Outside of Sarah Toeaina’s bedroom door is a message that she gives herself every morning before she leaves for basketball practice or class.
“What did I do today to better my skills?” is more than just a question Toeaina reads - it’s a mission statement. And after four years with the Rainbow Wahine basketball team, Toeaina will play her final home game Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
But when she leaves the arena for the final time in her historic career, she will have known for a fact that she did everything within her power to be the best student-athlete she could have possibly been.
“I like to challenge myself and but also challenge others around me,” Toeaina said. “I grew up being told that a great teammate is one that makes those around them better. So it’s something personal as well as making everyday count and making it as if it’s the last day of basketball I play.”
Win or lose, Toeaina’s legacy at Manoa won’t be affected by Saturday’s result. Already in the Top 20 in program history in points scored with over 1,000, Toeaina has been a standout not just on the court, but also in the classroom and outside of basketball.
“I would say that Sarah is really the foundation of the culture of our locker room,” said head coach Laura Beeman. “You always have a spectrum in your locker room. There’s the kids that do pretty much everything right in the classroom and on the court, and then you have kids that kinda test you, and you love them all. Sarah is just that kid who has really tried to do that right.”
Senior night for the Wahine is always unique and Beeman likes to pull out all the stops. But this time around, senior night is about staying focused and winning for Toeaina to extend her career for as long as possible.
“I’m definitely gonna miss her,” Beeman said of Toeaina. “Saturday is going to be a very emotional night - it always is. I just hope that we send her out of Hawaii, the Stan Sheriff Center, the right way and get into that tournament playing well and give her more games.”
The Wahine will take on Cal Poly tomorrow night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. HT.
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