Monday, December 27, 2010

Chris Gaines

Chris Gaines never did it for the attention. The former Hawaii guard piled up points, wins and accolades the only way he knew how -- quietly.

Gaines, the all-time leading scorer in UH basketball history, died suddenly of a heart attack on Christmas Day in Orlando, Fla. He was 42.

Word of his passing spread yesterday, shocking his former teammates and coaches. Most had lost contact with the unassuming Gaines soon after his days as a Rainbow Warrior, when he moved to Florida.

Gaines, who put up 1,734 points between 1986 and 1990, had a wife, Diane, and three children, according to his stepmother, Clara Gaines.

Gaines was highly touted out of Waterloo West High, being named Iowa's Mr. Basketball as a senior. A recruit of then-assistant Bob Nash, he arrived in Manoa under head coach Frank Arnold and endured a coaching change to Riley Wallace a year later.

"He just did what you asked him to do," Wallace said. "He could shoot on those curls and coming off the picks. Great with the backdoor, because he could dunk on that. He was a jumper, too. He just was very, very, very coachable. Whatever you'd ask him to do, he did, and that really fit well as a teammate with all of his other teammates as well. Never a problem of any kind. Never one."

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