Former HPU SID and current ESPN anchor Neil Everett hosts 2nd Annual S.H.A.R.X Benefit
HONOLULU, Hawai‘i – The Hawai‘i Pacific University Athletics Department's Second Annual S.H.A.R.X Benefit will be held this Friday, Sept. 28, in Honolulu.
It is a star-studded event that features HPU's second hall of fame class. Softball coaching legend Howard Okita, men's tennis standout Mikael Maatta, champion basketball coach Tony Sellitto, volleyball star Gabriela Artigas and outstanding women's cross country runner Nina Christensen will take their place among HPU's best.
The event will be hosted by ESPN SportsCenter anchor and former
HPU Sports Information Director Neil Everett.
The inductions will take place on Friday, Sept. 28, at the S.H.A.R.X (Supporting HPU Athletes to Reach eXcellence) Benefit.
The organization's mission is to create and maintain a
foundation of support for HPU athletes. The event will be held at
Pier 10 at Aloha Tower.
Okita took over in 1988 as the head softball coach at Hawai‘i Loa College. In 1991, he was named National Coach of the Year as he led the Mongoose to the NAIA National Championship.
Overall, as a Sea Warrior “Coach O” has a record of
701-274 and has taken HPU to the postseason 12 times. He was a key
assistant on the 2010 NCAA Division II National Champion team.
Maatta may be the most dominant player to ever pick up a racquet at HPU. He was a seven-time All-American - four times as a singles player and three times in doubles - and ranked in the top five in the final rankings each year. He led HPU to the NCAA National Championship final in 2001 and 2003.
In 1993, Sellitto and his Sea Warriors captured the first and only national collegiate basketball championship in the state. That year, “Tulsa Tony” led HPU to a 30-4 record beating Oklahoma Baptist 88-83.
He led the Sea Warriors to the NAIA tournament seven times, the
NCAA tournament once, and compiled a record of 307-153 in 17 years
on the sidelines.
Artigas, a setter, was a key cog in the 1990 NAIA National Championship volleyball team. She was named the NAIA All-Tournament National Championship Team MVP. She was a three-time NAIA All-American including 1990 when she was named to the First Team. Artigas played in 348 matches collecting 3,145 assists, 1,231 digs and 89 aces. She still holds the record for most assists in a match with 71, doing it twice.
Christensen was a staple on the national cross country stage in her career from 1999 to 2003. She competed all four years at the NCAA Championships, earning All-American honors three times. She was a four-time All-Region performer, winning the race in 1999 and 2001.