Shoji is latest from Iolani to rise to top
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
For the sixth straight season, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu boys basketball Player of the Year comes from Iolani.
But unlike his predecessors — Derrick Low (2001-2004) and Kyle Pape (2005) — senior Kawika Shoji did it without offensive fireworks and big headlines. Shoji, a 6-foot-4 forward, was honored by league coaches for his consistent and clutch production in the Raiders' most challenging season since 2001.
Shoji proved he could score — he had 23 points, including key baskets at the end of regulation and overtime, to help Iolani defeat Saint Louis, 61-58. But more than that, he was the one who came up with the big block, the key rebound, the defensive stop or clutch free throw whenever the Raiders needed it most.
Shoji is joined on the ILH's all-star first team by classmate Vinny Nip, Kamehameha guard Rykin Enos, Saint Louis guard Jeremiah Masoli, Punahou guard Miah Ostrowski and Maryknoll guard Tyler Tsukazaki.
Nip (5-10) was Iolani's primary outside shooting threat and scored 23 points — including 11 in the decisive third period — to help the Raiders defeat Saint Louis, 60-57. Enos, a 5-11 junior, could score off the dribble or from outside the 3-point arc.
Ostrowski, a 5-9 junior, was the league's most exciting player and could score from all angles near and far.
Tsukazaki, a 5-10 senior, led the surprising Spartans to several near-upsets.
Kamehameha's Jesse Nakanishi was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Warriors to a 10-0 start and the brink of their first ILH championship since 1992.
• • •
Pos. Player School
G Rykin Enos Kamehameha
G Jeremiah Masoli Saint Louis
G Vinny Nip Iolani
G Miah Ostrowski Punahou
G Tyler Tsukazaki Maryknoll
F Kawika Shoji Iolani
Player of the Year: Kawika Shoji, Iolani
Coach of the Year: Jesse Nakanishi, Kamehameha
Reach Wes Nakama at email@example.com.