Plays hard. I noticed that right away. Sometimes you see these big guys and they just plod around and count on their size to do the work for them but coach (Brandyn) Akana really coached him up and motivated him. He manufactured a lot of touches on both sides of the ball just by virtue of his hustle.”

Park: “He was so tough on the boards when we played him. His size had an impact on both sides of the floor.”

Hale: “Huge inside force, really improved as the season progressed.”

8. Jake Holtz, Damien
6-5, Sr.
One of the most explosive, physical players in the state. Averaged 13 ppg.

Park: “He was strong and athletic, an all-round (inside/outside) offensive threat. He had great post moves, midrange jumper and could even step back and knock down threes.”

Hirata: “Holtz is a match-up nightmare. Shoots it, can put it on the floor, post up and crash the glass.”

Hale: “Tough and skilled.”

Shklov: “He can do everything. Damien’s heart and soul. Comfortable on the perimeter, running in transition or posting up. Has deep range and soft touch. Plays with a contagious intensity. Very high IQ. Coach Alvin (Stevenson) very rightfully ran a lot through him as his decision making was very strong. Not a slouch defensively either. A rim protector capable of quarterbacking multiple defensive looks.”

Kihei Kapeliela, Kohala: “Coached against him in 2019 states. Super athlete!! Can play all five positions.”

9. Hayden Bayudan, Damien
5-10, Jr.
The Monarchs were at their best with Bayudan (12 ppg) driving and dishing.

Park: “He was a great point guard that could handle the ball against pressure, distribute to their scorers and, if you didn’t do a good job defending him, he could score 20.”

Hale: “Very dangerous point guard who could pass, score, and play D.”

Hirata: “Bayudan is fast and quick with controlled pace. He never seems to get tired. Really tough to pressure him due to his breakaway speed. Quite the finisher at the rim as well.”

Shklov: “Just a blur in the open court. Special with the ball in his hands and he is strong! Explosive leaper and quickness. Knives his way into defenses and exploits over rotation. A non-stop motor.”

Kapeliela: “Also coached against him last year. He’s explosive with a killer instinct. Body and mind very mature for his age.”

10. O’shen Cazimero, Kohala
5-9, So.
Deceptively quick, very accurate out to 3-point range, Cazimero (21 ppg) was the biggest force behind Kohala’s first (Division II) state title.

Hathaway: “O’shen is very shifty. The best part about his game to me is his vision. He is able to get to the hoop, but when a team cuts him off, he’s able to always find the open man.”

Shklov: “Plays with fire that is contagious. You get the sense his fearlessness gives confidence to all his teammates. A joy to watch play the game. They play with such a fast tempo that you’d think he’d be more reckless, but he controls the game within their scheme.”

11. Kanoa Smith, Kalaheo
6-2, Sr.
Led the Mustangs with 12 ppg, a consistent playmaker and versatile defender.

Shklov: “Reliable, tough and durable. A blue collar worker with white collar talent. You can’t lose track of him on the perimeter. Really made strides as a defender this year as well. He made the Smith bloodline (former UH standout Alika Smith’s nephew) proud.”

Rob Pardini, Kalaheo: “Performs best under pressure. A solid 1.5 (combo) guard. Has all the skills. Good defender. High basketball IQ. Three-year varsity starter.”

12. Bryce Forbes, Damien
6-7, Sr.
A force on the offensive boards, expanded his range to the arc and averaged 12 ppg. Also became a rim protector.

Park: “His combination of length, athleticism and skill was a lot to deal with for anyone Damien played. He could affect the game on both sides of the court. He was relentless going to the offensive boards.”

Hale: “Long, athletic, and skilled.”

Shklov: “A type of player any coach would want as he doesn’t need any plays run for him to score and make an impact on the game. What I mean by that is he is so good off the ball because he crashes the offensive glass, cuts to open areas and flies in transition. And even with all that, he’s great with the ball in his hands as well, smooth first step, covers a ton of ground because of his length and can finish off one or two feet or pull up or step back. Defensively, when he’s locked in, he’s elite. Get him in a college weight room and someone will have a steal.”

13. Drake Watanabe, Roosevelt
5-10, So.
Poured in 20 ppg for the young Rough Riders, providing a boost on the. boards. Tough slasher with 3-point range.

