[ RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL ]
signing of guard
Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball coach Jim Bolla announced yesterday the signing of junior-college transfer Cassidy Chretien to a national letter of intent.
The 5-foot-5 point guard is Bolla's first recruit since taking over the program last year.
Chretien played two years at Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas, where she helped the Roadrunners to 37 victories as the starting point guard.
"Cassidy is a true point guard who distributes the ball well and has the ability to score when needed," said Bolla. "She played in an up-tempo system, which is exactly what we want.
"The big key was where she went to school. I've had players from there before who were starters for me at UNLV. We saw tapes of Cassidy and I talked with her coach, Dawn Coleman. He said Cassidy was a better person and a better player than another player from Angelina who played for me. Cassidy comes highly recommended."
Hawaii did not enter the recruiting sweepstakes for Chretien until April. She was being recruited by Tennessee-Martin, Alcorn State, Southeast Louisiana and Texas Southern.
"It was about two or three weeks before I was going to make my final decision when the Hawaii coaches called and said they had heard about me," said Chretien. "I thought, man, it's not true. This is some kind of April Fool's joke. It was a shock to me."
Chretien signed her letter of intent before making an official visit to campus last week.
"I went on faith. There must have been a reason why I hadn't signed yet. Maybe Hawaii is what God wanted me to do," said Chretien.
"I had a great time on my visit. I liked the school and the girls (Wahine players) were real cool. It was a shame I had to come back (home) the next day. I was so tired from jet lag."
Chretien scored a team-high 11.9 points per game and averaged 3.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 steals this past season.
A graduate of LaGrange High School in Lake Charles, La., Chretien was a two-time all-conference and all-district player and earned all-state honors as a senior.
"I just started working out today and I'm sore," said Chretien, who will either work construction with her cousin or teach basketball at local recreation centers this summer.
Bolla, who still has two scholarships available, said, "We're not looking to sign any more players until next year.
"I'll have four more available after next year (the 2005-06 season) and we're trying to balance things out over the next four or five years."
Ideally, Bolla would like to have three to five scholarship available each year.
He has met with the returning players and told them he will not have 19 players on the roster next year like he carried in 2004-05. Bryony Crouch has received her release and plans to transfer to another school next year.
"I don't think it is necessary to use all 15 (the NCAA limit for women's basketball) scholarships. I prefer to have 12 or 13 players on the roster," said Bolla.
The Wahine coach also said he has culled the number of applicants for the open assistant and associate positions down to 10.
"Whether we fill one or both depends on funding issues being resolved," Bolla said.