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UH-Hilo: Basketball trailblazers receive Hall call

The Vulcan Athletic Hall of Fame will hearken back to the glory years with its next induction ceremony.

Coach Jimmy Yagi’s 1976-77 men’s basketball team as well as longtime volunteer Dennis Miyashiro will be enshirned as the 20th class into the Hall of Fame at 5 p.m. October 21 at the Campus Center Dining Hall. The UH-Hilo women’s volleyball team will play Chaminade following the banquet at 7:30 p.m. in the UH-Hilo gym. Tickets for the event are $75. For more information, call 932-7168.

Under the direction of Yagi, the Vulcans made waves in 1976-77, beginning with a pair of upset wins at home over Division I squads Nebraska and New Mexico. UH-Hilo would routinely fill up Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, and the Vulcans won the NAIA District II title, defeating Willamette in the title game and earning a berth to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City. UH-Hilo won its opener at Kemper Arena but fell to Illinois Wesleyan in overtime in the second round. That was only the Vulcans’ third loss, with the first two coming against Division I North Carolina-Charlotte, which reached the Final Four.

Coach Yagi and four members of the 1976-77 team are already in the Hall of Fame — Jay Bartholomew, Bill O’Rear, Mark Lovelace, Gilbert Hicks, along with athletic director Ramon Goya.

Other team members were David Corbelli, Rama Camarillo, Doug Cameron, Steve Coccimiglio, Terry Huffman, Bill Naylor, Daniel Singleton, Thomas Zeimantz and Bill Walling. Assistant coaches were Joey Estrella and Dwight Sumida, and the manager/trainer was Howard Suzuki.

According to a release, Miyashiro has donated his time and service to UH-Hilo athletics since the 1970s. He has served as the president of the Vulcan Booster Club in the group’s infancy and as the head of the Hui Kokua Kolepa, the support group for the men’s golf program.

He still annually coordinates at least four fundraising tournaments a year for the men’s golf program. His relentless dedication and energy helps raise $25,000 per year.

 

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