Kapeliela: “Humble and respectful. Reminds me of (James) Harden. Smooth lefty that can knock down a 3 or take it to the hole. Underrated rebounder.”

Shklov: “Dynamic scorer and high energy defender. Love his temperament and disposition. Coach Steve really brought out some intensity in him. Skillful in the open court and high level anticipation on the defensive end led to a plethora of transition baskets for him.”

Park: “Great offensive player with great range, can score in so many different ways.”

Hale: “Saw him play in states. He was fast and skilled.”

Hathaway: “I am biased, but I think he is the best pure scorer in the state. But the one thing most people don’t know is he averaged 10 rebounds per game. He was very good at attacking the ball off the rim. Reminds me of James Harden without the traveling.”

14. DiAeris McRaven, Moanalua
6-5, Sr.
McRaven’s 11 ppg was crucial to Moanalua’s title run, but his defense was unmatched in the OIA as a shot blocker.

Hathaway: “Another great leaper and rim protector. Think he was a better offensive player this year know they needed him to help take the pressure off Robinson. Reminds me of Shawn Kemp with his explosiveness.”

Park: “He can impact the game in so many ways with his size and athleticism. Great rim protector and rebounder.”

Hale: “Athletic and powerful inside on O and D.”

Hirata: “McRaven is a beast with athleticism. Has great timing because of volleyball and cleans up the boards in the paint. He has really improved as an individual scoring threat, but his intangibles off the ball is what makes him special.”

Shklov: “Bouncy and strong, he was a load to keep out of the paint. Made great strides throughout the year at Moanalua and is only beginning to scratch his ceiling. A defensive anchor, he rotated intently and rebounds at a very high rate.”

15. Landyn Jumawan, Leilehua
6-1, So.
Lanky with a big motor on offense and defense, led the young Mules with 15 ppg.

Park: “He played on my intermediate team at KS with EJ Kapihe. He loves to compete. He sees the floor really well and has great anticipation on defense, which leads to steals and transition opportunities.”

Hale: “Great athlete who could do everything on O and D.”

Shklov: “Has it all. Built for that system Coach Chad (Townsend) has installed and is fully bought in. Never steps off the gas. He leverages his length on both ends of the floor to get tips, steals and blocks that lead to great passes and finishes. Cannot leave him open or he will make you pay. Decision making akin to the best point guards he also shows the ability to read opposing guards tendencies to make plays on the ball.”

Coach of the year, Kelly Grant, Maryknoll
Grant’s third state title, including one at Kaimuki, makes it back-to-back for the Spartans. He led a group that lost four starters to graduation, but finished 31-4. During this two-year title run, Maryknoll is 61-6 overall.

Kihei Kapeliela of Division II state champion Kohala and Kamehameha coach Larry Park were close in the voting. Also getting votes were Robert Shklov of Mid-Pacific, Steve Hathaway of Roosevelt, Brandyn Akana of Kahuku, Michael Johnson of Moanalua and Chad Townsend of Leilehua.

Kia‘i Apele, Waiakea
Andrew Jones, Kalaheo
Kamana Lapina, Mid-Pacific
Tino Atonio, Damien
Nainoa Peters, Kailua
Luke Pardini, Kalaheo
Yoshi Kobayashi, Punahou
Ryder Hsiung, Punahou
Mario Drummer, Kaiser
Alva Arquette, Saint Louis
Bobby Thompson, Kalaheo
KJ Walker, Hawaii Prep
Isaiah Richards, Baldwin
Frank Camacho, McKinley
Malosi Viena, Pearl City
Izayah Chartrand-Penera, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Elijah Kahue-Parker, Mid-Pacific
Kuikawa Ross, Baldwin
Jordan Deshawn Hepting, Punahou
Lydell Romero, Kailua

1. Sage Tolentino, Maryknoll
2. Kordel Ng, Kamehameha
3. Oscar Cheng, Kahuku
4. DiAeris McRaven, Moanalua
5. Christmas Togiai, Kamehameha
6. Niko Robben, Maryknoll
7. Lokana Enos, Kahuku
8. Noah Furtado, Maryknoll
9. Reggie Eiland, Maryknoll
10. Bryce Forbes, Damien

