Mr. Basketball 2003 - One More Time

Low is the Star-Bulletin’s
Mr. Basketball for the second year
in a row after rising
above the competition

The All-State Teams
Private league lands 3 players on first team
League All-Stars

By Tim Crouse

DERRICK LOW dribbled at the top of the key, taking precious seconds off the clock.

And then he saw a lane to the hoop, and in a split second had changed the course of the game.

Iolani's Derrick Low


Derrick Low
Iolani junior guard

2002-03 stats:
14 points
5.5 assists
3.5 steals per game

"There is no player comparable to him."
-- Tim Lovejoy, Keaau Coach

Iolani's Low dashed to the hoop, splitting Kamehameha's defense, and slammed home a dunk that brought the fans and the Raiders' bench players to their feet.

"I thought he was going to lay it up and finger roll it, but he came down hard (for the dunk)," Leilehua coach Keith Spencer said.

That brief moment in the state semifinal basketball game earlier this month summed up Low's brilliance.

The repeat Star-Bulletin Mr. Basketball Hawaii can handle the ball, has the quickness to make amazing plays, has incredible court vision and has a great understanding of the game.

"The greatest quality he has is that he's a coach on the floor," Kamehameha coach Darryl Gabriel said.

Added Spencer: "He doesn't get rattled, he's like a coach on the court. He understands how to play the game and counters (whatever you do) with his basketball knowledge."

Low showed he could score the big points, with a high game of 28 during the ILH season. But he also didn't force the scoring, and made sure he accomplished the most important thing for Iolani -- getting wins.

"He's so unselfish, he could probably easily score 30 points if he wants to," Maui coach Bill Naylor said. "He's a step above."

Said Iolani coach Mark Mugiishi: "He has good basketball IQ. He has tremendous talent and he's a great listener. Derrick will always do what you ask."

Low has been successful without resorting to being fancy.

"I like his demeanor," Roosevelt coach John Chung said. "He gets the job done without being flashy. That's the thing I love about his game. He just plays the game. If he has to pass, he'll pass, if he has to score, he'll score."

Low averaged 14 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals in all his games. He finished third in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu in scoring at 12.6 ppg.

"He's so unselfish. As long as they win he's satisfied," Chung said.

And victories have been numerous in Low's Iolani career.

The Raiders haven't suffered an ILH loss since Low's freshman year -- a string of 27 games -- and haven't lost a league or postseason game in two complete seasons. Iolani is 8-1 the past three state tournaments, with two titles and a runner-up finish.

"He controls the game," Waimea's Matt Taba said. "You know good things are going to happen. He hits big shots, plays tough defense, does not turn the ball over."

The stretch of victories will make Low's senior year all the more interesting, as he tries to close out one of the best Hawaii high school careers ever with a fourth consecutive ILH title and third straight state crown.

There will also be the big decision of where Low will go next, with major powers like Duke and Kansas already showing interest.

"He's a perfect guard for the systems (teams like Kansas) run," Mugiishi said. "He'll open up opportunities for other kids in Hawaii."



First Team

Guard: Derrick Low, Iolani, Jr.
Guard: Jonah Lakatani, Saint Louis, Sr.
Forward: Bobby Nash, Iolani, Sr.
Forward: Maafu Finau, Maui, Sr.
Center: Sam Wilhoite, Kalaheo, Jr.

Second Team

G: Ranson DeCosta, Damien, Jr.
G: Caleb Spencer, Kamehameha, Sr.
G: Jason Rivers, Saint Louis, Sr.
F/C: Daniel Tautofi, Kaimuki, Sr.
F: Tevita Finau, Maui, Jr.

