HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Team Aloha, the all-star girls basketball squad from Hawaii, earned its second consecutive championship title at the Elite Is Earned Spring Invitational girls basketball tournament, held April 26-28 in Walnut Creek, California.
The team posted a perfect 4-0 record during the three-day event.
The tournament was sanctioned by the NCAA, with nearly a hundred college coaches and scouts were in attendance.
Team Aloha consisted of Fab 15 standouts Caiyle Kaupu of Konawaena, Kahuku’s Leiah Naeata, Lily Wahinekapu of Iolani, Maryknoll’s Jaylen Tanuvasa and Kelsie Imai of Waiakea.
In the championship game against the Washington Swarm,Team Aloha won 53-48 win to take the crown.
“Our athletes showed tremendous discipline and stamina in our victories,” said Team Aloha head coach and founder Mufi Hannemann in a statement. “The girls’ exceptional defense proved to be the key, as their unrelenting press and teamwork wore down our opponents, and they made key baskets and free-throws down the stretch.
“I’ve said time and time again that our girls can compete against the best in the nation, and our continued competitiveness shows the caliber of home-grown talent we have. It also bears mention that our participation in these sanctioned mainland tournaments has led to a number of our players—who otherwise might have escaped recognition because of limited exposure at home—coming to the attention of college recruiters. That was the case last year, and this year as well.”