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


Monday, March 6, 2000

Rainbow Notebook


Team cools off
in the snow

FRESNO, Calif. - The University of Hawaii men's basketball team took the day off yesterday and headed for snow country.

Head coach Riley Wallace, his staff and players took a 90-minute bus ride out of town and rode to the 6,500-foot level of snow-covered King's Canyon National Park.

It was the first time walk-on freshman guard Lance Takaki had ever seen snow. He said he made so much noise about it that two teammates decided to make it an up-close-and-personal experience.

To commemorate the occasion, 6-foot-9 Troy Ostler and 7-footer Todd Fields buried the 5-4 Takaki in a snow drift.

"I was surprised when they did it once, but they did it to me twice," said Takaki, who had on a sweater but wasn't wearing gloves. "I had to take off the sweater because after they buried me (the first time), it was soaked."

Wallace said the trip was an ideal way to put the recently concluded WAC season in the past. It also helped to break the monotony of a week-long stay in Fresno.

Hawaii lost, 79-69, Saturday night to the Bulldogs at Selland Arena. It was the Rainbows' sixth loss in the last seven games.

The Rainbows will open the WAC tournament on Thursday as the sixth seed. They take on Southern Methodist.

"We hiked through paths in deep snow and saw giant Sequoia trees," said Wallace. "I was out of breath up there. I wasn't sure how they'd like it but the players loved it."

WAC Tourney dedicated to Haskins

The WAC tournament will be dedicated to retired UTEP coach Don Haskins.

Haskins, who retired following the 1998-99 season, was the Miners' head coach for 37 years and ranks 10th on the NCAA's all-time victory list (719-353). His UTEP teams won seven WAC titles, made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and captured a national championship in 1966.

Banquet scheduled for April 12

The annual Rainbow men's postseason banquet will be held April 12 in the DeRussy Room of the Hale Koa Hotel.

Cocktail hour will be 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and can be obtained by calling the basketball office at 956-6501.

By Pat Bigold

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