Rainbow Wahine get started + UHMBB notes

Laura Beeman instructs her players
Laura Beeman instructs her players

It feels right to have some semblance of equality again in the practice start dates of the  Hawaii men’s and women’s basketball teams. This year, they opened up just a day apart after the last two years of the Rainbow Wahine operating about two weeks ahead.

Laura Beeman‘s crew got under way on Tuesday in Gym 2 on the UH Lower Campus.

Her no-nonsense approach was back in a hurry. Beeman played no favorites with familiar faces, getting on returning players on at least two instances.

It was also the first full practice together for Beeman and her reconstructed coaching staff. Gone are two full assistants from last year, Gavin Petersen and Linnae Barber, and director of basketball operations Jen Yoza. In their place are Dekita Williams (last year’s graduate assistant) and Wendy Anae as full assistants, with Alex Delanian as the new DOBO.

As far as the players go, the most compelling position battle will be at point guard, where Beeman needs to find a replacement for Monica DeAngelis. Her choices are numerous — last year’s backup Marissa Wimbley, the versatile Destiny King, and newcomers Morgan Mason and Briana Harris.

Harris, a freshman, had one particularly impressive drive to the hoop that caught the defense off guard in 3-on-3 drills.

Assistant Mary Wooley works with Kuehu
Assistant Mary Wooley works with Kuehu

Player leadership should be a strong aspect of these Rainbow Wahine. Shawna Kuehu, one of five seniors, in particular arrived motivated and seems ready to go to war/run through a wall/(insert your best motivational expression here) for Beeman.

So motivated is Kuehu, in fact, that when broached with the subject of applying for another year of eligibility, the Punahou product was all for it. She sat out most of the 2011-12 season while pregnant.

An extra year would be remarkable, considering she initially signed with UH to play for Jim Bolla, was around in some capacity for all three years of Dana Takahara-Dias‘ tenure, and is about to embark on her second season under Beeman.

Still, she is optimistic and enthusiastic on the subject of a possible appeal to the NCAA.

“It’s a work in progress,” Kuehu said.

In other Wahine news, senior forward Kamilah Martin is back to being Kamilah Jackson. Sounds more natural, doesn’t it? It should prevent me from messing up her last name then having to go back and change it about three times a story.

Players operate in the halfcourt
Players operate in the halfcourt

Mt. San Antonio College center Ashley Burchfield is looking doubtful to arrive this season, but it’s not official yet. Beeman hasn’t commented yet,  but even an addition of the 6-2 Burchfield for the spring semester could be a longshot.


Word is the Rainbow Warrior basketball team will play an exhibition against Brigham Young-Hawaii on an undisclosed date. You can keep an eye out for Twitter updates from me @brian_mcinnis for any news on that.

Gib Arnold’s team was off on Wednesday. They’ll be back at it tomorrow with Negus Webster-Chan expected to be in action for the first time in full practice. He should add an interesting dynamic to the proceedings, even as a redshirting scout teamer.

It wasn’t too surprising to see a five of Keith Shamburger, Garrett Nevels, Brandon Spearman, Isaac Fotu and Christian Standhardinger get the first crack at a new offensive set on Tuesday.

I’ll have more on Shamburger’s progress at point guard soon, either in the print edition or here. It’s clear he’s going to be tough to unseat for Quincy Smith or others.

Lastly, here’s a bonus shot of KHON sports director Rob DeMello in a fantastic striped shirt at Wahine practice:

Rob DeMello doing work
Rob DeMello doing work


  1. Hawaii bob October 2, 2013 8:24 pm

    Aloha! GEEV EM wahines! aloha hb

  2. Buds4life October 3, 2013 5:06 am

    Thanks Brian for covering the NaWahine practices. Just one question. Isn’t the lost of Burchfield particularly huge?

  3. fan4m2b October 3, 2013 6:49 am

    Mahalo Brian,
    Shawna’s last season performance was outstanding!
    Certainly looking forward to see even better one this season plus next.
    Hope things resolved soon for the championships starting center.
    All the luck for every game Coach Beeman!

