Accident won't keep ex-Wahine off court
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
When Shelley Fey told her husband she was playing in the University of Hawai'i women's basketball alumnae game, he wondered if that was a good idea.
It's been five months of a gradual recovery for Fey, whose legs were caught in a boat propellor during an August accident. Therapy has gone well, the support immense from family and friends, but the physical activity limited.
"I'm doing a little jogging, walking," said the former Shelley Kahuanui, who is among some 30 former Hawai'i players scheduled to appear at tomorrow's game at the Stan Sheriff Center. "I'm thinking I will be able to get out there for a little bit, maybe not as much."
Fey, who played for the Rainbow Wahine in the 1977-78 season, is one of several players from the '70s who will play, including Noella Kong and Keiki Dawn-Izumi from the inaugural 1974 team, and Sabrina McKenna, who played from 1975 to 1978. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. and precedes the Hawai'i-Nevada game.
Fey, who was also a former Rainbow Wahine assistant, coached the Punahou girls basketball team to state titles in 1994, 1997 and 1998. She returns to work full-time next week as the chair of Punahou's physical education department after the school allowed her to gradually return to work part-time last semester. It's just one of her many goals for the road ahead.
On her way back from a service trip to Kaho'olawe with colleagues, Fey was caught in unusual water conditions while they were changing boats on Maui.
"I could feel the propellor pull me and it got me," Fey said. "I was able to use some of my swimming and body surfing experience to kick and get away from the propellor and boat and when I came up, I had a bunch of cuts on my lower leg. I was fortunate there were a couple doctors in our group and they tourniquetted me and the ambulance got there pretty fast."
Fey plans to return to paddling and soccer, particularly since she missed September's Nā Wahine O Ke Kai outrigger race.
"Therapy has been wonderful, my hats off to all the physical therapists, nurses, doctors, my experience with all of that has been tremendous," she said.
Fey played for Patsy Dung, Hawai'i's first coach from 1974 to 1979. Along with alumnae, Dung and former coach Vince Goo will be recognized during halftime of the Hawai'i-Nevada game.
"The times we were able to travel together, we spent a lot of quality time with teammates and coaches," Fey said. "I remember Patsy Dung, assistant coach Dennis Agena, practicing at Kalākaua Gym, scrimmaging some of the boys there, having Boulevard Saimin.
"The workouts, I remember being so fatigued and having a hard time driving home to Kahalu'u."
Players have been split into two teams for the alumnae game, which includes current Hawai'i head coach Dana Takahara-Dias and assistant Da Houl. The teams will be "coached" by members of the state's two major daily newspapers.