HONOLULU – University of Hawai'i women's volleyball player Kanani Danielson and baseball player Matt Sisto were the recipients of the 2012 Jack Bonham Award in recognition of their outstanding performances on and off the playing field. The announcement was made Tuesday night at the annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The award is given annually to the top male and female senior student-athlete who "best exemplifies the ideals for which Jack Bonham stood for in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, public service, leadership and character."
Danielson was a three-time AVCA first-team All-American and was voted the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year a record three times. She most recently was awarded the coveted 2011 Lowes Senior CLASS Award given to one senior in the nation from each sport who excelled in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition. Danielson, also a four-time all-WAC selection and member of the WAC All-Decade Team, leaves UH as the all-time leader in kills and digs. She guided the Rainbow Wahine to the NCAA Regional three times and to the Final Four in 2009.
Off the court, Danielson holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and was a three-time academic all-WAC selection. The interdisciplinary studies major is set to earn her bachelor's degree at the Spring Commencement this May. In addition, Danielson has been an active member of the Hawai'i community. She participated in Manoa Makeover and the Kahana Bay Cleanup, and volunteered for speaking engagements at Habilitat drug rehabilitation center and numerous elementary and middle schools.
"Kanani Danielson truly exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete," said head women's volleyball coach Dave Shoji. "It has been her desire to excel as both an athlete and a person that has made her so successful. As a team captain her junior and senior seasons, she was a tremendous leader both on and off the court and her positive influence on her teammates was invaluable. Our recent team success was in large part due to her and she will be missed."
Sisto, a four-year lettermen for the Rainbows, has been a four-year starter and the team's No. 1 pitcher for the past two seasons. Hawai'i has qualified for postseason play in each of his previous three seasons, and last year won the WAC Regular Season Title for the first time in 18 years. In 2010, Sisto guided the 'Bows to a WAC Tournament title and to the NCAA Tempe Regional championship game. Sisto has won every postseason start of his career, and this season surpassed legendary UH pitcher Derek Tatsuno for seventh all-time in career starts.
Sisto currently has a 3.28 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in finance in the College of Business. He was also a 2011 WAC All-Academic team selection. "I can think of no better ambassador to Rainbow baseball that Matt Sisto," lauded head coach Mike Trapasso. "He is the consummate professional, behaving at all times with character and integrity. Matt is a tremendous representative of his team and the University of Hawai'i and will be very successful in whatever field he chooses."
Considered the most prestigious award in UH athletics, the Jack Bonham Award is named for the late assistant athletics director who was killed in 1974 in a plane crash in America Samoa. Bonham was returning to the islands from New Zealand where he was on a recruiting trip at the British Commonwealth Games.
Previous Bonham Award Winners
2011 Kealoha Pilares, football Emma Friesen, swimming
2010 Andreas "Andy" Weber, tennis Aneli Cubi-Otineru, volleyball
2009 Solomon Elimimian, football Annett Wichmann, track and field
2008 Colt Brennan, football Kate Robinson, softball
2007 Mark Rodrigues, baseball Kanoe Kamana'o, volleyball,
Brittany Grice, basketball
2006 Alfred Reft, volleyball Allie Rowe, golf
2005 Chad Owens, football Jennifer Warnock, sailing
2004 Michael Kuebler, basketball Melissa Villaroman, volleyball
2003 Costas Theocharidis, volleyball Kate Judd, softball
2002 Predrag Savovic, basketball Molly O'Bryan, sailing
2001 Nerijus Puida, basketball Andrea Nishioka, water polo
2000 Dan Robinson, football Raylene Howard, basketball
1999 Michael Dartt, baseball B.J. Itoman, basketball
1998 Naveh Milo, volleyball Nani Cockett, basketball
1997 Carlton Oswalt, football Angelica Ljungquist, volleyball
1996 Clint Kuboyama, football Tania Brunton, basketball
1995 Jason Olive, volleyball Brandi Brooks, volleyball
1994 Jarinn Akana, basketball Melanie Azama, basketball
1993 Travis Sims, football Daniele Haia, softball
1992 Shawn Ching, football Heidi McElhanney, swimming
1991 Dane McArthur, football Patti Su'a, softball
1990 Jeff Ball, baseball Judy Mosley, basketball
1989 Amosa Amosa, football Sandra Budd, swimming
1988 Guy Farrow, swimming Reydan Ahuna, volleyball
1987 None Susan McDaniel, diving
1986 Michael Beazley, football Susan Hlavenka, volleyball
1985 Joe Lileikis, swimming Andrea Hawcridge, swimming
1984 None Rose Thomas, tennis
1983 Larry Goeas, football Joy Minaai, tennis
1982 Brandan Kop, golf Gillian Cooper, tennis
1981 Blane Gaison, football None
1980 Dean Dunn-Rankin, tennis Bonnie Gouveia, volleyball
1979 Ron Nomura, baseball Jane Zukaitis, tennis
1978 Harris Matsushima, football
1977 Gerald Ako, baseball; Alex Kaloi, football
1976 Marilyn Moniz, women's volleyball
1975 Gene Caranza, men's gymnastics
1974 Joey Estrella, baseball