By Cindy Luis
University of Hawai'i women's volleyball player Emily Hartong and men's basketball player Davis Rozitis were the recipients of the 2014 Jack Bonham Award in recognition of their outstanding performances on and off the playing field. The announcement was made Tuesday night at 'Ahahui Koa 'Anuenue's H Awards at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Other volleyball players to have received this are Kanani Danielson 2012, Aneli Cubi-Otineru 2010, Kanoe Kamana'o 207, Melissa Villaroman 2004, Angelica Ljungquist 1997, Tita Ahuna 1988, Sue Hlavenka 1986, Bonnie Gouveia 1980 and Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohan 1976 (when only one award given). In 1979, UH started giving the award to male and female athletes.
The award is given annually to the top male and female senior student-athlete who "best exemplifies the ideals for which Jack Bonham stood for in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, public service, leadership and character."
Hartong was a three-time All-American and three-time first team all-conference honoree, and will go down as one of the finest players to don a Rainbow Wahine uniform. The Los Alamitos, Calif. native was also twice named Big West Player of the Year and leaves UH ranked eighth all-time with 1,494 kills, a remarkable statistic considering she spent her first two seasons as a middle hitter. Her impact also extends beyond the court. She is an active participant in numerous community service projects including speaking to children and sharing her volleyball knowledge with club coaching and youth clinics. Hartong was a three-time academic all-conference selection and will graduate in the spring with a degree in communications.
"Emily was a team captain her last two seasons and it was her tremendous work ethic that inspired her teammates throughout her four-year career," head coach Dave Shoji said. "She was never late to or missed a practice and when asked to change positions after her first two years, she did so for the good of the team. She was a leader off the court as well, encouraging her teammates to be better and organizing team activities. She's committed to doing her best in everything that she does."
Considered the most prestigious award in UH athletics, the Jack Bonham Award is named for the late assistant athletics director who was killed in 1974 in a plane crash in America Samoa. Bonham was returning to the islands from New Zealand where he was on a recruiting trip at the British Commonwealth Games.