2013 MIL Girls Basketball All-Star Team
Call this a multi-family affair.
The Maui Interscholastic League girls basketball Players of the Year all have learned a lot about competition from siblings.
The Division I award is shared by Maui High School senior Christina Lotulelei and King Kekaulike freshman Cameron Fernandez. For the second year in a row, the Division II winner is Seabury Hall senior Tiana Camarillo.
The teams are selected by the league’s coaches.
Lotulelei, one of 10 children, watched her older brothers Tau, John and Saia all do big things lately.
“They tell me to keep pushing, never to give up,” Christina Lotulelei said. “You can’t always win, you have to learn how to lose.”
Tau Lotulelei was state runner-up in wrestling at 189 pounds last season before joining John as a football player at Nevada-Las Vegas.
John Lotulelei finished his career at UNLV with a team-best 120 tackles in 2012 and performed well at the NFL combine last month.
Saia Lotulelei, 29, competed in the NAIA national wrestling championship last week for York College after winning the last of three state high school titles in 2001.
The lessons sunk in.
“It’s amazing,” Christina Lotulelei said. “I always wanted to be a co-Player of the Year and I reached that.”
Lotulelei knows that Fernandez could be the future of the MIL girls basketball ranks.
“She’s a real good player,” Lotulelei said. “I trained so hard just to play against her. She is doing better than me than, like, my sophomore and junior years.
“It was a real good challenge going against her, but I like being challenged. She made me better. Every day at practice my coaches would remind me that we were going to challenge them.”
Fernandez is the younger sister of Na Alii volleyball standout Taylor Fernandez.
“I kind of look up to be better because of how good an athlete she is,” Cameron Fernandez said.
The award was a surprise for Fernandez, especially considering the battle with Lotulelei.
“It’s pretty exciting – we have a lot of talent, that’s why,” Fernandez said. “Me and Christina, the battles were pretty intense because she is a strong, very talented athlete. I like matching up against her because it is a challenge for me.”
The rest of the D-I first team is Fiemea Hafoka and Jade Chihara of MIL champion Lahainaluna, and Maui High’s Trina Valencia.
After leading his team to the state tournament, Maui High coach Gilbert Silva is the MIL D-I Coach of the Year.
The Lunas have won an all-sport league-record 87 games in a row, dating to 2006. Fernandez plays on the same club team as most of the Luna roster.
“They are really tough,” Fernandez said. “They have a lot of finesse when they play. They make the rest of the league better. When we practice, that is the main goal, to beat them. We are constantly trying to get better to beat the Lunas.”
Tiana Camarillo is the twin sister of second-team MIL All-Star Tiare Camarillo. The rest of the D-II first team is Allie Rudow of Seabury Hall, and Molokai’s Shaniah Mollena-Lopez, Hepuakea Falealii and Lehiwa Pedro.
MIL D-II Coach of the Year is Lee DeRouin after leading Molokai to the title.
“Wow, it’s very shocking because we didn’t win MIL,” Tiana Camarillo said. “I’m very thankful for getting it a second time.”
She got to share her high school basketball experience with her twin – their father, Rama Camarillo, is the team’s coach.
“I talk about basketball with my sister almost every day, especially with my dad,” Tiana Camarillo said. “We mostly talk about the mentality and how to be very confident with ourselves because we are the two older people on the team.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org