University of Hawaii at Hilo junior Kamie Imai and Pahoa senior Nick Fisher have been named the co-Big Island Athlete of the Month for January.
Imai, 5-foot-9 junior guard/forward led the Lady Vulcans to a 4-0 PacWest road trip and a six-game winning streak in January. On the trip to the West Coast, Imai hit a buzzer-beater to edge Fresno Pacific 54-52 in the first game and then had the clutch assist as teammate Shannon Rousseau sank a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Vulcans to a 60-57 win over previously unbeaten Academy of Art.
For the season, Imai, a former Waiakea High standout and transfer from Division I Utah State, leads the Vulcans (11-7 overall, 8-4 PacWest) in scoring (11.8), rebounds (7.3), assists (54) and blocks (16) and is second in steals (24).
Earlier this season, she was named the PacWest Player of the Week.
Fisher, a 6-foot senior guard/forward, has been one of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s top scorers, rebounders and defensive players throughout the preseason and regular season while leading a young Daggers squad into playoff contention.
Heading into the final day of the regular season, the Daggers led the East Division II standings with a 6-5 record, including knocking off then first-place Waiakea 52-48 behind Fisher’s 25-point effort at Pahoa.
During his standout prep career, Fisher has helped lead Pahoa to one state Division II title and a runner-up finish.
The Big Island athlete of the month program is sponsored by Don’s Grill, under owner Don Hoota. The athlete of the month as well as athlete and sportsperson of the year programs were founded by the late Jack Matsui.
Members of the selection committee are Hugh Clark, Ramon Goya, Stan Costales and chairman Bill O’Rear.
Nominations for the February athlete of the month may be sent to Don’s Grill, 485 Hinano St., Hilo, HI 96720, or to Bill O’Rear, Tribune-Herald Sports, P.O. Box 767, Hilo, HI 96721; or e-mail email@example.com.
The deadline to submit nominations is March 1.
2012 Athletes of the Month
• January: UH-Hilo basketball player Kamie Imai and Pahoa High basketball star Nick Fisher.