After returning from its weekend road trip to Los Angeles, the Rainbow Wahine basketball team will host its annual fundraiser next week with an eye on a long-range excursion.
Tickets are on sale for the program’s “Hoopla” benefit set for Dec. 8 at the Hukilau Restaurant in downtown Honolulu with proceeds slated to aid with summer school expenses and a trip to Australia targeted for the summer or fall of 2018.
“I think it would be a big step for our recruiting to establish us a program that’s trying to be a big-time program,” UH coach Laura Beeman said. “You take international trips when you’re a big-time program. We need to take that next step.”
The Wahine have two freshmen from Australia in the program, Courtney Middap and Amy Atwell, and signed another, Mackenzie Clinch Hoycard, last month.
“We’d love to bring the Australian kids back home,” Beeman said. “Also, Hawaii is very loved in Australia, so to be able to go there and get that support it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Teams are allowed to take one international trip in a four-year period. The UH men’s basketball team took a trip to China and Japan in 2011. The Wahine volleyball team traveled to Italy, Slovenia and Austria in May 2015.
The Hoopla will also include the formal presentation of the team’s rings commemorating last season’s NCAA tournament appearance.
Hoopla tickets are $100 for individuals and $1,500 for corporate sponsorships. Individual tickets include two drinks with food stations from Hukilau, Murphy’s, JJ Dolan’s, Big City Diner and Hyatt Hotels.
Last year’s event sold out and raised $39,000 for the program with proceeds going toward summer school, software for film breakdown and improvements to the locker room and conference room.
Information and tickets are available at 2016WBBHoopla.eventbrite.com.
The Rainbow Wahine (2-5) have a 6 a.m. practice scheduled for Friday morning and depart for Los Angeles later in the day in advance of their matchup with No. 10 UCLA (5-1) on Sunday. The game, scheduled for noon Hawaii time, will be UH’s second appearance at Pauley Pavilion this calendar year. The Wahine closed last season with a 66-50 loss to the Bruins in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 19.