H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Saturday, November 14, 1998

Cal a tough opening act
for Basket’Bows

By Cindy Luis


There are bigger names when it comes to men's college basketball ... Duke ... North Carolina ... UCLA.

But for University of Hawaii forward Marquette Alexander, there could be no bigger name than the team he will open his Division I career against tomorrow. Say the word 'Cal' and the Bay Area native's eyes light up.

"I'm real excited, with Cal being from back home and everything," Alexander said yesterday. "Everyone back home is anxious to see what's going to happen. The ears back home are waiting to hear if Marquette Alexander had a good game.

"But it's more than that, more than about how I do. It's if we can win, if we can beat Cal. It's about respect back home."

Home has been on Alexander's mind a lot lately. After last Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage, the 6-foot-8 junior forward quit the team out of frustration.

"Being far away from home, it's hard," said Alexander. "I was frustrated. Everything about being here I had to adapt to. But like my mom said to me, 'Be a man. Grow up.' That's what I have to do. Grow up, put everything behind me and look at all the good things about being here."

Several of the players came to Alexander's room last weekend and talked him into returning to the team.

"They came to me and said, 'Don't leave, we need you,' " Alexander said. "In that day off, I realized how much we were like a family. I'm glad to be back."

The Rainbows are going to need Alexander's wide body (270) pounds against the solid front line of the Golden Bears.

Alexander could be first off the bench. He's penciled in as the backup to both seniors Erin Galloway and Mike Robinson.

Reserve has never been part of Alexander's vocabulary. He was all-city and all-district beginning his freshman year at Balboa High, capping his senior season with All-American honors and a third straight city championship. At San Francisco City College, he was an all-league pick both seasons. Being on the bench has been very difficult.

"At first I really minded," he said. "But then I realized that Mike and Erin have been here, they know the system, they're seniors. There's still a whole lot I have to learn."


UH basketball

Bullet Tomorrow: California (0-0) at Hawaii (0-0), 4:35 p.m.
Bullet Where: Stan Sheriff Center.
Bullet Broadcasts: Live, KFVE-TV (Channel 5), KCCN radio (1420-AM).
Bullet Tickets: $7-$13.
Bullet Experimental rules (through Dec. 31): 45-second clock instead of 35 seconds; wider free throw lane at base of key.

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