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Danny Kaopuiki's

Kama`aina Profile

December 2007

Tamari Miyashiro

From the sunny shores of Waialae Iki on Oahu to a far away place called Seattle where the Sun is a welcome but all too infrequent visitor, the path of a very talented young lady has blazed like a shooting star! Her phenomenal performances as a volleyball player helped the 2003 Kalani High School (Oahu) Falcons win the school’s first Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) athletic championship in thirty-one years! She was selected as the OIA East Division’s Volleyball Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. She was the Most Outstanding Player for the State of Hawaii Volleyball Championships in 2004 even though her Kalani HS team finished fifth! She was also the 2004 OIA White Division Player of the Year for basketball!

Photo by Steve Kajihiro
Tamari Miyashiro

Our Profile guest is an athletically gifted young lady who could have been wearing the University of Hawaii’s green and white instead of the University of Washington’s purple and gold.....she could have been a UH “Wahine” (her Mom was an All-American for the University of Hawaii’s volleyball team in 1974-1975) instead of a UW “Husky” but UH did not have a scholarship available for her. She had offers to play at several colleges on the mainland and elected to play for Washington. Her rationale was that Washington’s nationally ranked women’s volleyball program provided the greatest challenge and in her unique/inimitable style, she wanted to prove that she could not only play, but start and maybe star at the highest level of competition. That she has succeeded is proven beyond a doubt by the fact that she was selected for the 2006 All-Pac-10 Freshmen Team! Subsequently, she received even higher honors, being placed on the All TournamentTeam for the 2006NCAA Volleyball Regionals in Seattle. She is a leader on the court, helping coordinate the defensive formations of the team; she has been the “glue” that has helped meld her teammates into a cohesive, winning team! Now in her second full season as Libero for the nationally ranked University of Washington Women’s Volleyball team, she has already set a UW record for number of “digs” for a game with 37 against the then second ranked (nationally) Stanford volleyball team! She is among the Pac-10 and national leaders in “digs” and for a petite young lady (five foot seven) she has a powerful and very efficient/effective jump serve!

Meet Tamari Ann Pomaika`i Shizue Miyashiro, an outstanding student athlete! Tamari is a pretty young lady of Hawaiian/Okinawan/Irish/German/Chinese ethnicity whose beauty is matched equally by her intelligence (3.5 plus grade average in high school and in college)! Ask her teammates, her coaches or her fellow students and they are unanimous in stating that she is also one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet!

Tama (the name all her friends/teammates/coaches call her by) really enjoys being in Seattle, mostly because of the great people she is associated with every day. She admires and has the greatest respect for UW Coach Jim McLaughlin because he teaches his athletes so much more than the X’s and O’s; he teaches them valuable life lessons that Tama says will stay with her forever.

Not surprisingly, Tama comes from a very athletic family. Her Mom (Joey Akeo Miyashiro) was an All American volleyball player for the University of Hawaii. Her Dad Gordon Miyashiro was a college football player. Her sister Tehani played on the U of Hawaii volleyball team while her brothers Imai and Kaulana are football players. Brother Ainoa is currently playing college volleyball for Graceland U in Iowa.

Tama says that some of her college highlights include traveling with the UW Volleyball team to China in 2006 and, of course, playing for a UW team that has won Pac-10 and national championships. Tama says that leaving Hawaii to go to college was one of the best decisions she’s made as she’s learned a lot about herself and, being on her own, matured faster. Tama is an Art Major in school although she is not certain what career path she will eventually take (except that it will involve athletics in some form, probably as a coach). At some point (perhaps for her post grad degree), she wants to study “abroad”, preferably in a Pacific Island or Pacific Rim country.

A typical Island girl in many ways, Tama misses “speaking Pidgin” and loves Reggae style music. Her favorite foods include Kalbi, Meat Jun, Poke and Lomi O`io. Her TV tastes run towards shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and The Office.

Like most Hawaiian Islanders, I love volleyball and have watched most of the UW home volleyball games over the past fifteen years. I’ve seen a lot of great University of Washington women volleyball players (several who earned All American honors) and Tamari Miyashiro is definitely among the best that I’ve seen. Her digs, passes, sets, serves, all around play and leadership style are second to none! Most impressive is the fact that in a game where others tower over her physically, she is considered a “giant” player by her peers and coaches!

Mahalo Tamari Miyashiro for being an outstanding role model as a student-athlete and for demonstrating, through your outstanding performances, that Hawaiian Islander wahine athletes can indeed star at the highest level of collegiate athletic competition! Click here for an additional photo.

Tama Miyashiro.................. You Da “Man”!!!

Until next time, you all be kind to each other.......me ke Aloha pumehana.......Danny


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