New coach hopes to improve season record


Chelsee Sawai

Girls varsity basketball team members Zannah Suehiro shoot the ball during practice, while Madi Sagawa rebounds. The team has improved their record since last year under a new coach.

Chelsee Sawai, Staff Writer

Chelsee Sawai
New varsity girls coach Reid Sagawa overlooks the players during drill to give them feedback.

The girls varsity basketball team is looking to improve their game from last season’s record of 1-10. They’re already on their way to new heights with their current season record of 4-1 with help from new coach, Reid Sagawa.

“It’s been a total pleasure coaching these girls. The eight girls that we do have, their attitudes are terrific, they work really hard, they support one another, and they do everything that the coaches ask,” said Sagawa.

Sagawa said he enjoys working with kids both in and out of the classroom and coaching is like teaching but in a different subject area that he loves and is passionate about.

“If you think of your best teacher, they don’t have to get mad to have you do well but they’re there to push you and support you and guide you,” he said.

Varsity girls sophomore basketball player Lauren Hayashi said since Sagawa’s started coaching, he has worked a lot with the team as a whole and has focused on team bonding.

“He really has a set plan for us and the route he wants us to take this season and so because of him having so many contacts, we’re able to have more games and more experiences compared to the previous years,” said Hayashi.

At practice, the girls are continuously uplifting and supporting each other while Sagawa is pushing each of them, calling out constant corrections.

For example, in a shooting drill, the girls high five and compliment each other after every shot that was made or missed while Sagawa calls each of them by name, saying what they can do the next time around. 

Sagawa is a health teacher at Iolani School and has been out of coaching for eight years before this season but before his break, he’s coached for 17 years straight. 

Sagawa said Mid-Pacific is a place where you can feel the culture not only in basketball but also when you walk around campus.

“The students are real friendly, the staff members are real pleasant and supportive,” said Sagawa. “People go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to try and help you become successful in what you do.”

Assistant coach and math teacher, Byron Cheng, has known Sagawa for many years and has even coached against him in the past. 

“I have so much respect for him, and I respect his style, and I respect him as a person,” said Cheng. 

Sagawa said his coaching style is being strict and demanding when he needs to be, but at the same time acknowledges the positive by yelling in an excited way.

“I would like to be known as being demanding and having really high expectations,” he said. “But at the same time caring so that we can push the girls but yet they know we’re doing it because we care about them and we want them to be the best.”

Hayashi said she has a lot of confidence in Sagawa, especially since she has been coached by him before and knows how intense he can get.

“He’s very organized, very supportive, and he’s never afraid to yell at you or tell his honest opinion if it means it will benefit you,” said Hayashi.

Cheng said Sagawa’s most admirable attributes are his integrity and honesty.

“He’s very encouraging and incredibly knowledgeable about the game,” said Cheng. “I think he’s just someone that the players really gravitate towards because they enjoy his presence and respects what he offers to the program.”

Hayashi said she thinks Sagawa can help her improve her ball handling and shooting skills this year.

“He’s putting me in different positions that I’m not used to but he’ll help me become more comfortable and grow as a player that way,” she said

Sagawa said the team is adjusting to all of the coaches’ concepts and styles and seeing the girls support one another is only the beginning. 

“Just to see them gel and mold and play as a team is what I’m excited about. Though, it’s not easy when you have a new coach,” he said.

Hayashi said Sagawa’s coaching is all for the benefit of the team and she thinks they’ll be able to go far with him.

“He’s a super good coach and I can’t wait for this season with him,” said Hayashi.