Molokai High School athletic director Hokulani Haliniak
arrived at the Farmers' gym -aka "The Barn" - at 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 15 for the men's basketball game between Hawaii and Chaminade.
She was the ultimate early bird that day considering tip-off was 7:30 p.m. Haliniak headed home at 11:30 p.m., making it a 17-hour day.
It was one of the Friendly Isle's biggest athletic events in history, so Haliniak, in her first year on the job, wanted everything to run smoothly.
Haliniak said there were a lot of phone calls and planning leading up to the game. But game day was the most work for Haliniak. She ran around the gym all night making sure the ticket takers, concessionaires, media members, game officials and, of course, the teams were taken care of. Haliniak said there were about 50 volunteers working the game. The 2000-seat gym was nearly filled to capacity.
"Molokai came through," Haliniak said after the game. "The Molokai community was great. I had help with everything. Just fortunate that everyone stepped in and did a lot."
Being involved in athletics is where Haliniak wants to be.
"I love it. I love the excitement and being in the athletic realm," she said. "I was brought up in athletics so I guess it was my destiny."
Haliniak played softball, volleyball and basketball at University High.
She also has served as an assistant sports information director at the University Hawaii-Hilo and was the athletic director at Laupahoehoe High School.
The Farmers' athletic teams - like Lanai's - have to travel by ferry or plane for each away game. There also is organizing bus rides and sleeping in opponents' gyms.
The cost also is tremendous.
Haliniak said the total travel budget this school year for the Farmers' 15 sports is projected to be about $139,000.
"Money-wise, we're fund-raising this entire island," she said. "I think we're short almost $83,000 in travel this year, so we're going to fundraise a lot."