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Alumni players get together before 100th season celebration

The 100th season of University of Hawai’i basketball will be celebrated on Saturday, when the current Rainbow Warriors host UC Davis in a crucial Big West Conference game at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Several of the Rainbow Warrior alumni gathered at Giovanni Pastrami restaurant in Waikiki on Thursday night. The video above captures some of the attendees, including video interviews with players who came to UH in the 1970s (Tom Beckerle), the 1980s (Andre Morgan) and 1990s (Jarinn Akana).

Attending alumni players at Saturday’s game will be honored at halftime. A video highlighting some of the top moments in UH basketball history will be displayed, along with interviews from alumni players unable to attend.

Here is a timeline of the notable moments in the 100 seasons of UH basketball (note that the first season was in 1912, and there were eight years when the school did not field a team):

1912 (exact date unknown) – Hawai’i defeats McKinley High School, 14-13, in what is recognized as the first game in UH basketball history

1933 (exact date unknown) – Hawai’i defeats Meiji University of Japan, 45-40, in what is believed to be UH’s first game against a collegiate opponent.

1938 (exact date unknown) – Washington defeats Hawai’i, 76-24, in what is believed to be UH’s first game against an American collegiate team.

February 21, 1948 – Hawai’i wins a road game at Seattle, 47-34, in what is believed to be the first collegiate win for UH.

March 8, 1949 – North Dakota defeats Hawai’i, 70-53, in the opening round of the National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament at Kansas City, Missouri. It is recognized as the first post-season appearance for UH basketball.

January 2, 1952 – Hawai’i defeats Memphis State, 68-61, in what is believed to be UH’s  first home victory against a collegiate opponent.

February 6, 1959Tony Davis scores 45 points in Hawai’i’s 116-107 victory over Cal State Los Angeles. It still stands as the UH individual record for most points scored in a game.

December 27, 1964 – Subpac defeats Hawai’i, 75-68, on the opening night of the first Rainbow Classic. Subpac was a military-based team that played UH often during the 1950s and ‘60s. The Rainbow Classic would grow into one of the nation’s premier early-season tournaments during  the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

December 6, 1967 – Miami (Fla.) defeats Hawai’i, 102-83, at the Honolulu International Center (later renamed the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena). This is the first season that HIC became the home arena for UH basketball. It would be UH’s home arena for 28 consecutive seasons.

December 30, 1970 – Hawai’i defeats Brigham Young, 94-90, in the championship game of the Rainbow Classic. It was UH’s first  Rainbow Classic championship, and ignited the “Fabulous Five” craze that would run through the end of the 1971-72 season.

March 22, 1971 – Hawai’i defeats Oklahoma, 88-87 in double-overtime, in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at New York. It is the first “major” post-season appearance for the program.

December 18, 1971 – Hawai’i defeats No. 9-ranked Florida State, 30-10. The game is declared a forfeit win for UH when Florida State head coach Hugh Durham refuses to leave the court after receiving his second technical foul. It is UH’s first victory over a ranked opponent. Prior to this game, UH was 0-23 against ranked teams.

December 30, 1971Bob Nash grabs 30 rebounds as Hawai’i defeats Arizona State, 87-77, in the championship game of the Rainbow Classic. It still stands as the UH individual record for most rebounds in a game.

January 22, 1972 – Hawai’i defeats Pepperdine, 125-88. It still stands as the record for most points in a game by a UH team.

March 7, 1972 – Hawai’i has a 24-2 record and is ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press Poll. It remains the highest national ranking ever achieved by a UH team.

March 11, 1972 – Weber State defeats Hawai’i, 91-64, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Pocatello, Idaho. It is UH’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament (which featured only 25 teams at the time).

December 1, 1972Tom Henderson makes his debut for Hawai’i in a 99-75 win over UC Irvine. It comes just three months after he played a key role for the USA in the 1972 Summer Olympics. Henderson is widely considered the greatest individual player in UH basketball history, and the only UH player to earn first-team All-America recognition.

January 5, 1974 – Led by Tom Henderson, Hawai’i defeats Rice, 99-71, for its 11th consecutive victory. It remains the UH record for longest winning streak against collegiate opponents.

December 26, 1975 – Freshman guard Reggie Carter records the program’s first triple-double (12 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds) in a 76-70 win over Yale. Carter also set the single-game assists record that season with 19 in an 81-80 win over San Francisco.

March 5, 1977Gavin Smith scores 37 points in a season-ending 84-80 loss to Southwest Louisiana. His season average of 23.4 points per game still stands as the UH record for one season.

December 27, 1978 – Hawai’i defeats Fordham, 63-61, to end a 29-game losing streak that started on December 10, 1977. The losing streak came while the program was serving a two-year probation for violating NCAA rules several seasons earlier.

January 3, 1980 – Wyoming defeats Hawai’i, 62-52, in UH’s first Western Athletic Conference game. UH would be a member of the WAC for 33 years before moving to the Big West Conference.

February 14, 1981 – Hawai’i defeats No. 6 Utah, 83-74. It is UH’s first victory over a top-10 opponent.

November 28, 1987 – Kentucky defeats Hawai’i, 86-59, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The official attendance is 23,049, making it the largest crowd to watch a UH basketball game.

March 20, 1990 – Hawai’i defeats Long Beach State, 84-79, in the second round of the NIT. It is UH’s 25th victory of the season, which was a school record at the time. By the end of the season, Chris Gaines became the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,734 career points.

