Waipahu’s Russell to play for UH Hilo

Waipahu’s Kobie Russell will play at UH Hilo. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser

Waipahu Kobie Russell has decided to play college baseball instead of signing with the pros.

Russell, who played shortstop for the Marauders before graduating in 2017, was drafted as a catcher by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft last month.

Instead, he will head to the Big Island to play for UH Hilo, according to Waipahu head coach Milton Takenaka.

Russell originally planned on signing with the Blue Jays, but changed his mind. Another option was to play for Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho, but he chose the Vulcans.

Takenaka said he believes Russell was given a financial package to attend UH Hilo, but did not know if it was a partial or full ride.

While he was a junior at Waipahu, the University of Hawaii showed interest in recruiting Russell.

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