Rainbows, Wahine to mix it up with fans at Twilight Ohana
Just before addressing media members yesterday, Bob Nash placed a card bearing his name on the table in front of him.
"Just in case," the first-year Hawaii basketball coach deadpanned.
Nash was hardly in need of an introduction as he's long been a familiar face with the Rainbow Warrior program as a player and assistant coach. His tenure as head coach gets started in earnest on Friday when the UH men's and women's teams officially open practice at Twilight Ohana.
The annual event at the Stan Sheriff Center will be the public's only chance to get a sneak preview of the Rainbows and Rainbow Wahine prior to their season openers next month.
Rather than play exhibition games, the Rainbows will have two closed scrimmages leading up to their Nov. 9 debut against San Diego. The same goes for the Wahine, who open vs. Washington on Nov. 16.
This year's Twilight Ohana won't feature the themes and costumed introductions of past years. Instead, it will give fans a chance to mingle with the players and coaches on the arena floor prior to the formal festivities.
The event starts at 7 p.m. with an hour allotted for fans to go on the court to shoot baskets with the players and get photos and autographs.
"It just goes hand in hand with what we've talked about getting involved in the community and getting involved with youngsters," Rainbow Wahine coach Jim Bolla said.
The team introductions are scheduled for 8 p.m., to be followed by the annual 3-point shooting and slam-dunk contests. The women will then have a 20-minute scrimmage with the men to follow.
Nash said there won't be much structure to the offenses in the men's scrimmage. The process of installing the schemes really gets rolling Saturday morning.
"These guys are anxious to get started," Nash said. "We've been doing 2 hours a week of instruction and they've really been working hard."
Season-ticket sales for the men and women began yesterday. Tickets can be purchased at the Stan Sheriff Center box office, by phone at 944-2697 or online at HawaiiAthletics.com.