Alexis Pana Signs with Central Washington
The Pana family has been an integral part of Hilo High School’s recent competitive streak in both the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and the last few state tournaments.
Older sister Aliyah Pana graduated in 2014, spent a year at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and is now playing at Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ, where she is averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Dad Ben Pana, longtime head coach of the girls basketball program, took on the head role for Hilo’s boys basketball team, leaving the girls program in the hands of former Waiakea High School boys assistant Henry Miranda.
Younger sister Alexis Pana will be the next to take on a new challenge once her season ends in mid-February. She has committed to play women’s college basketball at Central Washington University, a Division II program in Ellensburg, Wash.
CWU made the announcement Wednesday, listing Alexis Pana as one of four recruits joining the team for the 2016-2017 season.
There is a well known Hawai’i connection coaching at Central Washington. Head coach Jeff Harada spent several years at Hawai’i Pacific University as its first women’s basketball coach, beginning in 2007, before leaving in 2012 to become an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy.
“Lexi didn’t play summer club ball last year, so not a lot of people know about her. Despite that, she was being recruited by several DI schools and we are thrilled she chose to become a Wildcat,” said Harada, now in his second year at CWU, in the school’s recruiting announcement. “Her skill set, along with her size and basketball IQ, allows her to play multiple positions and I expect her to make an immediate impact for us.”
Alexis Pana has made it on the All-BIIF First Team in each of her first three seasons with the Vikings. Last year, she averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals per game.
So far this season, Alexis Pana has guided Hilo to a 6-1 record and a four-game winning streak. The Vikings started league play on Tuesday night with a 65-27 win against Kealakehe.
Hilo will return to non-league competition on Thursday when it competes in the Waiakea Girls Winter Goodwill Tournament. The Vikings will open play against Kamehameha-Hawai’i at 6 p.m.