Updated Pacific's best five basketball players of the past 30 years

Far less discussion this time around than we've had the previous two times we visited this. Guess it's time to stir the ashes and see if we can spark some new debate here in Sports Blog Nation by taking matters into Ornauer's own hands. :)

For those who argue that this list is faulted because it only includes players dating back to 1982, that's the list's whole point: Best players of the past 30 years, from the time Ornauer began covering the Pacific scene.

If this were to include the best of all time, then you'd see names like Tim Griffin of the old Misawa High School (class of 1971), Jackie Creech of Kubasaki (1980), Bruce Young of CAJ (1966) and Todd Hardeman's older brothers, Tom (1980) and T.J. (1978) of Faith Academy, among many, many others.

And yes, that would involve digging back through the archives. And for that matter, anybody seen Don Norton lately? :)

That said ... I will go ahead and update these teams with whom Ornauer feels deserves a spot among these mini-pantheons. Now, you might still find fault with the selections, but face it: That's part of the fun of it.

Here goes. Newcomers in bold:

Matthew C. Perry, boys
Mike Hester, F-G, Class of 1996
Jeremy Eck, C, Class of 2000 (all 6-foot-7 of him)
Justin McCloskey, G, Class of 2000
Nate Albia, G, Class of 2004 (part of the five-player Samurai team in the Class A tournament)
John Ayers, F-G, Class of 2011.
Knocked out: Julio Rodriguez, F, Class of 2007.
Possible newcomers: Sam Cadavos,  Class of 2012, Jon Cadavos, Class of 2015, Jerry Bringley, Class of 1996.

Matthew C. Perry, girls
Nikki Blackman, G, Class of 1988
Vicki Foster, C, Class of 1990
Rebekah Harwell, G, Class of 2012
Cortaza Hall, F-G, Class of 2002
Ashley Taylor, F, Class of 2007
Knocked out: Tia Fluellen, G., Class of 2002.

E.J. King, boys
L.A. Brown, G, Class of 1997
Julius Pangilinan, C, Class of 1997
Jason Cleavinger, G-F, Class of 2001
Draonne Johnson, G, Class of 2005
Keith Williams, F, Class of 2008

Pusan American, boys
Mike Webb, F, Class of 1983 (won first Class A tournament).
Robert Fleming, F, Class of 1985.
Chuck Sands, G, Class of 1988.
Moses Joh, G, Class of 2006.
James Edwards, C, Class of 2006.

Pusan American, girls
Kim Sands, G, Class of 1985.
Sharon Nunes, F, Class of 1986.
Mary Nunes, G, Class of 1988.
Cindy Wares, C, Class of 1994 (won Class A tournament).
Brieanna Carroll, G, Class of 2005 (perhaps the best girls athlete in school history).

Daegu American, boys
Roy Morgan, C, Class of 1989.
Alonzo Mosley, F-G, Class of 1989 (part of team that won Pacific-record 47 straight games and three straight Class A tournament titles).
Mike Parker, F-G, Class of 1994.
David Lipsky, F-G, Class of 2000 (maybe the best boys athlete in school history).
Brandon Spencer, G, Class of 2008.

Daegu American, girls
Sarah Wright, G, Class of 2013
Angie Robinet, G, Class of 2011
Kristina Bergman, C, Class of 2011
Tamara "Tank" Hancock, G, Class of 2006
Lynnette Grant, F-G, Class of 2006 (last three part of school-first Class A tournament title team; sadly, Grant waskilled in car accident in September of 2006 in Alabama).
Knocked out: Hwa-Jin Cho, G, Class of 1996; Nancy Canlas, G., Class of 2000; Kelli Cox, F., Class of 2006..

Osan American, boys
Oswan Law, G, Class of 2000
Jon Piekarczyk, C, Class of 2003 (won school's first Class A tournament title)
Steven Davis, F-G, Class of 2004
A.J. Scott, F-G, Class of 2004
Terry Stephens, F-G, Class of 2005
Possible newcomer: Jeff Tinsley, Class of 2011.

Osan American, girls
Jana Jaczinski, G, Class of 1996
Selena Barnes, G, Class of 1999
Sarah McDonald, C, Class of 1999
Lori Shields, G, Class of 2002 (MVP of school's first Class A tournament title team)
Mina Davis, F, Class of 2005
Possible newcomer: Arielle Andrews, Class of 2011.

