ON HAWAII BASKETBALL
FRANK Arnold, the former University of Hawaii basketball coach, wants to be perfectly clear about something.
no hard feelings
He is not bitter.
If he was, he wouldn't be here to coach the California All-Stars in an exhibition tomorrow against the Rainbows (7:05 p.m. tip-off, Stan Sheriff Center).
"Disappointed? Sure. But not bitter," said Arnold yesterday at the UH athletic complex. "How can you be bitter, dealing with these people?"
It's obvious Arnold, 66, still has aloha for Hawaii, even if the state's basketball fans don't have fond memories of his two-year tenure, when the Rainbows went 11-45 in 1985-87.
"Things didn't end badly, I just decided to leave because I felt I couldn't win," Arnold said. "In order to win here you have to have J.C. transfers and that doesn't fit into my recruiting or coaching style."
He's been back to Hawaii several times, the latest three years ago when his daughter, Kali, was married at the Brigham Young-Hawaii temple.
Arnold hasn't coached since assisting at Arizona State for two seasons following his UH stint. He recently retired from Franklin Covey, the company that makes Franklin Planners.
"It was a lot easier than coaching, but not as much fun," he said.
Arnold's son, Gib, who was an all-state guard at Punahou, is now an assistant at Pepperdine. Gib knows David and Dana Pump, the twin brothers who own the California All-Stars.
"They've expanded to six teams, so they talked me into coming out of retirement," Arnold said. "They didn't tell me it would be 12 games in 13 days. But we'll have fun."
ANOTHER FAMILIAR FACERemember Kawika Akina? The Kahuku graduate who was with the Rainbows briefly in 1997 before he transferred to Northern Arizona is here to play for the All-Stars.
Akina helped the Lumberjacks to the NCAA Tournament in 1998. They almost upset Cincinnati in the first round.
"My family and friends didn't get to see me play, but I got to the tournament, and that's why you play," the 5-10 guard said.
He played at the Stan Sheriff Center two seasons ago, when NAU participated in the Nike Festival tournament.
Since completing his eligibility, Akina has earned a master's degree in psychology and been a graduate assistant coach for NAU. He has a tryout coming up with San Diego of the new ABA 2000 league.
QUOTABLE"We've been playing each other since early August. We're ready to go out and see what we can do with someone else." -- UH senior post Troy Ostler.
TIP-INSGuard Kimo Keiter-Charles, a Star-Bulletin first-team all-state choice from state champion Hilo, is the only new walk-on to make the team. He joins holdovers Lance Takaki and Ryne Holliday. Keiter-Charles sat out practice Saturday and Sunday due to a hip injury, but might be in uniform tomorrow night. ... Assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Jackson Wheeler said the Rainbows won't get anyone during next month's early signing period. But, for the spring, "We're looking for more big guys, like always, and a small forward/shooting guard," Wheeler said. ... An old UH nemesis, Larry Abney of Fresno State, will play for the All-Stars. "That's good," UH coach Riley Wallace said. "His rebounding and Akina's quickness will be a good test for our players. That team is what you want at this point: veteran guys who know how to play." ... Wallace was pleased with the overall effort in a 2 1/2-hour practice late yesterday afternoon.
Dave Reardon, who covered sports in Hawaii from 1977 to 1998,
moved to the the Gainesville Sun, then returned to
the Star-Bulletin in Jan. 2000.