Balanced And Unbeaten Mililani Heads To OIA Tournament
Talk around the Mililani girls basketball program last summer was more about who wouldn’t be in the Trojans’ lineup rather than who would when the 2014-15 season rolled around. That was understandable, considering the Trojans lost to graduation some of the best players to pass through the proud program’s history.
Guard Jamie Yuki can be counted among those who were eager to expand their roles.
“We did lose a lot of people, but everyone on this (2014-15) team has a lot to offer,” said Yuki, who is averaging 6.8 points per game for the Trojans. “A lot of people doubted us and that pushed us to practice hard every day.”
As in past years, Mililani has seen its hard work pay off, and the Trojans appear primed for another post-season run after finishing its OIA regular season at 10-0.
First up, Mililani will take part in the OIA Tournament this week. (Pairings for the tournament were to be finalized over the weekend.) The top six finishers at the OIA Tournament earn the league’s berths for next month’s Hawaiian Airlines Division I State Tournament.
For her part, Yuki has been a steady performer for Mililani alongside back courtmate Kayle Torres. She recently took some time away from the practice field and her studies to visit with MidWeek‘s Central Oahu Islander.
What is your earliest sports-related memory? Soccer was actually my first sport. I started when I was 6 or 7, and I remember when I scored my first goal in an AYSO game. I played soccer for about five years, but chose basketball in middle school because I knew I would have to choose. Basketball and soccer are played during the same season.
Who’s had the biggest impact on you in your life? My whole family. My dad has always pushed me to be the best I could be, and my mom has always been supportive of us even when she didn’t always agree with us. I’ve always looked up to my sister (Samantha).
What area of your game did you focus on during the off-season? I focused on my shooting. Coming into this year, that’s the area I most needed to work on and the area I could contribute most to the team.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through basketball? I’ve learned that you always have to play as a team. No matter what you’re doing, you need to be able to work well with those around you to be successful.
Who is Mililani’s best practice player — the girl who puts out the best effort every day? I would say the whole team, but if I had to pick one, I would say Kristen Miguel. Basketball isn’t her first sport, but she pushed all of us and is our No. 1 cheerleader.
What Internet site do you frequent the most? I mostly go on Instagram and Twitter.
What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the bathrooms.
What movie could you watch over and over? Forrest Gump.
Who are three of your favorite musical artists? I like ASAP Ferg, and I also like Drake and PartyNextDoor.
When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? I like playing the piano — I’ve been playing for 10 years — and going hiking and exploring new places.
You’re stuck on Kaho‘olawe. You can have an endless supply of one food. What would it be? I would say garlic cream fettuccine. I never get tired of it.
If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Actor) Zac Efron.