In 1976, Ia Saipaia ’76 racked up a scorching 38 points in Punahou’s State Championship basketball game, a record that remains untouched to this day.
Ia came to Punahou in 1972. He played Varsity basketball from 1974 to 1976, co-captaining the team his last two years. He also ran track. Considered by some to be one of the best basketball players from Hawaii in the last 30 years, the 6’1″ Ia was named to the 1st team All-State Basketball in 1974-1976, 1st team ILH Basketball in 1974-1976, and was a two-time ILH and State Basketball Champion.
Ia attended San Diego State University and finished his studies at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Despite playing basketball for only two years, he became UHH’s sixth all-time assist leader with 229 assists, and fifth all-time free thrower at 83.6 percent. In 2002, Ia was inducted into UH-Hilo’s Hall of Fame.