Konawaena’s Molina Repeats as Gatorade POTY
For the second consecutive season, Konawaena High School junior Chanelle Molina has been named Gatorade Hawai’i Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The award, announced Thursday, recognizes the top player in each state across the country. Molina averaged 17.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.1 assists, and 3.1 steals per contest for the Wildcats, winners of this year’s New City Nissan/Hawai’i High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Basketball Championship.
“Chanelle’s desire, her commitment, she lives and breathes basketball, and that’s her determination,” said Konawaena girls basketball coach Bobby Awa. “She wants to continue playing at the collegiate level and even beyond. She works hard to do it.”
At least seven different schools have offered Molina, the oldest of three sisters on the basketball squad, an opportunity to play Division I basketball. Among the schools interested are Washington State and Arizona State, who will each host Molina for an official visit in the next month. Officers have also come in from Hawai’i, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, and Brigham Young University.
Other schools have called to gauge her interest, including Fordham University in New York, who called the Molina family after seeing the standout basketball star in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of a recent Sports Illustrated magazine issue.
In the announcement, it was noted that Molina was also named the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year for the third year in a row. Konawaena beat Hilo to win its seventh straight league title in January.
Awa said that Molina’s leadership is her most improved quality from a year ago. “She tried to lead last year, but I don’t think she really knew how to do it. I think, after not going past the quarterfinals last year, she showed her desire, her effort, and her willingness to push her teammates a little bit more. She pushed (her younger sisters) to be a little bit better, and she gets on the court, and she totally leads by example.”
The 5-foot-6 guard excelled from the floor, shooting 57.9 percent on the season. More importantly, she earns high marks in the classroom, earning a 3.57 grade point average.
Other notable Gatorade Girls Basketball Players of the Year from the Big Island include Aliyah Pana (Hilo, 2012-2013), Dawnyelle Awa (Konawaena, 2011-2012), and Kanisha Bello (Waiakea, 2008-2009)