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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 19, 2010

State's hoops elite on Team Aloha

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Anuhea Wall

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With a new coach and six new players, the 2010 "Team Aloha" all-star girls basketball squad was unveiled yesterday.

The team, made up of 10 players from across the state who will return next season, is scheduled to participate in the Arizona Elite Girls Basketball Tournament, April 16 to 18, at Tempe, Ariz.

The tournament is regarded as one of the nation's premier showcase events for girls basketball, and annually attracts dozens of college coaches.

Former 'Aiea High and University of Hawai'i standout Fran Villarmia-Kahawai is the new head coach for Team Aloha, taking over for current UH women's coach Dana Takahara-Dias. Villarmia-Kahawai coached 'Aiea to the 2001 state championship, but stepped down after the following season to devote more time to her growing family.

"I want to give back, and now the timing is good," said Villarmia-Kahawai, who is married with three kids. "I had the opportunity to walk on at UH and eventually received a scholarship, and I can see a future for a lot of these girls to play at the next level, too."

This year's Team Aloha includes four returnees from last year's squad: Kalei Adolpho (Moloka'i), Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo (Farrington), Lia Galdeira (Konawaena) and Mysha Sataraka (Punahou).

The other players are Konawaena's Dawnyelle Awa and Anuhea Wall, Farrington's Kirsten Liana, Punahou's Hailey Maeda, Kaimukī's Dejah Fa'asoa and 'Iolani's Alex Masa-quel.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who helped create the first Team Aloha in 2006, will again be an assistant coach.

Lahainaluna point guard Maiki Viela, who played on last year's Team Aloha, has been invited to play on a NIKE squad instead this time.

"Maiki is a big loss, but I really like the group we have," Hannemann said.

Read his blog on high school sports at http://preptalk.honadvblogs.com.