HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A group of Hawaii's top up and coming high school girls basketball stars will set out to prove they can shine on the mainland this weekend.
Team "Aloha" is made up of 11 hoopsters from around the islands, Thursday, along with Head Coach Fran Villarmia-Kahawai and assistant coach/founder Mufi Hannneman, they will make a trip to Mater Dei high school in California for the "Tournament of Champions" basketball tourney.
Besides competition, the trip is meant to give the group of underclassmen national exposure they may not get otherwise. Hannemann says it's trips like these that have helped numerous Hawaii products earn college scholarships. "This is the fifth group of women that we've taken up as Team Aloha. This gets them a chance to be noticed earlier and the scouts track them," said Hannemann.
"They're (college scouts) always surprised and amazed at the number of quality athletes that we have from Hawaii."
"We're happy to have this team because it helps the underclassmen get looked at by college coaches" added Punahou guard Mysha Sataraka. "That's a good plus for us, but we're just going up there to play, have fun and work hard."
Team Aloha features a few players over the 6-foot mark, but coach Villarmia-Kahawai says it'll be there speed that makes a difference on the mainland.
"We don't have a lot of height, and we're going to match up with a lot of girls who are 6'3" and 6'5" women who are from the mainland, but that's ok, our girls play hard and we're always known to press and always run" said Villarmia-Kahawai.
The Tournament of Champions runs from April 16-17.