By Brian McInnis
Well, it's happened. The University of Hawaii and athletic director Ben Jay announced an official shift in nickname for it's men's sports teams from "Rainbows," "Rainbow Warriors" and "Warriors" from sport to sport to just "Warriors" for all its men's teams, effective July 1.
UH women's teams will remain known as "Rainbow Wahine."
UH men's basketball — the primary concern of this blog — is one of the two most visible UH sports affected, along with UH baseball.
For the team itself, this is joyous news. UH coach Gib Arnold has consistently referred to his team as "Warriors," since he arrived in 2010, with mentions of the "Rainbow" few and far between. This season, you'd no longer hear cheers involving " 'Bows" at home games, and road jerseys under Arnold have sported simply "Warriors" on the front over the last three seasons.
To put it mildly, it's not a shock that he was in favor of the move.
"I think it's a good thing. I think change is good," Arnold said from Northern California on Wednesday after UH practice in preparation for Thursday's game at UC Davis. "I think we can be more united as far as the branding and everything goes. I see it as a positive."
I initially weighed in on the subject a little more than a year ago while the debate was hot. You can read that entry here.
Being that the change doesn't go into effect for several more months, you're going to keep seeing the team referred to as the Rainbow Warriors in HSA stories through the end of this season. Enjoy it while it lasts if you're a diehard of the old ways or count it down by the day if you're a proponent of the new law.
Change is coming. People have to accept that one way or another now.
Personally, I can't write only "Warriors" in a basketball story without thinking of the Golden State Warriors, so that's going to take some getting used to on my part.
Got any thoughts on this hot-button topic? Comment away below.
Now then, onto current events with the, ahem, Rainbow Warriors. UH takes its five-game winning streak (three on the road) to UC Davis' Pavilion on Thursday night.
In case anyone forgot — highly doubtful — the Aggies got 40 points on 14 shots from Corey Hawkins in a 93-82 win in Honolulu on Jan. 19. That was the only home loss in Big West play by the Rainbow Warriors.
A potential X-factor in the rematch is senior swingman Hauns Brereton, who was out with a bruised knee in the first meeting. Brereton's played well of late, scoring in double figures in four of five games since returning to the starting lineup.
"It's a chance to compete against them. That game I wasn't able to play," Brereton said. "They're feeling good about themselves, but we were missing a player. … they weren't missing a shot. I'm just excited to go and get back at 'em."
More on both the UH nickname situation and the UH hoops road trip — as well as the Wahine basketball homestand against UC Davis and Pacific — in Thursday's newspaper.