Kuehu named Rainbow Wahine's MVP at end-of-year banquet
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The University of Hawaii` women's basketball team hosted its annual banquet at the Ala Moana Hotel's Hibiscus Ballroom. A gathering of over 100 celebrated the team and its season which saw the Rainbow Wahine finish in third place in the Big West and advance to its second-straight appearance in the WNIT. Shawna-Lei Kuehu took home the top honor, earning the Ah Chew Goo Award-the program's most prestigious individual award.
The 2013-14 Rainbow Wahine posted a 17-14 overall record and a 10-6 mark in conference. Hawai`i once again faced a tough non-conference schedule which included teams from the Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten, WCC, WAC, and Southern Conference. Hawai'i won the 2013 Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown with a thrilling 77-71 overtime win over Minnesota. It was the first tournament championship that UH won since 2004 and it marked the first time the 'Bows defeated a Big Ten opponent since 1998.
The 'Bows advanced to the post-season for the 13th time in school history. The 'Bows finished in third place in the Big West. Hawai`i went 7-1 in conference home games and tallied its best conference record since 2001-02. The Rainbow Wahine were able to win series sweeps over UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine.
The coaching staff passed out the Big West Awards that the Rainbow Wahine earned. Kamilah Jackson and Kuehu received their second-team All-Big West awards while junior Ashleigh Karaitiana received her "Sixth Player of the Year" Award. Jackson also received her Big West Player of the Week honor.
Jackson, Kuehu and junior point guard Morgan Mason all received their captain's awards after helping to guide the 'Bows to their second-straight winning season.
Senior Diane Moore earned the team's Scholar Athlete Award after earning the squad's highest GPA. Moore appeared in 28 games this season with two starts. She averaged 10.4 minutes a game with 3.6 points a game. The architecture major will be graduating in the Spring of 2015.
Karaitiana was named the winner of the "Hustle Award." The Hamilton, New Zealand-native has been known for her never-give-up attitude thoughout her first two seasons with the Rainbow Wahine. This season, she appeared in all 31 games and started in nine contests. She led UH with 39 made 3-pointers and finished second on the team averaging 10.4 points a game. She also averaged 5.2 rebounds and had 49 assists and 21 steals in her junior campaign.
Kuehu was voted the winner of both the Most Valuable Team Player Award as well as the Ah Chew Goo Achievement Award winner as the player who attained "basketball excellence through dedication, determination and perseverance." Kuehu appeared in all 31 games this season with 29 starts as the team's utility player. She aveaged 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds a game while leading the team with 23 blocked shots and 32 steals. She also dished out 55 assists and was second on the team with a .434 field-goal percentage (119-for-274). Kuehu has overcome a season-ending knee injury as a true freshman and becoming a mother after playing a few games to start her sophomore season. She is currently appealing the NCAA for another year.