Indiana signs Lunas' Taufa
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Lahainaluna senior Milika Taufa, a two-time Advertiser All-State Girls Basketball first-team post player, has signed a national letter of intent to play for Indiana University next season.
Taufa, a 6-foot forward, signed after visiting the IU campus in Bloomington last week.
"I loved everything about it," Taufa said. "The people are friendly. It reminded me of home."
She turned down a visit and scholarship offer to Louisiana Tech, and also attracted interest from Iowa, Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Mississippi State after posting her profile on the Internet, according to Lahainaluna coach Todd Rickard.
"I knew she could play and compete against anybody," Rickard said. "Now she's going to the mecca of basketball."
Taufa said she sensed Indiana fans' passion for hoops right away.
"Everywhere we went, it was Indiana everything," Taufa said.
Taufa averaged 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds this past season, including 26 points to go with nine rebounds and five blocks in the state championship game victory over Konawaena.
Indiana coach Felisha Legette-Jack told The Associated Press she expects Taufa to help the Hoosiers improve their rebounding and thinks she will play a key role in getting the team to compete for a Big Ten Conference title.