Seoul American, boys
Tomiwa Akinbayo, F-C, Class of 2012.
Randy Melton, G, Class of 1994
Han Ripley, G, Class of 1996 (won school's first Class AA tournament title)
Nino Etienne, F-G, Class of 2003 (MVP of school's second Class AA title team)
JakeAbramowicz, C, Class of 2004 (MVP of school's third Class AA title team)
Knocked out: Jimmy Peters, F., Class of 1982.

Seoul American, girls
Gloria Peele, G-F, Class of 1986 (led Falcons to school-first Class AA title)
Liz Gleaves, G, Class of 2011 (MVP of Falcons' 2010 and 2011 Division I title teams)Margaret Nurse, C, Class of 2006 (MVP of Falcons' third Class AA title team; also won a Class A title with Osan American in 2005)
Janel Daniels, F, Class of 2005 (MVP of Falcons' second Class AA title team)
Lori Johnson, F, Class of 1992
Knocked out: Devanee Taylor, Class of 2009..
Possible newcomers: Jordan Elliott, Destinee Harrison, Class of 2011.

Okinawa Christian International, boys
Mark Esparza, Class of 1992
King Har, Class of 1997
Jamie Holland, Class of 1998
Toni Arakaki, Class of 2000
Toussaint Dupree, Class of 2000
Possible newcomer: Daniel Reasoner, Class of 2001.

Okinawa Christian International, girls
Monica Munro, Class of 1992
Manami Okado, Class of 1995
Amber Macak, Class of 1997
Anna Zosel, Class of 1997
Sarah Macak, Class of 1999

Morrison Christian Academy, Taiwan, boys
Keith Winslow, center, Class of 1985
Stephen Titus, guard, Class of 1995
Jeff McKay, forward, Class of 2004
Greg Grobler, guard, Class of 2005
Elliot Tan, point guard, Class of 2000
Possible newcomer: Stephen Hovater, Class of 2010 (MVP of Mustangs' Class A title team), most anybody on the Class of 2011 team.

Morrison Christian Academy, Taiwan, girls
Robin Siirila, guard, Class of 2002 (Mustangs' all-time leading scorer)
Brenda Marshall, guard, Class of 1997
Heidi Robinson, forward, Class of 1985 (second all-time leading scorer, all-tournament at Hong Kong International School tournament for four years)
Hope Brandt, center, Class of 1992 (played at Valparaiso)
Vicki Tai, point guard, Class of 2008

Faith Academy, Philippines, boys
Dan Landry, forward, Class of 1987 (went on to play Olympic volleyball for Team USA)
Robbie Compher, guard, Class of 1992
Matt Castagna, forward, Class of 2000
Joe Saunders, center, Class of 2000
Kirk Long, guard, Class of 2007

Faith Academy, Philippines, girls
Carolyn Scott, center, Class of 1997
Val Parsons, forward, Class of 1998
Julie Stauffer, guard, Class of 2000
Candy Tanchi, guard, Class of 2000
Jaime Cutts, guard, Class of 2000
Possible newcomers: Grace Fern, Kelly Hardeman, Class of 2012.

Taejon Christian International, South Korea, boys
Phillip Kim, guard, Class of 1987
Rex Ray, center-forward, Class of 1987
Joey Looper, guard-forward, Class of 1993
Kyle White, guard, Class of 1997
Tommy Penland, forward, Class of 2001

Taejon Christian International, South Korea, girls
Melinda McMinn, forward, Class of 1986
Maria Starnes, forward, Class of 1987
Cheryl White, guard, Class of 1987
Leslie Penland, center, Class of 1999
Clara Cho, guard, Class of 2007

Seoul Foreign, boys
David Son, point guard, Class of 1985
Greg Park, forward-center, Class of 1992
Curtis Downs, point guard, Class of 1993
Paul Rader, forward, Class of 2004
George Rudolph, forward, Class of 2007
Possible newcomer: Clayton Baker, Class of 2010.

Seoul Foreign, girls
Laura Underwood, point guard, Class of 1990
Sharon Cochrane, center, Class of 1992
Kirsty Ruitenberg, forward, Class of 1994
Camilla Crawfurd, guard, Class of 1998
Brittney Rader, forward, Class of 2009

Seoul International, girls
Gemma Rowley, forward, Class of 1990
Supriya Sunderaj, forward, Class of 1991
Sumi Pyo, guard, Class of 1992
Migdalia Diaz, center, Class of 1993
Julie Anderson, forward, Class of 1995

Kadena, boys
Joe Hardy, center, Class of 1984 (first reserve player ever to be named Class AA tournament MVP).
Robert Weeks, guard, Class of 1991.
Royce Shipman, guard, Class of 1996.
Josh Whitney, guard, Class of 1999 (he of the famed Lorenzo Mills alley-oop pass and dunk to clinch the 1999 Class AA title game).
Z'aire Jackson, Class of 2005.
Possible newcomers: Taiyo Robertson, Class of 2010; Jason Sumpter, Class of 2011.