Third Team

G: Charles Seanior, Radford, Sr.
G: Brandyn Fidel, Mililani, Sr.
F: Gene Rivera, Maui, Jr.
F: Levi Bartholomew, Waiakea, Sr.
G/F/C: Jimmy Miyasaka, Kaimuki, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Baldwin: Akamu Aki
Farrington: Uriah Seui
Kalaheo: Zane Cabral
Keaau: Sunny Amisone
Leilehua: Zacarias Rivera
Pahoa: Ashley McGuire
Roosevelt: Bryson Borges, Anthony Holyfield
Saint Louis: Desmond Hanohano
Waimea: Jordon Dizon
Waipahu: Francis Caliboso

Coach of the Year

Pete Smith, Kalaheo


Private league lands
3 players on first team

Kalaheo's Smith garners coaching honor

By Tim Crouse

BOBBY Nash closed out a high-profile high school career at Iolani with back-to-back state titles. With his prep playing days behind him, Nash will now focus on his move up to NCAA Division I basketball.

The Star-Bulletin first team selection won't be moving far geographically, as he'll play for Riley Wallace's Hawaii Rainbows. Nash brings intensity, a smooth shot and good rebounding skills to UH.

His skills and determination helped him to repeat as a first-team choice.

"He was very good in big games, very steady," Iolani coach Mark Mugiishi said. "His shot was good and he rebounded very well."

The 6-foot-6 forward was second in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu in scoring, at 14.6 points a game.

"With his height, and him being able to take players away from the basket, he poses problems," Roosevelt coach John Chung said. "He's real hard to defend."

"He really matured this year," Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan said.

Joining Nash and Player of the Year Low from the ILH is Saint Louis guard Jonah Lakatani.

Maui's Maafu Finau and Kalaheo's Sam Wilhoite round out the first team.

The Star-Bulletin selections were made after consultation with coaches from around the state.

Lakatani's value to the state runner-up Crusaders can't be measured by numbers.

The 5-7 guard was the heart and soul of the team.

"He was the quarterback," Tengan said. "As our point guard he got us into our offense. He was the defender up front harrassing the opponent's ball handlers.

"He gave us great leadership."

Lakatani averaged eight points and six assists for Saint Louis. He was the team's leading 3-point shooter, at 40 percent, and led the squad in steals.

"He led them to the success they had," Mugiishi said.

Maafu Finau, a 6-4 senior forward, was a force for the state semifinalist Sabers, along with his younger brother, Tevita Finau, who is a second-team selection.

Maafu Finau averaged 16.5 points a game this season for the Maui Interscholastic League champions.

In Maui's first two state tournament games, Finau tallied 44 points. Kamehameha coach Darryl Gabriel said he was impressed with Finau's defense.

Sabers coach Bill Naylor liked all the aspects of Finau's game.

"He's a complete all-around player," Naylor said. "He boarded for us, he stole the ball, he scored. He played with enthusiasm."

Wilhoite, a 6-7 junior center, was Kalaheo's go-to player.

"Everyone knew they were going to him and he still scored," Mililani coach Mike Coito said.

Added Keaau coach Tim Lovejoy: "He had a strong inside presence. He seemed to want to (carry) the whole team."

Wilhoite, who averaged 16.4 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, got better as the year went along.

"He improved tremendously, from preseason ... to the state tournament," Chung said. "He developed a really good 15-foot shot. He always had good post moves. If he's hitting that 15-foot bank shot then he's really hard to stop."

The entire Mustangs team improved dramatically. After some early season losses, coach Pete Smith guided his young team to the OIA championship.

Smith, who announced his retirement from coaching earlier this month, is the Star-Bulletin Coach of the Year.

"Everybody kind of said Kalaheo was going to have a down year, that their dominance in the OIA was over," Tengan said. "They struggled early but he got them playing good ball down the stretch and he was able to win another OIA title."

The Mustangs were 5-3 at one point, but closed out the regular season with two wins, then won four games for their third straight OIA championship -- including a victory against previously unbeaten Radford.

Kalaheo finished up by taking fifth place at states.

"He didn't have as much talent as in the past, but he did a good job of getting them to play well at the end," Chung said.




