HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii-Hilo men’s basketball team took home six PacWest conference honors on Monday with Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones taking home Newcomer of the Year and Jordan Graves being named Defender of the year.
In his first year with the Vulcans, Tait-Jones led the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game to go along with a second best 8.5 rebounds en route to a 10-2 finish on the season in head coach Kaniela Aiona’s first year leading the program.
Graves’ 2021 campaign earned him the title of the best defender in the league with 22 steals, averaging over 2 steals a game before an injury would sideline him for the remainder of the season — his efforts enough to garner league recognition and the first Vulcan to be recognized for the award.
Along with the individual accolades, Tait-Jones and Graves join fellow Vulcans Darren Williams and Sasa Vuksanovic on the All-PacWest Hawaii team, with Chaminade’s Issaac Amarall-Artharee and Kevin Kremer and Hawaii Pacific’s Lachlan Viney rounding out the rest of the team — due to the Pod format of the 2021 season, each Pod got their own All-conference squad.
Despite the impressive turnaround season for Aiona and the Vulcans, they did not make the NCAA Division II Tournament.