RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL
Sudden starter Tinnin makes impact
Megan Tinnin's first starting assignment for the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team came about rather suddenly and in a quiet way.
Tinnin, a 5-foot-10 freshman guard/forward, had played in just nine games and the previous two for less than a minute when she was named a starter for the Jan. 27 game at Utah State.
"I had no idea until the practice the day before. We were scrimmaging and Coach (Jim) Bolla put me in with the starting group," Tinnin said.
The next day in the pregame shootaround, she was still with the starting group, although nothing official had been said by any of the UH coaches.
"It's kind of funny when I think about it. Usually in the locker room before the game, Coach Bolla will say who is starting and give them their assignments of who they are going to cover. He didn't say anything this time," Tinnin said.
When the Wahine return to the court and introductions are about to begin, the starters sit while the reserves stand.
"I didn't know whether to sit down or stand up. Finally Coach (Matt) Paton told me to sit down," Tinnin said.
Not knowing she was going to start didn't give Tinnin time to think and be nervous before the game, but that changed for a few minutes after she stepped on the court.
FRESNO STATE AT HAWAII
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
Tickets: All seats general admission. $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free.
"I was nervous because I knew I was being given a big opportunity. I knew it was something I had to take advantage of," Tinnin said.
She accomplished that by scoring 17 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc, grabbing four rebounds and handing out four assists.
Tinnin started the next two games, but didn't enjoy the same success. Compared to some of her teammates, Tinnin is relatively new to basketball, having started playing in the eighth grade.
She led St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, N.M., to its first state title in 27 years as a senior after signing with UH during the early November signing period.
Her only recruiting trip was to Hawaii. She did not play in tournaments until the spring of her junior year and summer before her senior year. Other schools waited to see her play as a senior.
"I started looking at schools really late. I'm the oldest in my family and my parents didn't know the process. I was kind of like the experimental child," said Tinnin, who has a sister who plays soccer and a brother who plays football.
Tinnin's basketball expectations were to get better because she knew she wasn't as experienced as everyone else. She did experience homesickness, but got over it once basketball practice started.
"I knew they would tell me things I had to work on. I wanted to be able to take the criticism and learn from it," Tinnin said.
"Coach Bolla and I have talked a lot about how different it is to run plays in college vs. high school. In college you have plays with many options and you have to run through them all. I am comfortable with the offense."
She is confident she has learned to manage her time and get good grades despite all the Wahine road trips.
Tinnin plans to major in some area of business and would like to take over her father's real estate and insurance business some day.