Eastern Division
Player of the year
-- Daniel Tautofi, Kaimuki.
Coach of the year -- John Chung, Roosevelt.
First team -- Daniel Tautofi, Kaimuki, Sr.; Bryson Borges, Roosevelt, Sr.; Sam Wilhoite, Kalaheo, Jr.; Anthony Holyfield, Roosevelt, Sr.; Jimmy Miyasaka, Kaimuki, Jr.
Second team -- Chris Young, Moanalua, Sr.; Charles Texeira, Castle, Sr.; Uriah Seui, Farrington, Sr.; Zane Cabral, Kalaheo, Sr.; William Harvest, Castle, Sr.
Honorable mention -- Castle: Emmett Aberilla, Kurtis Kanekoa, Jordon Ukauka, Aukai Mendez-Kema. Farrington: Burt Calaycay, Jay Ocol, Royce Machado, Matt Bell, Hinano Gascon, Jomel Ambrocio. Kahuku: Tyler Oto, Tu Tui, Sam Spurrier, Quin Ah You, Ekahi Soriano, Hans Fonoimoana. Kailua: Kealii Kalahiki, Jordon Montgomery, Xavier Hoolulu, Brad Ching, Kekoa Sniffen, Eddie Campbell, David Kaihenui. Kaimuki: Nick Milan, Isaiah Ano, Richy Miyasaka. Kaiser: Tyler Fujie, Chris Assily, Kekoa Kamauoha, Waikoloa Noa, Steve Pratt, Matt Ching. Kalaheo: Theo Fujita, Jeremy Neufeldt, David Moore, William Elliot. Kalani: Dusten Umeda, Jason Deguzman, Carson Chun. McKinley: Joshua Bumanglag, Anapuni Coleman, Isaiah Iaea, David McGhee, Elliot Twiggs. Moanalua: Jaimie Rego, Joseph Nishimura, Eric Keys, Kaleo Burtulfo, Darin-Jay Shinagawa, Glenn Gascon. Roosevelt: Daniel Balbas, Ryan Keomaka, Shane Kamakura, Ricky Eusebio.

Western Division
Player of the Year
-- Charles Seanior, Radford, Sr.
Coach of the year -- Kai Enos, Radford.
First team -- Charles Seanior, Radford, Sr.; Andrew Talaeai, Leilehua, Sr.; Kapena Wong, Pearl City, Sr.; Zacarias Rivera, Leilehua, Sr.; Corey Tavares, Pearl City, Sr.
Second team -- Warren Simanu, Kapolei, Jr.; Tauran Moore, Radford, Sr.; Simeon Tavares, Mililani Sr.; Francis Caliboso, Waipahu, Sr.; Angelo Massey, Leilehua, Jr.
Honorable mention -- Aiea: Samson Chung, Richard J. Kiesel-Kauhane, Kelii Kekona, Levi Wyman, James Hadley. Campbell: Marcus Van Ness, Tristan Bailey. Kapolei: E.J. Aton, Kaipo Enhada, Bradley Padayan. Leilehua: Demetrius Washington, Antonio Carter, Angel Fontanez, Tyrell Couch, Jonathan Scruggs, Anthony Hall. Mililani: Brandyn Fidel, Alex Patykula, Mikhail Mabry, Aaron Kanno. Nanakuli: James Chandler, Albert Distajo, Alika Enos, Rolando Celes. Pearl City: Michael Adams, Isaiah Locquaio, Royce Yuen, Michael Hardy, Brandon Rambonga. Radford: Joshua Auelua, Martin Lara, Jordon Rellin, LaMichael Wilkins, Mike Davis. Waialua: Brady Abendanio, Nicholas Serrone, John Carrano, Kelson Silva, Glen Rubio, Lawrence Sumaoang. Waianae: Justin Lafua, Jayson Milare. Waipahu: Bronson Ebinger, Lionel Willis, Corey Komatsu.


