She’s only a sophomore, but Konawaena basketball and volleyball standout Chanelle Molina is already on the University of Hawaii’s wish list.
Molina, a Star-Advertiser all-state Fab 15 selection as a freshman last year, has been offered a basketball scholarship by the Rainbow Wahine. UH coach Laura Beeman talked with Molina during last weekend’s Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic.
“It was amazing. I heard how she changed the whole program in one year,” Molina said of Beeman. “She came up to me and said, ‘I’m offering you a full scholarship.’ ”
Konawaena coach Bobbie Awa wasn’t surprised by the early offer.
“Chanelle is so coachable, always ready to learn. She’s learning to become a leader, to be more vocal. Last year, we had Courtney (Kaupu). She’s expanding her role. She and Ihi (Victor) are the leaders.”
Konawaena finished second in the state tourney last season. Beeman saw Molina play on the mainland in a summer tournament. Molina played with the Kona Stingrays and Hawaii Express Hoops.
“I’m keeping my options open. I’m just focusing on getting better,” Molina added. “I’m just honored.”
The Wildcats played in the Kaiser Invitational and went 2-1. Her role is more than just point guard. She’s the team’s most versatile player, a rebounder with hops — increased this year thanks to volleyball — a penetrator who can finish, a strong on-ball defender and a perimeter weapon with 3-point range.
When they had time, the Wildcats went to the Rainbow Wahine Classic and watched former Konawaena standouts Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa play for Washington State.
“It just inspired me. They’re legends at Konawaena. I study their moves. Me and Ihi (Victor) are trying to lead our team like they did,” Molina said. “I just want to be a humble leader.”