Beeman announces three new players; Kuehu granted sixth year

Shawna-Lei Kuehu // Hawai'i Athletics
Shawna-Lei Kuehu // Hawai'i Athletics

HONOLULU—The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball head coach Laura Beeman announced the signing of the newest Rainbow Wahine, Raja Moreno-Ross. Coach Beeman also announced two walk-ons—Justice Toailoa and Breana Jones as well as the news that senior Shawna-Lei Kuehu was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Moreno-Ross, a 5-11 power forward, is a transfer out of Pima Community College (Tucson, Ariz.) where she earned first-team NJCAA Division II All-America and All-Region I honors. Last season, she averaged 13.2 points and 9.2 rebounds with 12 double-doubles while starting all 32 games for the Lady Aztecs.

Moreno-Ross is a 2012 graduate of Tucson Magnet High School where she played two seasons on the varsity team. She helped lead the Badgers to the conference championship as a senior. Moreno-Ross earned the league’s Most Valuable Player honors; was an all-Region first team pick; was named All-Southern Arizona first team and was an All-Arizona honorable mention selection as a senior. In her senior season, Moreno-Ross  averaged 14.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Moreno-Ross will have two years of eligibility available for the Rainbow Wahine.

“Raja will bring us great energy. She comes from a winning program and will add to our team’s winning attitude and mentality. Raja will add depth at the four and will help crash the boards for us.

Jones is a 5-11 forward out of Maryknoll School in Honolulu, O’ahu. Jones is originally from New Zealand where she was on the U18 national squad,  but spent the year as an exchange student at Maryknoll.

“Breana could see significant playing time for us. She is a guard/forward combo player that can play with her back to the basket as well as shoot the three. She could give us great versatility.” says Beeman.

Toailoa will be an incoming freshman from Salesian High School in Richmond, Calif., where she earned four varsity letters in basketball and one in volleyball. The 5-9 forward averaged eight points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game in her senior season.

“Justice is a young lady that will bring great competition and energy to the floor.” says Beeman. “Whether it be in practice or in a game, she has the potential to be a defensive impact player for our squad. She will play inside majority of the time as an undersized post player.”

Kuehu, received an extension of her five-year clock from the NCAA which will allow her to suit up for the Rainbow Wahine for a record sixth season. Last season, Kuehu earned second team all-conference honors after helping lead the ‘Bows to their second-straight WNIT appearance. She averaged 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while leading Hawai’i with 23 blocked shots and32 steals. During her time at UH, Kuehu has scored 877 points with 455 rebounds in her career and is ranked No. 9 in the UH career record books with 84 blocked shots. Kuehu was granted a medical hardship for her true freshman season after appearing in just five games before missing the rest of the season with a knee injury. She received her sixth year after she missed all but seven games of her sophomore season due to her pregnancy.

“We are thrilled that the NCAA has granted Shawna her sixth year. Shawna has put so much work into her game over the past two years and to have the opportunity to watch her continue to grow and mature as a player will be exciting,”says Beeman. “As a staff, we could not ask for a better person to be the face of our program.”

2014-15 Women’s Basketball Signees
Kandiss Barber – 5-9, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Mater Dei Catholic HS/San Diego, Calif.
Jasmine Redmon – 5-8, Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Monterey Trail HS/Sacramento, Calif.
Dalayna Sampton – 6-2, Post, Florin HS/Sacramento, Calif.
Sarah Toeaina, 5-10, Guard, Kentwood HS/Covington, Wash.
Rachel Morris, 6-4, Center, Salt Lake Community College/Mesquite, Nev.
Brianna Kennedy, 6-3, Center, Loyola Marymount/La Verne, Calif.
Raja Moreno-Ross, 5-11, Power Forward, Pima Community College/Tucson, Ariz.

Walk-ons
Breana Jones, 6-0, Forward, Maryknoll School/New Zealand
Justice Toailoa, 5-11, Forward, Salesian HS/Hayward, Calif.

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