Division I
Player of the year
-- Derrick Low, Iolani, Jr.
Coach of the year -- Byron Mello, Damien.
First team -- Ranson DeCosta, Damien, Jr.; Jonah Lakatani, Saint Louis, Sr.; Bobby Nash, Iolani, Sr.; Jason Rivers, Saint Louis, Sr.; Caleb Spencer, Kamehameha, Sr.
Second team -- Andrew Amigleo, Punahou, Sr.; Desmond Hanohano, Saint Louis, Jr.; Kevin Lee, Maryknoll, Sr.; Brandyn McCall, Mid-Pacific, Sr.; Eric Shaver, Kamehameha, Sr.
Honorable mention -- Damien: Kaano Kalai, Fehi Sevelo, Keoni Steinhoff. Iolani: Ryan Hirata, Sean Carney, Kyle Pape, Zach Tollefson. Kamehameha: Aaron Kahaloa, Will Melemai, Galen Santana, Walter Spencer. Maryknoll: Westin Lee, Stacey Wong. Mid-Pacific: Ryan Leong, Chris Perry, Josh Santos. Punahou: Jason Sakata, Drew Monahan, Brenton Lee, Chris Friedmann. Saint Louis: Timo Paepule, Wilson Afoa, B.J. Batts, Keao Monteilh. University: Jeris Nakamasu, Ric Kodama, Ben Nishimoto, John Duro, Tommy Chung-Ming.

Division II
Player of the Year
-- Adam Edwards, Punahou, Sr.
Coach of the year -- Gary Pacarro, Punahou.
First team -- Peterson Brossy, Punahou, Sr.; Shane Butcher, Saint Louis, Sr.; Andrew Kurata, Hawaii Baptist Academy, Sr.; Robert Mageo, Iolani, Sr.; Rich Matsuura, Iolani, Sr.
Second team -- Ben Butler, Academy, Sr.; Keoni Haole, Hanalani, Soph.; Shane Lawrence, Word, Jr.; Brashton Satele, Word, Soph.; Will Stinton, HBA, Jr.
Honorable mention -- Academy: Kaimana Komine. Hanalani: Lito Alcantara, Chris Wee. HBA: Brandon Arquero, Jared Gandia, Jared Irei, Steven Ito. Iolani: Scott Tomokiyo, Brett Fukui, Matt Choy, Alex Why. Kamehameha: James Jones, Rand Lono, Kanekoa Texeira. Lutheran: Joshua Jay. Punahou: Jordan Moss, Michael China, Danny Nakada, Ian Perry, Ian Noah, John Yamane, Linden Lee. Saint Louis: Ben Soliven, Bobby George, Kaleo Perreira, Clinton Gibbs.


Player of the Year -- Ashley McGuire, Pahoa
Coach of the Year -- Tim Lovejoy, Keaau
First team -- G: Ashley McGuire, Pahoa, Sr. G: Sunny Amisone, Keaau, Sr. F: Kyle Teves, Kealakehe, Jr. F: Kealii Jardine, Laupahoehoe, Sr. F: Josh Cabreros, Keaau, Sr.
Second team -- G: T.J. Akina, Konawaena, So. G: Jeremy Javar, Kau, Sr. G: Bronson Ganir, Pahoa, Sr. F: Levi Bartholomew, Waiakea, Sr. F: Owen Flores, Pahoa, Sr. F: Max Unger, Hawaii Prep, Jr.
Honorable mention -- Keaau: Kai Calip, Aukai Wong. Waiakea: Ronnie Loeffler, Tyler Nishimura. Kealakehe: Michael Kaniho, Matt Liulama, Easton Takata, Jared Ursua. Pahoa: Jaemar Sibucao. Kohala: Kaanoi Carvalho, Shannon Cazimero, Kalani Kahoopii, Kekoa Libron. Kau: Elias Navarro, Kendrick Sanders, Jasen Villa. Honokaa: Pono Kahuanui. Hawaii Prep: Matt Martin. Laupahoehoe: Herry Belen.


Player of the Year -- Jordon Dizon, Waimea, Jr.
Coach of the Year -- Matt Taba, Waimea
G: Alec Reichle, Kauai, Jr. G: Desmond Rodrigues, Waimea, Sr. G: Brandon Wong, Kapaa, Sr. F: Casey Kaohelaulii, Waimea, Jr. F: Jeremy Manuel, Waimea, So. C: Taafuti Tavana, Kauai, So.


Selections not available.

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