Also receiving votes
Peyton Macapulay, Punahou
Elijah Kahue-Parker, Mid-Pacific
De’Zhaun Stribling, Kapolei
Luke Pardini, Kalaheo
Kanoa Gibson, Mililani
Davon Neumann, Leilehua
Liko Soares, Maryknoll
Robbie Sauvao, Kahuku
Mario Drummer, Kaiser
Elijah McGruder, Moanalua
Jordan Deshawn Hepting, Punahou
Carter Kamana, ‘Iolani
Jake Holtz, Damien
Nainoa Peters, Kailua
Matt Rabino, Lahainaluna

1. Sage Tolentino, Maryknoll
2. Landyn Jumawan, Leilehua
3. Malosi Viena, Pearl City
4. Tino Atonio, Damien

Also receiving votes
Andre Adams, Lanai
Alva Arquette, Saint Louis
Drake Watanabe, Roosevelt
Hayden Bayudan, Damien
EJ Kapihe, Kamehameha
Kenji Toyama, Kaiser
Mario Drummer, Kaiser
Kanoa Gibson, Mililani
Noah Omori, McKinley
Hudson Yarbrough, Baldwin

1. Kohala vs. Roosevelt, HHSAA Division II state final
2. Maryknoll vs. Kalaheo, HHSAA D-I opening round
3. Mid-Pacific vs. Punahou, ILH playoff
Also receiving votes
Kalani vs. ‘Iolani (preseason)
Kahuku vs. Leilehua (OIA playoff)
Maryknoll vs. Kamehameha (Jan. 7)
Molokai vs. St. Anthony (Molokai won 96-79)

2020-21 PRESEASON TOP 4, D-I
1. Maryknoll
2. Punahou
3. Kamehameha
4. Leilehua
Also receiving votes: Kahuku, Mid-Pacific, Moanalua, Kalaheo

1. Kohala
2. Hawaii Prep
3. Seabury Hall
4. Kalani
Also receiving votes: McKinley, Hanalani, Honokaa, Kauai

1. Mid-Pacific
2. Anuenue
3. (tie) Kalani
3. (tie) Kapolei
Also receiving votes: Maryknoll, Waialua, ‘Iolani, Kalaheo, Waiakea

1. McKinley
2. Hawaii Baptist
3. Hanalani
4. Kohala
Also receiving votes: Castle, ‘Iolani, Kahuku, Kaiser, Kalani, Kamehameha, Waialua, Anuenue, Mid-Pacific, Molokai, Waiakea.

1. Kahuku
2. Kamehameha
3. Kalaheo
4. Roosevelt
Also receiving votes: Kapolei.

1. ‘Iolani Classic
2. OIA-ILH Challenge
3. James Alegre Classic
4. Surfrider Holiday Classic
Also receiving votes: Matsumoto Law Group/Black and Gold Challenge, Hawaii Thanksgiving Invitational, Pete Smith Classic.

1. Radford
2. McKinley
3. Moanalua
4. Leilehua
Also receiving votes: Kalaheo, Mililani, Kailua.

1. Maryknoll
2. Kohala
3. Nanakuli
4. (tie) ‘Iolani, Konawaena, Moanalua
Also receiving votes: Kahuku, Leilehua


  1. Mark M. Words March 23, 2020 4:31 pm

    It bewilders me that you have the audacity to not include Bailey Bumanglang on this list. With his athleticism, ability to shoot, finish at the rim, and good looks, he is a slept on phenom who will be a force to reckon with in the future. Great things are to come from him, with seniors leaving, Iolani will have a much better season. Mark my words, they will win the championship next year. Come back to this in a year and tell me I’m wrong.

  2. SweatyMurphy March 23, 2020 8:51 pm

    You mean to tell me they didn’t give it to a D2 player that scores a lot? Or a player that didn’t make the state tournament? Shocker..

  3. Ivan Laukong Chan March 23, 2020 9:19 pm

    First off,
    How in the world did Bailey Bumanglag, Iolani Class of 2022, not even make it for defense!! I know he may be as good as Christmas, Cordell, or Tolentino but when this kids steps onto the court, you instantly feel his presence on both sides. You can take my word cause I know this kid I mean watch him train day in and day out. Keep your eyes peeled 👀👀

  4. really March 24, 2020 8:43 am

    @ Mark M. Words,

    Who is Bailey Bumanglang?

