Allie Navarette, the record-setting UH-Hilo women’s basketball player, claimed her experience of “treatment from teammates that only got worse” led to her decision to transfer to Metropolitan State University in Denver.
“It wasn’t the best, healthy or positive environment I wanted to be in,” she said. “I talked to coach Dave (Kaneshiro) and nothing changed. I need to be in a more positive environment.”
Kaneshiro said Navarette told him she wanted to leave in March and brought up some issues.
“She brought some details to my attention, and they were addressed,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that.
“I’m focused on the program. We have good people, off the court and in the classroom.”
Asked specifically about the treatment she received, Navarette cited bullying.
“Bullying is an example,” she said. “I can only speak for myself, but when you’re from the mainland, you get treated differently. It was a lot of treatment from the local players. I told him multiple times over three years.”
UHH athletic director Pat Guillen said Navarette spoke to him after she made her decision to leave.
“The bottom line is she didn’t get along with some players,” Guillen said. “I don’t know to what extent. There are always challenges sometimes with team chemistry. She couldn’t work through it with the coach and players.”
Navarette, a 6-foot senior from Manhattan Beach, Calif., has one year of eligibility remaining for the Roadrunners, who went 13-16 last season, and will not have to miss a season since she transferred out of the Pacific West Conference. In April, Metro State announced the addition of the “top transfer” after the Vulcans released her from her scholarship.
She holds 19 UHH school records, including points (1,398), scoring average (18.6), rebounds (685), free throw percentage (.843), and single-game scoring (34) and rebounds (19).
For all her prolific stats, the Vulcans never had a winning record during Navarette’s three seasons. UHH’s last winning record (12-11) was in 2012-13 when the Imai sisters (Kirsty and Kamie) were on the roster.
Despite being second in the PacWest in scoring (19.2), she was named to the all-conference second team as a junior. She landed on the first team as a sophomore and was honorable mention as a freshman.
Outside of basketball, Navarette has fond memories of Hilo and the community.
“I’ve made great friends, and it’s a beautiful place to live,” she said. “I love the community, the fans, and boosters who come out to games. I still talk to fans to this day. I’m grateful for all the support. I’ve made good relationships with my professors. I’m really, really grateful.”