Kadena, girls
Tanisha Scott, guard, Class of 1988
Krissinda Clark, guard, Class of 1994
Jackie Johnson-Stewart, center, Class of 1998
Theresa Gittens, guard, Class of 2004.
Zori Drew, guard, Class of 2007.
Possible newcomers; Maria Vaughan, Class of 2013; Eisiah Lawson, Class of 2014.

Kubasaki, boys
Kentrell Key, C, Class of 2011
Anthony Butler, forward, Class of 1988
Marty Walton, center, Class of 1992
Andy Smith, guard, Class of 1999
Marcus Carson, guard, Class of 2005
Knocked out: Mike Lind, F, Class of 1984.
Possible newcomer: Kai Yamaguchi, Class of 2011.

Kubasaki, girls
Cassie Houghton, center, Class of 1985
Sharon Murrell, forward, Class of 1986
Sherita Mickie, forward, Class of 1993
Meleesa Meno, guard, Class of 1995
Shenea McDaniel, forward, Class of 2004
Possible newcomer: Gabby Falco, Class of 2010 (holds Far East Class AA Tournament single-game scoring records).

Yokota High School, boys
Duane Paul, center, Class of 1982.
Craig Barnum, shooting guard, Class of 1983
Sam Bennett, small forward, Class of 1986
Gary Birdwell, power forward, Class of 1988
Cameron Cooper, point guard, Class of 2006
Possible newcomer: Warren Manegan, Class of 2012.

Yokota High School, girls
Christina Maniscalco, shooting guard, Class of 1989
Kenya Newman, small forward, Class of 1993
Sarah Young, power forward, Class of 1994
Fayth McCallum, point guard, Class of 1995
Erika Ettl, point guard, Class of 2012
Knocked out: Andrevia Thomas, C, Class of 2006.

Zama American, boys
Kevin Maxwell, shooting guard, Class of 1987
Malcolm Hardaway, small forward, Class of 1984
Chris Dabbieri, center, Class of 1992
Wilberto Badillo, point guard, Class of 2007
Johnny Koyama, power forward, Class of 2000

Zama American, girls
Tonia Grant, shooting guard, Class of 2000
Tiffani Wright, center, Class of 2006
Terrie Waugh, small forward, Class of 1992
Laura Smith, power forward, Class of 1991
Melody Halloran, point guard, would have been Class of 1993, were she not taken from us in an unfortunate traffic accident.
Possible newcomer: Briana Myrick, Class of 2012.

Nile C. Kinnick, girls
Arianne Bordeaux, guard, Class of 2001
Lindsay Baines, center, Class of 1995
Christina Good, guard, Class of 1994
Carol Tully, forward, Class of 2004
Michille Pontious, forward-guard, Class of 1991
Possible newcomer: De'Asia Brown, Class of 2015, Emily Stith, Class of 2012.

Nile C. Kinnick, boys
Rich Alvarez, forward, Class of 1999
Travis Ekmark, G-F, Class of 2005
Kevin Steen, guard, Class of 1986
LaShawn Williams, center, Class of 1997
George Thompson, guard, Class of 1997
Knocked out: Larry Kure, F., Class of 1982

Robert D. Edgren, boys
Chris Harris, guard, Class of 1996
Conrad Artis, forward, Class of 1996
Will Newsom, guard, Class of 2000
Alex Reynolds, forward, Class of 1993
Carlos Whatley, guard, Class of 2004
Possible newcomer: Jacob Sterry, Class of 2011, Alan Thurmond, Class of 2012, Malcolm Mack, Class of 2012.
NOTE: E-mails have come in in support of Tim Griffin, the record-setting scorer from the 1971 Far East tournament, but that falls before the 30-year demarcation line of 1982.

Robert D. Edgren, girls
Desirae Riddick, center, Class of 2003.
YeVonne Sears, guard, Class of 2000.
Kristin Juliano, forward, Class of 2000.
Ashley Hawkins, guard, Class of 2010.
Jen Black, guard, Class of 2012 (unfortunately, her candidacy has been hurt by her ACL injury of last season).

