Gabi Fenumiai’s graduation from Evergreen State College is this Friday. Even so, it’ll be hard for her graduation week to top the week leading up to it.
Fenumiai, 22, was named the Evergreen State College Women’s Athlete of the Year on June 7 in Olympia, Washington. The Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and former Crimson Bear played for two seasons on the Geoducks women’s basketball team.
Fenumiai averaged 14 points and nine rebounds this season en route to a First Team All-Cascade Collegiate Conference selection. In the third to last game of her senior season, Fenumiai scored 34 points in a 102-68 romping of Walla Walla — three points shy of breaking her own school record for the most points in a single game (set her junior season).
After playing two seasons at Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, Washington, Fenumiai transferred to ESC — just a two-hour car ride away. The schools may have been close geographically, but not from a competitive standpoint.
“If you would’ve known my first coach, she was very into physicality and the conditioning part of things,” Fenumiai said. “So that was a lot to get used to, but it was worth it. I love basketball so I would of been happy anywhere I went as long as I got to play.”
That love of the game was evident in her junior season when she shot 56 percent from the field. She shot better than 54 percent her senior season.
Fenumiai plays her hardest and lives with the result.
“If you over think, than you’re (playing) in your head,” Fenumiai said. “Half the time, I don’t even remember how I do things, it just happens. … If you prepare well enough in practices, when it comes to game time everything should be natural.”
She says her family’s unbroken support for her throughout college has made her individual accomplishments that much more special.
“Even though I’ve been down in Washington, they’ve always shown their support,” Fenumiai said. “My sophomore night at my (junior college), like 15 of them showed up and surprised me. My senior night, another handful of them came down, a bunch of them are coming down for graduation. So, they’re just very proud of everything I’ve done.”
Fenumiai plans to pursue a career in education after college.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.