Catching up with former Maryknoll standout Sage Tolentino

Sage Tolentino made the most of a two-week trip back to the islands recently. He committed to Cincinnati in July. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

The distance between Kaneohe and Hamilton, Ohio is 4,426 miles.

Sage Tolentino packed his bags and made the move after sophomore year at Maryknoll. He could have stayed, but like every other basketball player in Hawaii, he would’ve had zero official basketball games last winter as a junior. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hit Ohio the same way, where basketball was permitted at high schools like Hamilton.

The 7-foot wing and shot blocker — All-State selection and two-time state champion — shared his insights and excitement about visiting home for two weeks in today’s story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Among his thoughts:

>> “I feel good. I feel confident about my commitment and I just can’t wait to get to Cincinnati and get to work,” said Tolentino, who committed to the Bearcats in July.

>> “I went to Maryknoll a couple of times just to visit the campus and see a lot of my classmates. It’s just good to see the campus again. I got to see the beach. My school friends, we have a boys group chat. When I’m in Ohio, I text them every day to check in with them. We’ve been hanging out (online) almost every day.”

Sage Tolentino announced his commitment to Cincinnati live on the air at a radio station in Ohio. Photo courtesy of Becky Tolentino.

>> “Zippy’s. Rainbows. Those Hawaiian food places, I definitely missed because in Ohio, there’s no Hawaiian local food there. At Zippy’s, I ate the Korean fried chicken plate with sauce on the rice and mac salad. It’s really good. At Rainbows, I get the hamburger steak plate. That’s good too, with the patty on the rice and the mac salad with it.”

>> “I’m been just trying to get better, work on my game. Trying to be a leader and make my teammates better around me, and hopefully, we’ll go far in the state tourney and try to win states for Hamilton.”

His father, Grant Tolentino, noted that Sage’s decommitment from Auburn opened opportunities. The hoopster had interest from Xavier, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Dayton, among other schools.


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