E.J. King, girls
Cebronica Scott, point guard, Class of 1999 (MVP of 1997 Class A Tournament; played senior year at Nile C. Kinnick).
Gina Mecham, center, Class of 1990 (MVP of Class A tournament off a third-place team)
Stacy Morgan,power forward, Class of 1993 (MVP, led Cobras to school-first Class A title)
Marita Johnson, small forward, Class of 1995 (MVP of 1995 Class A tournament, could play every position on court with total aplomb).
Kristia Suriben, shooting guard, Class of 2007. The last two years, as Suriben went, so did the Cobras.

American School In Japan Mustangs (boys)
Henrik Gistren, guard, Class of 1983. Hit two foul shots to seal ASIJ's second and last Class AA title in overtime at Yokota.
Karby Leggett, guard; Bryan Nelson, center; and Dixon Chalikulima, Class of 1986. Incredible individual talents during an utterly incredibly competitive season.
Denny Hudacek, Class of 1996.
Possible newcomers: Ken Yajima, Hayden Jardine, Sam Olson and Sam Hopkins, Class of 2012; Seaun Eddy, Class of 2010.

American School In Japan Mustangs (girls)
Carla Stewart, forward, Class of 1984. Two Class AA title game berths with her at center.
Carol Williams, guard, Class of 1989.
Jennifer Rizzotti, guard, Class of 1992 (transferred to Connecticut after her freshman year). Mustangs reached Final Four thanks to her and Williams.
Katherine Greig, center, Class of 1992. Cornerstone of Mustangs' first and only Class AA title team.
Cammy McFatridge, Class of 1994.
Possible newcomer: Bessie Noll, Class of 2013.

Seisen International
Sumiko Arai, shooting guard, Class of 1983 (held Far East single-game scoring record for 17 years).
Kazuko Arai, small forward, Class of 1984 (more known for her volleyball prowess; extremely athletic and versatile)
Yuki Basso, power forward, Class of 1999 (two-time Class A tournament MVP, led Phoenix to its two Far East hoops titles)
Naoko Shin, power forward, Class of 2000 (another athletically gifted Phoenix more known for volleyball)
Yuri Koshibe, point guard, Class of 2005 (still another volleyball player whose skills translated well to basketball)

International School of the Sacred Heart
Mari Look, guard, Class of 2005
Jemma Sampson, forward, Class of 2004. She and Look were guiding forces behind Symbas' first Far East championship in a team sport.
Leyna Arbour, forward, Class of 2008. Perhaps the best athlete in school history.
Monica Kusaka, guard, Class of 2008. Picks up where Look left off.
Hannah Arbour, forward, Class of 2010. Difference between going 8-8 in 2005-06 and 18-0 in the 2006-07 regular season.

St. Mary's International Titans
Brian Peterson, center, Class of 1983. Coach Lannie Peterson's son, maybe Titans' best-ever.
Tobi Taniguchi, G, Class of 2009 (led Titans to their third and last Far East Class AA title under late coach Fred Sava)
Johannes Kaps, forward, Class of 1994.With brother Joe and workmanlike Joe Hauet liftedTitans to their school-first Class AA final four appearance and victory over Yokota.
Nick Varner, guard, Class of 2001.
Lars Kelley, forward, Class of 2002. He and Varner were centerpieces in Titans' two Class AA title teams.
Knocked out: Bart Wakabayashi, guard, Class of 1987.
Possible newcomer: Toni Taniguchi, Class of 2010.

Christian Academy Japan, boys
Colby Long, shooting guard, Class of 1998
Alan Kropp, power forward, Class of 1994
Miles Peterson, C, Class of 2010
Andy Sytsma, center, Class of 1989
Dan Kunnecke, point guard, Class of 1998
Knocked out: Mark Joseph, SF, Class of 1986
Possible newcomers: Nate Reasoner, Class of 2004, Eliot Reasoner, Class of 2013.

Christian Academy Japan, girls
Hydi Buss, guard-forward, Class of 1982
Kelsey Hardeman, guard-forward, Class of 2005
Natalie Nelson, forward, Class of 1996
Kirsten Nelson, forward, Class of 2001
Kendra Peterson, guard-forward, Class of 2012.

Thoughts? Disagreement? Shout it out! Be true to your school, and remember: You've entered THE "No-Hate Zone." :)

Join the conversation and share your voice.

Show Comments



Ornauer on AFN


Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)


Sept 28:Dave Ornauer is back with the latest on the Pacific sports scene.

May 22:Yokota has dominated in first year at D-II spring championsihps.

May 8: Dave Ornauer highlights a few athletes who are participating in the Kanto Plains track and field finals Saturday.