Kamie Imai Returns Home To Play for UH Hilo

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The University of Hawaii at Hilo announced Wednesday that Waiakea High School graduate Kamie Imai will return home to play college basketball for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where her older sister, Kirsty, has one more year of eligibility.

Imai will have two years of eligibility for the Vulcans after spending two years at Utah State, a Division I institution. Per NCAA rules, a student-athlete does not need to sit out a year when transferring from a Division I to Division II school.

The taller of the two sisters, Imai gained many accolades while playing for the Waiakea Warriors, including two-time player of the year honors in the BIIF in 2008 and 2010, first-team all-league for three consecutive years beginning in 2008, selection to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s “Fab Five” list for three consecutive years starting in 2008, and HHSAA Hall of Honor recipient. She was also a semi-finalist for the McDonald’s All-American list and was ranked nationally by ESPN, both in 2010.

As is the case for many players who make the transition from dominating the local prep scene to standing out among the crowd in college, Imai did not see the same success away from home at Utah State. In 20 games last season, Imai averaged just over five minutes per game, averaging 1.2 points per game and nearly 38 percent shooting from the field. In her freshman year prior to last season, Imai only appeared in 11 games, averaging 5.1 minutes per game and half a point per contest.


In a release, UH Hilo women’s basketball coach David Kaneshiro said that Kamie is an “athletic wing player who can score in a variety of ways. She brings a lot of experience having competed at the Division I level for the last couple of seasons. In addition to that experience, she is a hard worker, intense competitor, and has a strong passion for the game of basketball.”

Imai will be eligible to play beginning this coming season. She is the third member of this year’s recruiting class, joining incoming transfers Jazzmyn Davis and Briana Smythe.


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