Pacific athletes of the week
Jamil BarneyBoys basketball
Last week: Averaged 29 points and 15.5 rebounds as the Panthers split their games on Tuesday and Saturday — including a one-point overtime loss — to improve to 9-2.
Barney, a junior, put up career highs of 31 points and 19 rebounds as the Panthers lost at home 124-123 in overtime to the Kitanakagusuku Fighting Lions, the No. 1 Japanese team on Okinawa. Barney followed that with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots as Kadena won its Okinawa Activities Council opener 88-73 over defending Far East Class AA Tournament champion Kubasaki.
“He’s getting better every year,” said Kadena coach Robert Bliss of Barney, who’s played for the Panthers for three seasons. “He’s a tireless worker and a great influence on the other players. He’s a joy to have around.”
Kristia SuribenGirls basketball
E.J. King, Japan
Last week: Racked up 25 assists and 30 steals and averaged 19.5 points in four games, three of them Cobras victories at Canadian Academy in Kobe. The Cobras are 6-2.
Suriben, a senior and three-time All-Far East selection, scored 30 points in Saturday’s 62-32 rout of Osaka International. She netted a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 13 steals in a 46-26 victory Friday over Canadian Academy and had 17 points, 10 assists and five steals in a 51-8 romp over Marist Brothers International.
She’s the second E.J. King Suriben to win the award in two weeks, following her sophomore sister Rizalina last week. “She carried the team. She just took over,” coach Michael Seitz said. “Like her sister, she’s wonderful to have on the court, and it’s not just her scoring. She sets people up to do well.”
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff