The Hawaii women’s basketball team bolstered its ranks considerably with the 2019 early signing period.
Four of the players were mentioned on Warrior World previously. Those four are all incoming freshmen.
>> Nae Nae Calhoun, a 5-4 point guard out of JW North (Calif.) High
>> Olivia Davies, a 5-9 combo guard out of Wasilla (Alaska) High
>> MaKayla Edwards, a 5-10 guard/forward out of Salesian College (Calif.) Prep
>> Kasey Neubert, a 6-0 forward out of Highlands Ranch (Colo.) High
A fifth player, Barbara Rangel, was the last player added to the class to this point. She is a 6-foot-2 forward out of Moorpark College who averaged 14 points and 12 rebounds as a freshman.
Five players for a single basketball signing class is quite a haul.
“Coach (Courtney) Locke has been our recruiting guru and has changed our philosophy of how much I’m off island, going to home visits and seeing the kids,” coach Laura Beeman said. “Me getting multiple evaluations so that we have good evaluations and not a one-time thing. Obviously our location makes evaluations difficult live. But Coach Locke has done a great job of getting us all out, watching kids multiple times. I did a lot of home visits. Once we identified the kids that we really wanted, it was just attacking everybody in their lives and letting them know what a great fit they would be for us and what a great fit we would be for them. And that’s parents and travel-ball coaches and high school coaches and counselors and whoever. It was a strategy that worked very well because we developed some wonderful relationships with these kids and their parents.”
Beeman plans to keep recruiting for the coming season because she has a scholarship in her pocket, plus whatever attrition occurs.
“It’s always nice to have room on your roster. I don’t need to have 15. So, right now, we’re talking to some kids. We’re going to get the best fit that we possibly can, whether it’s mid(year) or next year.”
UH (0-3) faces Portland (2-0) on Friday and Seattle University (0-2) on Sunday in the Bank of Hawaii Classic. Both games tip off at 2:30 p.m.
The Wahine are expected to still be without forward Lahni Salanoa and center Lauren Rewers. However, they should have 6-foot wing Amy Atwell back in action after she missed the first three games of the season recovering from an injury.
“It was really hard (to sit and watch), especially the first two, losing by one point. It’s kind of like, you go through everything in your head, if I was out there what would I do to get us across the line. So it was really challenging sitting on the bench and seeing everything the girls were suffering through out there. So I’m pretty excited to get back out on the court this weekend in the tournament and hopefully improve that record.”
The Australian expects to have a role in helping UH improve its rebounding. The Wahine have been outrebounded by one, one, and 14 in their three games.