Dedicated to coaching girls basketball

The 2014 Team Aloha won their tournament this year in Arizona.


The Mufi Hannemann Basketball Jamboree was established as an annual showcase for local female basketball players who had few ther opportunities but nonetheless place proportionately far more players in NCAA schools. The program, which began in 1994 as a small step toward gender equity, has since featured just about every top high school and college payer in Hawaii at one time or another.

JamboreeThe format for the one-day event generally features single-elimination contests between four and eight teams in two age groups: 12 years old and under and 14 years old and under. The high school players from across the state are divided into eight teams, their ranks complemented with former collegiate all-stars. These teams then compete in single-eliminations games, playing up to three games until the Jamboree champion is crowned.


Team Aloha was established in 2006 by Mufi Hannemann. It was an outgrowth of the annual girls Basketball Jamboree he had been sponsoring since 1994 as the state’s only post-season showcase of girls high school hoops. Long-recognizing the caliber of girls athletics in the islands, and that many girls were going on to play college basketball at the top levels, he had dreamed of someday taking a team of the Jamboree all-stars to compete against the best the mainland had to offer.

His dream came true in 2006, when he formed a girls team to compete on the mainland. Dana Takahara-Dias, former coach of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine basketball team, was serving as an administrator for the Hannemann administration and agreed to coach the squad. The first team, consisting of such all-stars as Jamie Smith of Iolani, Shawna and Shaena Kuehu of Punahou, Iwalani Rodrigues of Roosevelt, and Keisha Kanekoa of Honokaa, among other standouts, participated in the Nike Storm and Swish Basketball Tournament in Santa Barbara in April 2006. An undefeated Team Aloha earned the tournament title and individual players attracted the attention of college scouts from California to Indiana.

The next Team Aloha was formed in 2008, and this time headed to Phoenix for the Arizona Elite Basketball Tournament held on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. That team of underclassmen, consisting of such all-stars as Kalei Adolpho of Molokai, Kamie Imai of Waiakea, and Kanisha Bello of Kamehameha-Hilo, earned the consolation bracket title with one loss against five wins.

Team Aloha returned to Tempe in 2009 and again 2010, each time representing Hawaii with outstanding athleticism and sportsmanship. The Arizona Elite attracted hundreds of college coaches and scouts from throughout the western United States, and Hawaii’s girls earned much attention and praise. As has become a tradition, the team consisted of underclassmen, in order to expand the girls’ college recruiting opportunities.

Team Aloha in 2011 and 2012 participated in the prestigious Tournament of Champions Los Angeles, held at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. This event is a key stop on the recruiting trail for college coaches and scouts from throughout the western United States, many of whom have successfully recruited Hawaii players over the years. Team Aloha 2013 played in the Arizona Elite Classic in Tempe. Overall, Team Aloha has won 75 percent of its games. And, in 2014, Team Aloha ran the table in Arizona and went undefeated to win the tournament!











One thought on “Dedicated to coaching girls basketball

    Eto Parmiento said:
    October 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Some people criticize Mufi saying he can only coach girls because young men and boys teams won’t tolerate or put up with him. Well, my peeps, let me relate a TRUE story for you: Mufi DID coach boys teams and at one time there was a certain young man that Mufi had to lay some discipline on. I’ll leave out the details and the name, but that young man is now head football coach of a VERY well known Division I football team which has a WINNING RECORD. Don’t tell me that Mufi did not positively influence that young man who grew up and now influences others. By this time next week the Mufster will be our newly elected governor. But, if he wasn’t for some reason he would still be 10 times the basketball coach for UH than the guy just canned or ANY of the low ball candidates whose names are being kicked around. It’s Mufi time, people!!! Embrace it!!!

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