UH Hilo’s 1976-77 men’s basketball team

The team that first put Hawaiʻi Hilo basketball on the map and a man that has been involved in Vulcan athletics as a volunteer for more than 40 years will be inducted into the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Vulcan Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.

Coach Jimmy Yagi’s 1976–77 men’s basketball team and volunteer Dennis Miyashiro represent the 20th class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, on Saturday, October 21, 5 p.m. 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 Gymnasium.

Dennis Miyashiro

Miyashiro has donated his time and service to UH Hilo athletics since the 1970’s. 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 coordinates at least four fund raising tournaments a year for the UH Hilo men’s golf program. His relentless dedication and energy helps raise $25,000 per year.

Miyashiro is involved in numerous organizations and foundations throughout Hilo. He and wife Bobbi still hold center court seats for basketball games, just as they did in the 1970’s.

1976–77 men’s basketball team

In the 70’s, 1976–77 to be exact, thousands of locals caught Vulcan basketball fever when UH Hilo’s squad upset NCAA Division I teams, won an NAIA District championship and went to the national tournament in their first year of four-year college competition.

Under the direction of Yagi and Athletic Director Ramon Goya, the Vulcans turned the Hilo basketball community upside down. Beginning with a pair of upset wins at home over Division I squads Nebraska and New Mexico, the Vulcans routinely filled up the 3,000-seat Hilo Civic Auditorium and often had to turn fans away.

Coach Yagi and four members of the ’76–77 team are already in the UH Hilo Hall of Fame as individuals—Jay Bartholomew, Bill O’Rear, Mark Lovelace, Gilbert Hicks, along with Goya. Other team members being honored are 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.

Vulcan Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony ticket information

Tickets for the event are $75. The 2017 UH Hilo Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is presented by KTA Super Stores. Information regarding tickets, sponsorships and banquet tables can be obtained by calling (808) 932-7168.

For more, go to the UH Hilo Vulcans website.