Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, June 12, 2001



Alika Smith to join
Vulcans as assistant

The former UH-Manoa star
goes to UH-Hilo to reunite
with head coach Jeff Law

By Dave Reardon

As a player, Alika Smith starred at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.

As a coach, he hopes to teach his skills to University of Hawaii-Hilo players.

Pending some final paperwork, the former All-Western Athletic Conference guard will join the Vulcans this upcoming season and become part of former Manoa assistant Jeff Law's staff, Law told the Star-Bulletin last night.

Law was an assistant for the Rainbows during Smith's playing career. Smith, who played for UH from 1994 to '98, finished as Hawaii's third-leading career scorer with 1,415 points.

"Alika and I were always close. We had a good relationship on and off the floor," Law said. "We have guys on the team who know who he is and what he did. I think he will add a lot to the development of our guards. He won't just be a figure sitting on the bench."

Part of the deal is that Smith, 25, will complete his degree work at UH-Hilo.

"I see him really earning what we help him out with on tuition," Law said. "He should be able to graduate in one year."

The Vulcans finished 16-11 overall and second in the Pacific West Conference Pacific Division at 11-7 last year.

This coming season, the Rainbows are scheduled to play in the Vulcans' Big Island Invitational.

Smith teamed with backcourt mate Anthony Carter, now of the Miami Heat, to lead Hawaii to two NIT appearances and a 42-17 overall record from 1996 to '98. Among the highlights of his career was Hawaii's victory over No. 2 Kansas in the championship game of the 1997 Rainbow Classic.

As a prep player, Smith was a three-time all-state selection at Kalaheo High School and also starred in baseball. Most recently, Smith has been an assistant with the Mustangs, working with his father, head boys basketball coach Pete Smith.

Alika Smith was not available for comment last night.

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