December 30, 1993Trevor Ruffin goes 10 for 11 from 3-point range and scores 42 points in an 85-79 loss against No. 11 Louisville.

March 12, 1994 – Hawai’i defeats Brigham Young, 73-66, in the championship game of the WAC Tournament at Salt Lake City, Utah. It is UH’s first conference championship.

March 17, 1994 – No. 4 seed Syracuse defeats No. 13 Hawai’i, 92-78, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Ogden, Utah.

November 25, 1994 – Hawai’i defeats St. Bonaventure, 82-72, in the first basketball game played at the Special Events Arena (later renamed the Stan Sheriff Center).

February 16, 1995Tes Whitlock chases down a long pass and hits a running 3-pointer from the corner as time expires to give Hawai’i a 73-70 win over Brigham Young. It remains one of the most iconic moments in UH basketball history.

March 2, 1997Anthony Carter is named the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division Player of the Year. He is the first UH player to earn a conference player of the year award.

December 30, 1997 – Led by the “Dynamic Duo” of Anthony Carter and Alika Smith, Hawai’i defeats No. 2 Kansas, 76-65, in the championship game of the Rainbow Classic. It is the highest-ranked opponent that a UH team has defeated.

March 19, 1998 – Fresno State defeats Hawai’i, 85-83, in the quarterfinals of the NIT at the Stan Sheriff Center. The winner of the game advanced to New York for the NIT final four.

March 10, 2001 – Hawai’i defeats Tulsa, 78-72 in overtime, in the championship game of the WAC Tournament at Tulsa, Oklahoma. UH was the No. 5 seed for the tournament and upset three opponents in three days to earn the program’s third appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

March 16, 2001 – No. 5 seed Syracuse defeats No. 12 Hawai’i, 79-69, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Dayton, Ohio.

February 21, 2002 – Hawai’i defeats Tulsa, 86-85, before a capacity crowd at the Sheriff Center in the first “White-Out” game.

March 3, 2002Predrag Savovic is named to the All-WAC first team for the second consecutive year. He is the first UH player to earn first-team all-conference honors in back-to-back seasons.

March 9, 2002 – Hawai’i defeats Tulsa, 73-59, in the championship game of the WAC Tournament at Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is the first time that a UH team captures back-to-back conference titles.

March 15, 2002 – No. 7 seed Xavier defeats No. 10 Hawai’i, 70-58, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Dallas, Texas.

March 17, 2004 – Hawai’i upsets No. 25 Utah State, 85-74, in the first round of the NIT at Logan, Utah. It is still UH’s only road victory over a nationally-ranked opponent.

November 26, 2004 – Hawai’i rallies from a 22-point deficit with 14 minutes remaining in the game in a 72-65 victory over Coastal Carolina. It is believed to be the greatest comeback win in UH history.

March 3, 2007 – Hawai’i defeats Boise State, 92-75, in the final home game for head coach Riley Wallace. He retires after 20 seasons, and is still the program’s all-time leader in coaching wins at 334.

March 6, 2010 – Idaho defeats Hawai’i, 78-69, in what turns out to be the final game as head coach for Bob Nash. It ends a run of 31 years as a member of UH basketball for Nash (2 years as a player, 26 years as an assistant/associate coach, 3 years as head coach).

March 19, 2011Zane Johnson hits his 98th 3-pointer of the season in a 77-74 loss to San Francisco in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. It remains the UH record for most 3-pointers in a season.

December 29, 2012 – Hawai’i defeats CSUN, 74-71, in the first Big West Conference game for UH.

March 10, 2014 Christian Standhardinger is named to the All-Big West Conference first team for the second consecutive year. He joins Predrag Savovic as the only UH players to earn all-conference first team honors in back-to-back seasons.

November 19, 2014 Roderick Bobbitt records a school-record 10 steals as part of a triple-double (12 points, 10 assists, 10 steals) in an 89-71 win over Hawai’i-Hilo. It is the second triple-double in UH basketball history.

March 14, 2015Roderick Bobbitt records his 100th steal of the season in a 67-58 loss to UC Irvine in the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament at Anaheim, California. It sets a UH record for steals in a season, and leads all of NCAA Division I for that season. Bobbitt is believed to be the only UH player to lead the NCAA in a statistical category for a season.

January 2, 2016Aaron Valdes records 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in a 94-59 win over Howard to become the third UH player to achieve a triple-double.

January 30, 2016 – Long Beach State defeats Hawai’i, 78-64, before a capacity crowd (10,300 tickets issued) at the Sheriff Center. Prior to this game, UH did not have a home sellout in the 11 previous seasons.

March 7, 2016Stefan Jankovic is named the Big West Conference Player of the Year. He joins Anthony Carter (1997) as the only two UH players to earn conference player of the year honors.

March 12, 2016 – Hawai’i defeats Long Beach State, 64-60, to win its first Big West Conference Tournament championship at Anaheim, California.

March 18, 2016 – No. 13 seed Hawai’i defeats No. 4 California, 77-66, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Spokane, Washington. It is the first NCAA Tournament win in UH history, and also the school-record 28th victory of the season.

2 Comments

  1. Awesome write-up of some of the biggest moments in UH basketball history. What an exciting time to be celebrating the 100th season of UH basketball. I wish I could’ve watched the teams of the early 90s and early 00s, it must’ve been such an exciting team to watch. Maybe this could be the year UH gets back to the NCAA tourney?

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