Four sign with Rainbow Wahine basketball team
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
On the first day recruits could officially sign letters of intent, University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine basketball found itself a fourth incoming freshman.
Pam Tambini, a guard from Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose, signed her letter of intent yesterday. She joins McKinley's Amber Lee, Brittany Grice from Redondo Union in California, and Kaimuki's Dalia Solia as Hawai'i's Class of 2006. Lee, Grice and Solia verbally committed early; all signed letters yesterday.
When volleyball All-American Kim Willoughby joins the team next month, UH will still have three scholarships available. Coach Vince Goo has 12 players on scholarship this season, leaving him three more. He will lose seniors Christen Roper, Natasja Allen and Michelle Gabriel after this season. Junior reserve Julia Washington has also told him this is her final year.
Goo said he is looking for another post player but will probably hold on to at least two scholarships for the following year. April Atuaia will be the only Rainbow senior in 2003-04.
Tambini, a 5-foot-10 guard, has played all five positions for Piedmont Hills. She is a two-time league MVP and was also Freshman of the Year. She averaged 18 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists as a junior. She also shot 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Tambini was interested in Santa Clara, Cal and Pacific all much closer to home. But she decided on Hawai'i during her visit last weekend, as did her mother, who came on the trip with her.
"She really wanted me to go there," Tambini said. "She really liked Hawai'i, and liked Vince. Everyone seemed really cool."
Piedmont Hills coach Kathy Harris has watched Tambini lead her team to league championships the last two years.
Harris calls Tambini a "real slasher" who prefers to drive and is capable of playing the point because of her vision and ballhandling skills. "She has great hands," Harris says. "She'd be a great wide receiver."
Goo says Lee, a 6-1 forward, is working on her perimeter game to prepare for college. She and Solia, a 5-8 wing, were All-State selections last season.
Grice, a 6-4 center, is concentrating on footwork and quickness to help her inside. Goo calls her "a left-handed Christen Roper." Redondo reached the state finals last season.
The Rainbow Wahine open Nov. 23 against UCLA. Goo says Roper is the only player who has clinched a starting position so far.
Hawai'i could play as many as four ranked teams in its early-season tournaments, including fourth-ranked Connecticut and seventh-ranked Texas Tech. Defending WAC champion Louisiana Tech, ranked 16th, upset Texas Tech Sunday in the Preseason WNIT.