As the current Rainbow Wahine basketball team prepared for Friday’s opener at USC, the program addressed future needs with its signing class for the 2017-18 season.
UH added size and depth in the post with the addition of 6-foot-4 center Lauren Rewers from Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Australian forward Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard is slated to give UH an inside-outside scoring threat. Jadynn Alexander, a 5-10 guard from Monroe High School in Washington, was signed to add scoring and depth on the wing following the graduation of Briana Harris, the lone senior on this year’s roster.
“I think we have a pretty good class. It fits some of the needs and continues to make us pretty versatile,” UH coach Laura Beeman said in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
Rewers will join a young frontcourt that now features freshmen Taylor Donohue (6-3), Makenna Woodfolk (6-2) and Keleah-Aiko Koloi (6-0). Adrienne Darden, a 6-4 freshman who transferred from Delaware last spring, becomes eligible in December.
“Lauren is going compliment (Darden), it gives us two really big bigs,” Beeman said. “Jayden can defend the entire length of the floor, can get to the basket, shoots the 3. When you’re losing somebody like Bri and Sarah (Toeaina) the following year, we need to make sure we have someone that can kind of pick up that multi-skill position.”
Words can't describe how excited I am to continue my education and basketball career at the University of Hawai'i! GO BOWS!!✍ pic.twitter.com/BvdOuXdzao
— Lauren (@lauren_rewers) November 10, 2016
Beeman said the 6-foot-3 Hoycard is “good around the basket and she can stretch it.”
“We’re going to have to wait and see how she adapts to playing basketball in the United States, the physicality,” Beeman said. “Is she going to be able to be a stretch-four both offensively and defensively.”
Although UH is slated to lose only Harris to graduation this season, the Wahine had two scholarships available following the transfers of forward Megan Huff to Utah and Dalayna Sampton to UC San Diego.
Beeman said the groundwork for the class was set before the coaching staff was shuffled in the offseason with Calamity McEntire and Brad Langston joining the program in August. But Beeman said the new additions helped seal the process during recent recruiting visits.
“For as much change as we’ve had I couldn’t be more happy with this staff where we are,” Beeman said. “Our working relationships, how hard they work and how we’ve jelled and meshed together. It’s pretty unusual, but it’s just really refreshing.”