Akina prepared to file suit against Kahuku

Kahuku boys basketball coach Alan Akina coached in a game in January of 2015. Photo by Kat Wade/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku boys basketball coach Alan Akina coached in a game in January of 2015. Photo by Kat Wade/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Silence is not golden, according to Alan Akina.

The Kahuku boys basketball coach was forced to step down over the weekend, and he does not plan on going away quietly.

“We’ve been trying to reach them, the school administration, but they won’t return my calls,” said Akina’s attorney, Eric Seitz. “I’m in a position to help them resolve this. Without any contact, we’re going to end up suing them.”

Akina declined to comment, but sources indicate that a parents meeting with Kahuku administrators before the ongoing Punahou Invitational tournament led the administrators to call the tourney and pull out. Punahou coach Darren Matsuda pleaded with the administrators to stay in the tourney — the team was contractually obliged anyway — but Akina was told not to take the team.

With one of his guards out with an injury, he called up one of his sons, Kawika, from the JV team, and another JV player. That may have violated one of the stipulations set by administration when tensions flared last season.

The Red Raiders went to the tourney anyway, and as many as 10 seniors responded by sitting out and watching the game in street clothes from the bleachers at Punahou’s Hemmeter Fieldhouse.

That was on Saturday. By Monday, Akina was the one watching from the bleachers, having been removed. An interim coach was put in his place, and the full roster was on the bench.

On Monday, after the team returned from the tournament, a players meeting with administration was interrupted by parents, according to one source.

By today, Akina had secured Seitz for representation. The question of whether Akina was stipulated to leave Kawika Akina on the JV is a question only the coach and his players can answer, as well as the parents who have led the battle against their coach.

The basic gripe is that the coach calls too many plays for his older son, Keanu, to shoot the basketball. Even if there are other options.

“We think he’s a good guy. He’s like a mentor to us,” said senior guard Kenny Spencer, who scored five points in the second overtime to lead Kahuku over No. 7 Kalaheo 53-49 on Tuesday.

“We just want to move ahead and focus on basketball,” Spencer said.

Seitz says that will not be possible as long as his client gets the proverbial stiff-arm from administrators. A potential lawsuit could be brought to court by Monday morning, he said.

“What we’re going to try and do is get Alan restored as head coach. This is a situation in which there are some very spoiled parents who are trying to dictate to the school and in turn to the coach how he runs his team,” said Seitz, who attended today’s game and sat next to Akina. “Regrettably, the athletic director (Gillian Yamagata) and principal (Pauline Masaniai) don’t know how to handle the situation. The coach has been removed on an interim basis without any explanation. The kids are caught in the middle of this. It’s an atrocious situation of adults acting badly and hurting kids.”

In recent years, the new administration, led by Masaniai, incurred the wrath of then-coaches by requiring them to re-apply for positions despite years of success on and off the fields and courts. Most of them refused to re-apply and walked away, including boys basketball coach Darren Johnson. Johnson was suspended during his last season there after being assaulted on the court by a parent.


  1. Reel Talk December 29, 2015 5:30 pm

    Amen Coach Akina! Don’t post anything on Facebook. According to some, it’s the #1 source of information for many Kahukuians….

  2. Ua Ova Lou Taimi December 29, 2015 6:17 pm

    @ Reel Talk – But he’s not acting like a spoiled brat. Only the boys right? 😉

  3. PONO December 29, 2015 6:53 pm

    It’s sad what high school sports has come to. Parents want to remove a coach because he calls too many plays for his son. That’s not a real reason. All parents think their son should get more playing time or shots. Every coach in the state will get fired if admins listen to these parents.

  4. Knation December 29, 2015 7:04 pm

    I think the Kahuku AD should be removed should there be no reason given why coach Alan Akina was let go other than parents or players are not happy about playing time or getting their shots so sad when parents get invovled

  5. EwaEwa December 29, 2015 7:16 pm

    Kahukus AD is terrible and has dropped the ball so many times. Time for a new AD not new coach.

  6. 88 December 29, 2015 7:50 pm

    Not posting anything on Facebook should be Financial 101 rule #1……..

  7. Red One December 29, 2015 8:21 pm

    1. Coach should not get fired.
    2. Parents should mind their own business.
    3. Players should suck it up and play.

    We are not talking about abusive language or hitting a kid. We are talking about coaching philosophy. This is ridiculous and could only happen in a community that allows these kinds of things to happen.