  4. LanaiBoy October 3, 2013 7:07 am

    We had Stephanie Ricketts last year to go against the big and strong (6’5″) Big West Centers such as Molly Schlemer of Cal Poly (Conference POY). With the loss of Ashley Burchfield, Hawaii does not seem to have a player with the muscles to stop her defensively. However, it looks like Hawaii has a lots of skilled players (Jackson, Kuehu, Mason, and Harris) coming back or arriving that may make up for the lack of heft in the post. If Adolpho improves this coming season as much as she did in volleyball, watch out!

  5. hossana October 3, 2013 7:17 am

    Coach Beeman is certainly one of the best Wahine basketball coaches UH has ever had next to Coach Goo…her adjustments during game time and half-time has never failed to amaze me unlike her predecessor who seemed to be lost as to what to do during the game….

  6. LanaiBoy October 3, 2013 7:19 am

    Brian, could you explain in more detail the reasons why the NCAA ruled that Ashleigh Karaitiana used up one year of eligibility when she was a red-shirt freshman? Does it apply to all foreign athletes in all sports? By the way, I forgot to mention two other reasons for optimism this year, last year’s solid play of Destiny King and Karaitiana.

  7. poorboy October 3, 2013 2:57 pm

    Laura Beeman, loves her Cali Family and ohana, we are so grateful that a single woman came out to far off UH in the mid pacific to build a program. I have not said it enough, Laura, thankyou and Mahalo Plenty to your very close family.

    The kids love, you, the growing WBB fans love you . want to be Politically Correct, however, you took over the great eyes, face features, lovable teddy bear heart beautiful hair, terrirfic coach, who will even go after Bill Lambieer!,and great athelticism from your parents. Great BB guru. Lovely coach, and young woman.

    In behalf of us fans sixtie and older!

    Thanks for being the next greatest UH WBB coach Laura, we gotta come to games, however family, works dinnertime 700pm till midnite, sometimes hard, we catch on OC12 replay or BWC internet feed!

    Go Laura Beeman!

  8. poorboy October 3, 2013 2:59 pm

    Plus Laura is a baller, can whip most guys over sixty for sure!

  9. Brian McInnis October 3, 2013 5:02 pm


    It had to do with her high school graduation date. My understanding is she had a longer-than-usual delay from that time until she started her college clock. It is not a typical decision or situation for foreign-born NCAA athletes.

  10. Brian McInnis October 3, 2013 5:05 pm


    It could be. You never want to lose bigs. Six-foot-two post players don’t drop out of the sky for mid-major women’s programs. They’ll have to either play smallball until Kalei Adolpho arrives around the start of Big West play, or hope Pua Kailiawa holds down the fort as the tallest remaining player.

  11. poorboy October 3, 2013 5:23 pm

    Brian should be interesting: Whether in BWC , mid majors, or high majors, WBB has those 6’2″ to even 6’7″ big girls who are agile, good defenders, can run and score. Losing a couple of key 6 foot plus bigs for Laura Beeman, not too good. Have to wait till Kalei Adolfo, who is a monster, physical specimen, or play small , smart IQ BB and win. Should be good test for the girls. Laura Beeman is a very good tactical coach, she should find that medium, and rotation to win as many games and challenge for BWC tourney title.

    Go Rainbow Wahine! I hope at least 2000 will show up every home game, should be exciting year!

  12. LanaiBoy October 3, 2013 7:02 pm

    Season tickets application for WBB is supposed to be mailed out by the end of this week. Look forward to attending this season’s matches. I think it will be an exciting and productive year. Hope more people come to watch Kuehu, Jackson, Karaitiana, King and the new girls.

  13. K-Bay October 3, 2013 8:26 pm

    UHAD will be offering to Menʻs Basketball Season Ticket Holders, the opportunity to ADD Womenʻs Season Tickets for $30…

  14. fan4m2b October 4, 2013 4:41 am

    How about offer the same $30 deal to all other sports as well?
    It would really provide a big dose of support for the magical coach Beeman and,
    some extra cash for your department!

  15. Aj November 3, 2013 7:03 pm

    Why is khamilah so name changed back to jackson

  16. Brian McInnis November 8, 2013 3:27 pm

    Aj, Kamilah got married when she changed her name from Jackson to Martin. You can draw your own conclusions on why she might have gone back.

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