  5. Flight Reacts March 25, 2020 11:03 am

    To answer your question for Mark, Bailey Bumanglag is the class of ‘22s #1 prospect out of Hawaii. Many consider him the next Michael Jordan, but personally, I compare him to Lamelo Ball. He shares Lamelo’s drip, jumper, layup/dunk package and handles. Anyone who watches him can see his growth in skill since his freshman year. I can’t wait to see how much he grows by senior year, although his game is excellent, there is always room for growth. Aside from Bumanglag, there is another rising star in the class of ‘22, and coincidentally he also attends ‘Iolani Prep. His name is Ivan Chan, you haven’t seen him play for ‘Iolani or AAU, but trust me when I tell you he is skilled. His jumper replicates that of Luka Doncic, his handles mirror retro Jamal Crawford and do not get me started on his killer step back. Just wait until next year when he joins ‘Iolani Varisty Basketball, and you will all see his skill.

  6. Fullcourt March 25, 2020 4:50 pm

    What’s his size?

  7. Flight Reacts March 25, 2020 8:22 pm

    The phenom Ivan Chan is approximately 6’2”, and still growing! But this doesn’t take away from his incredible hops. Ive seen his dunk package in person, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ve seen a windmill or two. He has been working out/lifting for the past year, and it shows. Not only has he reached a staggering 40 inch vertical, but he has also is able to bench 2 plates!

  8. Ivan Laukong Chan March 25, 2020 8:27 pm

    I can back up everything that he’s just said about Ivan Chan. Kid is insane. Yall ain’t ready

  9. Mark M. Words March 25, 2020 8:38 pm


    Who are you???

    I forgot about Ivan Chan, didn’t play basketball his freshman or sophomore year but heard some good things about him. Watched him during a practice scrimmage and he looked solid. The Bailey and Ivan duo could be the Kobe and Shaq of the state. Iolani will win the championship next year!

  10. SweatyMurphy March 26, 2020 9:33 pm

    I like Hirata as a coach but I don’t care who ‘Iolani has… unless they get another 7 footer, it’s going to be the Tolentino show the next 2 years. He has no equal in the state he’ll dominate like how most bigs are supposed to when everybody else is a foot smaller than you.

  11. Ivan Laukong Chan March 27, 2020 12:35 pm


    This Ivan Chan is incredible (coincidence my name is also Ivan Chan haha). Would be a shame if he gets injured again. He’s the real deal

  12. DrdripMD March 28, 2020 1:53 am

    Sweaty Murphy
    First of all your name takes away and respect that I have for your comment about some kid name sage. To be frank sir or mam, Sagé is no match for the strength and athleticism of Ivan Chan. His overall play is just beyond anything we’ve seen before. After Chan’s next two years of high school we could in for a treat. Many NBA GM’s have already scouted him and he may go the route of Lamelo Ball and play overseas for a year. Mark my words, in three years Chan will be in the NBA as a first round pick. The fact that sage, a volleyball player, even is mentioned along with Chan’s name is disgraceful towards Chan and all of China.

    @Fight reacts

    Chan will definitely be interesting to watch in the next few years. He has had the last two years to focus just on gaining muscle and working on his craft. While Chan is not out the ville he still is a strong minded and capable player. His playmaking and ability to play in iso situations is amazing. I was also wondering if you heard about another exciting prospect from Iolani school named Darwin. He’s also known as the dr of drip by his peers. He should go along well with Bumanglag and Chan in these next two years.

  13. Flight Reacts March 28, 2020 10:19 am

    I have heard about this Darwin guy. I think I’ve seen him play in a couple AAU tournaments on the mainland, on both east and west coasts. I must say, the kids got some talent. His jumper is wet, his handles are killer and his defense is clamps. What could use some work is his layup package, nowadays only having a jelly in your bag isn’t enough. I don’t mean to downplay his game, but if he adds some more lays into his bag he will be an elite player. And for off the court, do not get me started on his drip. Not only is he wearing the nicest kicks and the most hype clothes, but the way he carries himself is on point.

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