Well, my suggested headline didn’t make it into this morning’s paper, but it’s all good. I’ll just type it here: International League of Hoops.
Seriously, the ILH has provided fans with some magnificent — if sometimes plodding — basketball in recent years. The surreal efficiency of ‘Iolani’s trapping defense during the Doc Mugiishi years … the uptempo racehorses of Jesse Nakanishi at Kamehameha … and now, with imported hoopsters at Maryknoll and Mid-Pacific*, the league is even more fascinating.
All that would be cancelled out, though, if most coaches insist on walking the ball up at a snail’s pace. For now, thought, an additional quote from Warriors coach Julian Nakanishi that didn’t make this morning’s notebook (ran out of space).
It was ‘Iolani, then Kamehameha, that dominated the state for years by relying on offseason training and development programs. At Kamehameha, Dyrbe Enos was the top shooting guard in the state before graduating last year.
“We’ve got guys coming up since seventh grade, ninth grade,” Nakanishi said. “We can only control what we have, how we develop our players.”
Konawaena bounced from top
And there’s this. Konawaena girls were voted out of the No. 1 spot in today’s Star-Advertiser Top 10. How does that happen? Please don’t ask me. I voted for the Wildcats, who have 11 wins and just one loss. Granted, Kamehameha is unbeaten (according to the scores I’ve seen) and very good. But I have normally given defending champions the benefit of the doubt on my own ballot. But I have only one, and though 12 of 20 voters had Konawaena at the top of their ballots, there are a significant number of doubters. People who have the two-time defending state champions as low as No. 5 on their votes.
Preposterous? Ludicrous? Well, it is, after all, just a poll. And as I’ve always said, high school polls have the nutritional value of whipped cream. Fun. Tasty. Not a substitute for the real thing.
The real thing?
Bobbie Awa’s record as Wildcats coach in BIIF play is now 142-7. Her state-tourney mark is 19-7. Four state championships.
I’ll add this. With today’s poll bouncing the ‘Cats down to No. 2, there has been a disturbance in the force. And though the Wildcats don’t play for rankings and hype, word will get back to them. You think they need more fuel just one season removed from the graduation of Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa?
Let’s just observe. If you think voting Konawaena that low is justified, we’ll see how the second half of the regular season, and then the postseason, play out. For the love of hoops, I hope the voters who shunned the ‘Cats don’t have to take the court against them at some point.
The disturbance would be rectified in full force, I imagine.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser