Mayen would love to win one for mom
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Even in what has become a season of discontent, games can still be meaningful for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team.
Tomorrow's road game at Louisiana Tech certainly will be meaningful for Adhar Mayen.
The senior forward will get to play in front of family members for the first time in his Hawai'i career.
"I had friends come to my games before, but this is going to be the first time for my mom since I came to Hawai'i," he said. "Makes it a little more special."
Mayen and the Rainbow Warriors departed Honolulu last night for Ruston, La. They will play a Western Athletic Conference game against Louisiana Tech tomorrow at 4 p.m. (Hawai'i time) at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Mayen, a 6-foot-8 forward, is from Pflugerville, Texas. His mother, Josephine, and sister, Azsol, will make the seven-hour drive from Pflugerville to Ruston to watch the game in person. Several other relatives are hoping to make the trek (his father is on business in Africa and will not be able to attend).
"My mom used to come to my games in high school and even (junior college)," Mayen said. "But Hawai'i is just too far, so she never really had a chance. (Ruston) is the closest, so she said she had to come to this game since this is my last year."
Mayen is in his third season with the 'Bows after one season at Hill College in Texas.
He is averaging 6.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game while filling in at various positions for some of his injured teammates this season.
He may have to play a valuable role tomorrow, helping to patch a depleted backcourt. Junior guards Dwain Williams (on indefinite suspension) and Jeremy Lay (out for the season for hernia surgery) are not on the trip.
Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said Mayen will be one of the 'Bows asked to fill in as a guard.
"He's played there before, so he knows what to expect," Nash said.
His mother and sister, on the other hand, have no idea what to expect.
"We watch some of the games when it's on (ESPN), but that's it," his sister said. "It's been a long time since I went to one of his games."
The 'Bows will be in Ruston for less than 48 hours, so Mayen said he will try to make the most of the time with his family.
"I hope we can eat or spend some time after the game," he said.
He also hopes his family can bring the team some good luck.
Hawai'i is 9-14 overall and on a five-game losing streak. The 'Bows are 2-8 in the WAC, and "moved up" to eighth place yesterday thanks to Utah State's 72-67 victory over Boise State.
Boise State is 2-9 — a half-game behind Hawai'i at the bottom of the current standings.
The 'Bows are scheduled to play at Boise State on March 4 in what is expected to be a game for WAC Tournament entry.
The ninth-place team at the end of the regular season will not qualify for the WAC Tournament.
FLEMINGS EXPECTING FAMILY TO ATTEND
Fellow senior Roderick Flemings is also expecting to have family members at tomorrow's game.
Flemings is from Dallas, and he said "at least eight" of his family members will make the four-hour drive to Ruston, including his mother and grandmother.
"It makes a difference to me," Flemings said. "I like playing in front of my family."
Flemings leads the 'Bows in scoring with 15.4 points per game, and is second in rebounding with 6.0 per game. He has been playing his best basketball of late, averaging 19.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field in his last five games.
"My body's been feeling better," said Flemings, who has battled nagging leg injuries all season.
Flemings said he already received a tempting invitation from his mother that he will have to turn down.
"My mom told me she got tickets to the (NBA) All-Star Game and she wants me to go," he said. "I wish I could."
The All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday in Dallas. Sunday is a travel day for the 'Bows, as they will make their way from Ruston to Las Cruces, N.M., for a game at New Mexico State on Monday.
Tomorrow's game will be broadcast via radio on ESPN 1420 AM.
Monday's game at New Mexico State will be televised live on KFVE (Ch. 5). It will also be available via radio on ESPN 1420 AM.