It's a rare Saturday in Manoa with both the softball and baseball teams home this weekend, but neither playing tonight. But, the UH athletics calendar was clear for good reason, as 83 Rainbow Warriors and Wahine scored the ultimate win. Walking across the stage in Manoa to receive their college degrees.
"It's like a shock, it's like. It's like a blur. You know it went by fast but I enjoyed every minute of it." said former Hawaii football offensive lineman, RJ Hollis.
It may have gone by fast for some, but that certainly doesn't mean it was easy. For Hawaii's student athletes getting to collect their diploma on Saturday is the result of years of juggling practices, weight training, traveling, team meetings, study hours, and of course classes. At times, that schedule had some wondering if they would even make it to today's ceremony.
"Every single day. Every single day I was like I don't know." said Hollis. "But that's life, you know. Everybody has their ups and downs and when you have a big responsibility, like being a student athlete, it's going to take a lot out of you. Everyday I felt like that like. But I made it through, so I'm proud of myself."
"It's really difficult. Not many people understand what it's like and what it requires of you mentally and physically." said Rainbow Wahine volleyball alumni and All-Amercian, Nikki Taylor. "But, I have no regrets of doing it and it has shaped me into being the woman am now. I'm proud of myself for getting through it."
The sport with the biggest showing at graduation was the UH baseball team. After picking up a win last night, the team graduated all 10 of their senior; which reflects an overall trend of academic improvement among athletes at UH.
When the university's Academic Performance Rate was released last week the school scored an all-time high APR for the 2015-2016 academic year. Eight teams posted APR's higher than the national average within their respective sport.
That milestone also comes in David Matlin's first year on the job, not that he's taking any credit for it.
"Obviously I'm very proud of the performance but it's not about me," said Matlin. "It's about a lot of people. It's definitely a team effort and it means a lot. Our students are getting it done in the classroom and on the field. It takes a village. But I'm very proud. Very proud."
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