Seasider basketball ranked first in nation
Written by Ashlen Quirante and The Associated Press
Friday, 23 October 2009
For the first time in history, BYU-Hawaii is ranked first in the Division II Bulletin preseason national basketball poll.
“This is the first time a team from Hawaii has been ranked number one in our preseason Top 25,” said Gary Rubin, publisher of Division II Bulletin. “It was a difficult decision, but we felt BYUH has the talent to carry onto the national stage.”
New teammate Mustapha El Akkari, Biochemistry and Mathematics major from Tripoli, Lebanon said, “The neat thing about us is that although we are from everywhere – Fiji, Lebanon, Brazil, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan – and we are from different religions and backgrounds, we have come together as one and we are ranked number one. We are going to double our effort; everyone wants to beat us and we are going to work hard to maintain our title.”
“It has always been my dream to play basketball in the U.S, and now I am living it,” El Akkari continued. “Even more so I’m blessed to be living it here in Hawaii, at a religious school ranked number one in the nation, with a good academic program, great people, and great coaching staff.”
“We are excited about being ranked number one,” said BYUH Head Coach Ken Wagner. “Our players have worked hard to earn this kind of respect and now we need to work even harder to keep it. This is exciting for our program, our conference, and for the state of Hawaii.”
Sharisse Barber, a sophomore in elementary education from Iowa, said, “The basketball team hasn't disappointed me yet. Let’s go Seasiders!”
Come support your fellow Seasiders at the first preseason game on Nov. 5 at the University of Hawaii.