If it seems like Micah Christenson’s approach to basketball is mature beyond his years, there are a lot of folks who would agree.
To say the 6-foot-5 Kamehameha senior is multi-dimensional is downplaying the most versatile player in the islands.
The two-sport sensation took his basketball to a new level, dominating in every facet from passing to shotblocking to rebounding and scoring — at the rim and from NBA range — to become a unanimous selection by media and coaches as Star-Advertiser All-State player of the year.
The ambidextrous phenom was part of Kamehameha’s state-title-winning team two years ago. After losing to ‘Iolani in the state final one season ago, Christenson came back to the hardwood fueled by one simple goal: a championship.
That, of course, wasn’t easy. Defenses set up to alter his finesse game found him banging under the glass like never before.
When they backed off, he found gaps and launched effortlessly from 20, 21, 22 feet out. Occasionally, he let fly from NBA range without a hitch, using a stroke as smooth as any seen in years.
It was only fitting that Christenson, with 19 points and 11 rebounds per game, also led his team in assists, blocks and steals as the Warriors (25-7 overall) won the state crown.
Christenson, who will play volleyball at USC next season, was also the first unanimous player of the year since Derrick Low sparked ‘Iolani to a dynasty in the early 2000s.
"He’s the best darn player in the state," Kahuku coach Darren Johnson said. "He makes everyone around him play better. He’s going to get his points and rebounds, but everything he does is so unselfish. There hasn’t been a guy like him in a long time. I can remember when Sam Johnson (of Moanalua) scored a lot of points, but (Christenson) scored a lot, too, and he’s not a one-man team.
"Dan Hale (of Punahou) was dominant in his time, but he and (Sam Johnson) couldn’t shoot like Micah," Johnson added. "He was complete. You couldn’t put a big guy on him; he’d go right around him. If you put a smaller guy on him, he’d post him up."
Johnson linked Christenson’s roots.
"He reminds me of his grandfather, Harry Kahuanui," he said of the legendary Kahuku coach. "He was the best teacher."
"What’s there not to like? I don’t think there’s been a more complete player since Derrick Low," Roosevelt coach Steve Hathaway said. "I thought Kyle Pape (of ‘Iolani) was an unreal scorer, but Christenson can do it all."
Christenson was at his best under pressure, averaging 22.5 points, 11 rebounds and nearly three steals per game in four state-tourney games. He also shot 10-for-18 from the 3-point arc during the tourney.
"Micah added a lot to his game and took it to the next level," Warriors coach Jesse Nakanishi said. "He’s a special player."
The coach of the year honor went to Nakanishi for the second time in three years. Moanalua’s Greg Tacon and AOP’s Walter Marciel shared runner-up status in the voting.
Academy of the Pacific senior Micah Dunhour was second in the Fab 15 voting.
The 6-5 senior from Kawaihae was the glue in the Dolphins’ magical season, turning a Division II program into a semifinalist in the D-I state tourney.
Voting for the Fab 15 was tighter than usual. The final spot, at No. 15, was shared by AOP’s Moritz Krume and Hawaii Prep’s Rokas Cesnulevicius. Krume made the Fab 15 by tiebreaker.
|1. Micah Christenson||Kamehameha||6-5||Sr.|
|2. Micah Dunhour||AOP||6-5||Sr.|
|3. Kaipo Pale||Roosevelt||6-4||Sr.|
|4. Shairone Thompson||Kahuku||6-4||Sr.|
|5. J.P. Saycon||Farrington||6-0||Jr.|
|6. Dexter Williams||Moanalua||6-3||Sr.|
|7. Hassan Richardson||Mililani||6-4||Sr.|
|8. Trevyn Tulonghari||‘Iolani||6-0||Sr.|
|9. Reid Saito||‘Iolani||5-10||Sr.|
|10. Dyrbe Enos||Kamehameha||5-9||Jr.|
|11. DeForest Buckner||Punahou||6-7||Jr.|
|12. Josiah Sukumaran||‘Iolani||6-3||Sr.|
|13. Lanaki Apele||Kamehameha-Hawaii||5-9||Jr.|
|14. Malik Johnson||Punahou||6-5||Jr.|
|15. Moritz Krume||AOP||6-6||Jr.|
Rokas Cesnulevicius, Hawaii Prep
Kona Makaula, Academy of the Pacific
Lukas Williams, Lahainaluna
T.J. Reid, Radford
Nahshon George, Radford
Wesley Armbrust, Moanalua
Nick Fisher, Pahoa
Lancelot Williams, Farrington
Dylan King, Seabury Hall
Patrick Matthews, Mid-Pacific
Keven Amaral, Moanalua
Randen Berinobis, Hilo
Mason Kualii-Moe, Kaimuki
Sebastian Ohara-Saft, St. Joseph
Alex Ironside, McKinley
Theo Duplechain, Island Pacific