David Evans and Flavia Gabinio are getting opportunities most athletes only dream about -- the chance to play for pay.
Evans, GabinioBy Brandon Lee
Special to the Star-Bulletin
The former local NCAA Division II standouts have signed professional contracts and will soon earn money when they step on the court.
Evans, a Brigham Young-Hawaii basketball star guard/forward who finished his collegiate career two seasons ago, leaves this weekend for a tryout with the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He has also signed a contract with the Oslo Kings of the Norwegian Basketball League should things not work out with the Mavericks.
Gabinio, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter on the 2000 Hawaii Pacific volleyball national championship team, has completed her college eligibility (though she still is enrolled in classes at HPU). The Joao Pessoa, Brazil native agreed to a one-year contract to play for Concordia BTV of the Swiss Championship League.
"It's a good opportunity," said the 6-5 Evans of his tryout next Monday through Wednesday. "I'm going to go up there and play my hardest, and not worry about it too much. These chances are very slim to play in the NBA."
Evans finished as the nation's leading scorer at 27.9 points per game two seasons ago and was named a first-team All-American. After a pro opportunity in Japan fell through, the Shingle Springs, Calif. native stayed on with the Seasiders as an assistant coach last season.
Evans said former BYUH and University of Hawaii player Jarinn Akana arranged the tryout. Akana is the assistant coach in charge of player development for the Mavericks.
Evans has stayed in basketball shape by playing with current Seasider players, especially since the end of last season.
"(Evans) can definitely score and he's proven that against Division I teams in our tournament," BYUH coach Ken Wagner said. "He's such a great scorer, you never know what might happen (at the tryout)."
After helping the Sea Warriors to the first undefeated season in Division II history, Gabinio was selected to the All-National Championship tournament team and named a Daktronics Pacific Region All-Star. She averaged 3.8 kills and 2.4 digs per game on the season.
Gabinio said agent William McCallister contacted her about a month ago.
He helped her sign with Concordia BTV, a team located in Luzern that competes in "Pool A" of the Confederation of European Volleyball. McCallister had scouted Gabinio since her days at College of Southern Idaho (1996-97).
"(McCallister) called me out of nowhere; I thought I would have to work," Gabinio said. "If I like it, I may play one more year. I need to be getting into real life. I'm thinking I might want to be a coach."
For now, Gabinio is excited for the chance to extend her playing career and get paid for it, no less. She is set to leave the state Aug. 21 for a season that will run from September through April.
Gabinio expected to receive her contract today, the exact terms of which are undisclosed. Among other things, it will include an apartment, meals, transportation, insurance, expenses, vacation travel and an allowance, according to a news release from HPU.
Late signeesWith the letter of intent signing period coming to a close on Tuesday, some local Division II teams had some late signees to announce.
The Hawaii Pacific softball team secured its top three recruits -- all local players -- and continues to pursue a pitcher from the mainland. Shortstop Tiare Keliinoi and catcher/infielder Anuhea Diamond (both from Mililani High School) will join the Sea Warriors next year, as will pitcher/infielder Jamie Reyes of Kaimuki.
Keliinoi was a Star-Bulletin first-team All-State selection, while Diamond received honorable mention. Reyes was named Oahu Interscholastic Association East Player of the Year and garnered statewide honorable mention.
HPU coach Howard Okita said all three will have a chance to start next season.
Brigham Young-Hawaii used its last available basketball scholarship to sign 6-6 swingman Alexis Foyle from College of the Desert (Calif.). Though Foyle has played the sport for only about four years, he led all California junior college players with over 12 rebounds per game, while also averaging over 20 points.