Team Aloha wins Cal hoops tourney

Team Aloha 2018: Front row, from left: Leiah Naeata, Brilie Kovaloff, Kalina Obrey, Kamalu Kamakawiwoole, and Caiyle Kaupu. Second row, Elite Is Earned tournament director Chris Hansen, assistant coach Rodney Cavaco, Sisilia Kaufusi, Paige Fahrni, assistant coach Sherice Ajifu, Alayna Akiona, Teves Suan, Tanniya Uchida, Jalen Tanuvasa, and Kelsie Imai. Third row: Founder-coach Mufi Hannemann and assistant coach Rodney Veary. Courtesy photo.

Team Aloha — an all-star girls basketball team from grades nine to 11 representing schools from across the state — finished 5-0 to win the Elite is Earned Spring Invitational basketball tournament held April 20-22 in Walnut Creek Calif.

Team Aloha competed in the 17-and-under group of 40 teams.

On Friday, Team Aloha beat Salt Lake Metros Gold, 62-35, and NorCal Dynasty Elite, 56-26.

Saturday, Team Aloha beat Alaska Stars Gold 50-38 and then came back from a 9-0 deficit to blow out Lady Spartans Elite of Sacramento, 64-39.

In Sunday’s championship game, Team Aloha beat Cal Sparks of San Diego, 45-38.

Team Aloha roster: Alayna Akiona (Kalani), Paige Fahrni (Mid-Pacific), Kelsie Imai (Waiakea), Kamalu Kamakawiwo‘ole (Maryknoll), Sisilia Kaufusi (Kahuku), Caiyle Kaupu (Konawaena), Brilie Kovaloff (Mid-Pacific), Leiah Naeata (Kahuku), Kalina Obrey (Kamehameha), Teves Suan (Waipahu), Jalen Tanuvasa (Maryknoll) and Tanniya Uchida (Konawaena).

Mufi Hannemann is the founder of Team Aloha and served as head coach with assistants Sherice Ajifu, Rodney Cavaco and Rodney Veary.


  1. One Team April 27, 2018 12:05 pm

    Why does team aloha enter such a easy tournament every year? Looks like heavy favoritism on the team, OIA not well represented, no Iolani representatives? A State tournament team. Two from Mid PAC and two from Maryknoll? We all know an assistant coach resigned mid season from MP. Politics is alive and well!

  2. Second Team April 28, 2018 12:23 am

    There were multiple teams that traveled this past weekend. Team Aloha went to the Elite is Earned in Walnut Creek. Lightning, Southside Wahine, and Proformance went to California Storm in Anaheim/Orange/Irvine.

    Team Aloha won like the story said. Southside Wahine did well winning all their games. They should have been playing 17U since the 16U division there wasn’t too competitive. Proformance entered the top level for 17U and they didn’t do that well. Their black team went 1-3 and lost by 26 in one game. They need better bench coaching since those teams are stacked. Lightning played in the 13U which was another weak division. They could have played 14U and been competitive.

    I agree with One Team about the selections of the teams. Assuming they only take 11th graders and below, and usually they take 10, this is who I would have selected. Nothing against the 9th graders, but they would get their chance next year or the year after.

    PG – Brilie Kovaloff – MPI
    SG – Kamalu Kamakawiwiole – Kalani
    SF – Caiyle Kaupu – Kona
    PF – Kalina Obrey – KS
    C – Sisilia Kaufusi – Kahuku

    Reserve – Susitina Namoa – Lahaina
    Reserve – Kelsie Imai – Waiakea
    Reserve – Dallas Martinez – SHA
    Reserve – Torie Maeda – Iolani
    Reserve – Tanniya Uchida – Kona

    ILH – 4
    BIIF – 3
    OIA – 2
    MIL – 1

    ***Note: Rumor has it that Kamalu is going to Kalani for the 2018-2019 school year.

  3. Burgla April 30, 2018 9:07 pm

    If kamalu does go to kalani they will win oia again. Coaching should be interesting if so.

  4. One team May 1, 2018 1:17 am

    @ second team I like your selections, better use of talent in other schools. If Kamakawiwiole does go to Kalani it would really be shame throwing 3 years away. Dallas and Maeda are more than deserving to be on team aloha. Heard Ajifu made selections with her own agenda in mind. In my opinion a coach that abandoned her team and caused chaos in the middle of a ILH season shouldn’t be eligible to represent our state. Not a good look for Hawaii.

  5. Second Team May 1, 2018 6:56 pm

    @ One Team, If that is true then that is really unfortunate. I was a little surprised by some of the selections. All of the kids are good kids and do a great job of representing Hawaii. But I always thought this team was to select the top players in the state and I think they missed on several.

    We shall see about Kamalu, but a lot of people are saying it.

  6. REALLY November 27, 2018 7:08 pm

    @One team – agree with you! She is not a Coach especially how she behaved. Bad choice to represent Hawaii or any school.

  7. Leialoha Finai March 26, 2019 9:53 pm

    TEAM ALOHA 2019 girl basketball players deserve a whole page article… in the sports section of the newspaper. Include their pictures with a brief write up. Support this team…they are made up of many of Hawaii’s best. Mufi Hanneman and his staff are awesome and these girls are working so hard. They are not playing for themselves, but for our state. Their games should be taped and shown live… Please support them.

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