Bobbie Awa isn’t big on hyperbole.
However, the longtime, seven-time state-championship winning girls basketball coach will chat joyfully about her players, especially those who led. One of them is Chanelle Molina, who helped Konawaena capture its second girls basketball state title in as many years. Molina was inducted into the Enterprise Hawaii Hall of Honor on Sunday.
“It was great coaching Chanelle for four years,” Awa said. “She’s such a good student of the game. She loves to learn. She loves to get better. She doesn’t blame anybody, so humble, so positive.”
Playing for Awa and Coach Donald Awa with the Kona Stingrays, she was a force every summer in girls tournaments on the mainland. She also suited up and starred for Team Aloha. She received several offers from D-I universities before selecting Washington State, where former Konawaena standouts Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa played. Molina’s abilities went beyond basic basketball skills. She was an encourager, and also put her words into action.
“If you lead by example, the rest of the kids follow in your footsteps. You work your butt off every day like she does, the other kids work their butt off,” Awa said. “When it comes to the Hall of Honor, I encourage our girls to apply for that scholarship. it is an honor to be considered one of the 12 best athletes in Hawaii. She’s done great for her school. She’s a good person. Her grades, she’s done well in school. She’s one of the most decorated athletes coming out of Konawaena. We’re very honored she’s a part of it.”
It was an early Wednesday morning when Awa picked up her phone to chat, not long after graduation. Molina was back at it, 8 a.m.
“We have basketball camp going on (this morning) and she’s out there with the kids. It’s part of their giving back,” Awa added. “She’s awesome. I’m going to miss her.”