Toeaina takes top honors

Sarah Toeaina performed a traditional dance on senior night 2018. / Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser

Add one more award to Sarah Toeaina’s collection.

The Hawaii women’s basketball senior was honored for one last time to cap her decorated career on Sunday, as she was the recipient of the Ah Chew Goo Award — the program’s most prestigious individual honor — at the Rainbow Wahine postseason banquet for the second straight year.

Toeaina also repeated as an All-Big West first-teamer in 2017-18, averaging 16.5 points and finishing as the ninth-leading scorer in program history (1,204 points). Now she is only the third Wahine player to receive the award (introduced in 1999, and named after the father of former Wahine coach Vince Goo) multiple times, and the second player to get it in back-to-back years. Amy Kotani (2006, 2008) and Shawna Kuehu (2014, 2015) were the others.

It was a difficult season overall, at 12-18 (5-11 Big West), but there was little doubt that Laura Beeman’s team would be far worse off had Toeaina not scored in double figures on a game-to-game basis, while providing leadership on the floor and in the locker room. She rebounded at a high level for a 5-foot-11 player (6.0 per game) and shot 52.2 percent, exceptional for her position.

Beeman handed out several other awards at the Ala Moana Hotel’s Hibiscus Ballroom on Sunday: point guard Tia Kanoa, defensive player of the year; forward Kenna Woodfolk, most improved player; center Lauren Rewers, rookie of the year; and Toeaina for the team academic award. Rachel Odumu, Julissa Tago, Courtney Middap and Amy Atwell also received academic recognition.

Hawaii guard Tia Kanoa, UH’s defensive player of the year, drove against San Diego guard Aubrey Ward-El in nonconference play. / Photo by Bruce Asato, Star-Advertiser
Wahine forward Kenna Woodfolk, UH’s most improved player, had to battle Cal State Northridge Matadors center Channon Fluker three times in 2017-18. / Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell, Star-Advertiser
Freshman center Lauren Rewers, UH’s rookie of the year, battled Channon Fluker during the first round of the 2018 Big West tournament at Titan Gym. / Photo by Darrell Miho/Special to the Star-Advertiser


  1. tempmanoa April 16, 2018 6:10 am

    I watch girls teams playing basketball here on the mainland– including park and street tournaments and the fundamentals match those of many boys– dribbling, shooting, using both hands, great crossovers, defense, and team play– you can hear them calling out to each other. They also have great size (one of the best teams was a group of tall high school volleyball players from California– they were among the best players I saw– they played better than many boys and the girls on the basketball teams– great crossovers, shooting, jump shots, and pick and roll). If Hawaii cannot get really capable height, we ought to really push even higher or level of fundamentals and team play.

  2. Sina Tavui April 16, 2018 1:03 pm

    Wahine Basketball team this year is the best, I’ve enjoyed all their games! They are so talented and skillful. Loved all the players, esp the Samoan ones!😍😍

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