  8. Spartan December 29, 2015 9:59 pm

    @ Ua Ova Lou Taimi, to compare the two is completely naive at best, ignorant at worse.

    If the reports are true, Coach Akina has been fired or terminated. This goes on his record for potential jobs either coaching or professional. Hiring a lawyer to clear his name and get his job back is completely different than some teenagers and parents disagreeing with how he coaches.

    You really think these two situations are the same? I am at a lost for words if you do.

  9. It is what it is December 29, 2015 10:15 pm

    This is giving Kahuku Basketball and Kahuku High such a bad name!! Unbelievable that these parents of these boys would do all this just because they don’t want one ninth grader on the team. If a school has only 12 boys try-out and no cuts how do you tell a coach to keep his son on the JV team?!
    These parents made another scene at the school yesterday during a meeting with the interim coach and the players. Threatening another boycott! Do these boys /parents not realize how short basketball season is??

  10. Red One December 29, 2015 11:23 pm

    So former Coach Jonnson got assaulted by a parent on the court? What is wrong with some of the Kahiku parents. This is so embarrassing. Some think it’s okay to rule by force? This isn’t the 1500’s. So shame some people!

  11. Hahashandah December 29, 2015 11:36 pm

    @Red One. I read the article too but I have to assume that Coach Johnson was at least partly at fault. I doubt you fire someone because he was simply an assault victim. But hey who knows.

  12. Red One December 29, 2015 11:38 pm

    Regardless it should never come to violence. I am appalled.

  13. 88 December 30, 2015 12:12 am

    Lets not open that door. You might not like what you find.

  14. Spartan December 30, 2015 8:16 am

    It cannot be any more embarrassing than what is going on right now.

  15. ponojr December 30, 2015 8:40 am

    This isn’t AYSO, PAL or i9, where everyone plays and everyone feels good about themselves regardless of who wins or loses. There are no participation trophies for just showing up. This is big boy/girl athletics, where the kids who give their team the best chance to win play.

    Parents normally ruin things for kids when they get involved in athletics.

  16. 66 December 30, 2015 8:55 am

    Alan is a good guy but these parents have a point. Watching some of the games last season did show signs of favoritism. Recruiting kids to play for you and this school just to have a better chance of winning is fine but you as a head coach and these recruited players don’t deserve to wear kahuku across your chests. Some Kids grow up wanting to play basketball. These kids grow up wanting to play basketball for this school. Win or lose. That’s the difference

  17. Red One December 30, 2015 9:12 am

    Every team has favoritism, it’s human nature. The only difference is it’s the coach’s kid. Every coach has his favorite. If it wasn’t the coach’s kid nothing would be going on. Sounds like a lot of jealousy.

    I have watched many ILH teams over the years and each coach has their favorites. This is not uncommon. The factor that is uncommon is crying parents.

  18. Reel Talk December 30, 2015 9:35 am

    The parents should mind their own business. “The coach is showing preferential treatment to his son.” WAAH! “The coach is running most sets for his son.” WAAH! “The kids cannot play because they are afraid to shoot and they don’t have plays for themselves.” WAAH!

    Who cares! People speak a bout how mentally tough the kids our there are. But they can’t overcome this? Talk about a lack of perseverance.

    My niece just participated in the Honolulu Marathon, albeit with a wheelchair. She got in a car accident and hit by a drunk driver and no longer can walk. I don’t see her crying about how unfair life is. Maybe I should send her to Kahuku to speak to these kids about what really is unfair and unfortunate.

    These complaints aren’t even that bad, well unless you are a crybaby.

  19. 88 December 30, 2015 9:56 am

    The favoritism was just too obvious guys. The kids(Who by the way are the ONLY ones who matter)were tired of it and did something about. Now can YOU stop being a CRYBABY and just join Coach and his lawyer in the bleachers with the rest of us and cheer on these kids? Or would you rather keep calling them names?

  20. Spartan December 30, 2015 10:17 am

    88 I was at the hospital with my sign but you never showed. How come? Also, why are you choosing not to answer the question I posed for you. What team did you coach to states last year? Or do you just like hiding behind your name pretending to be a coach since you obviously couldn’t secure a job coaching at the local YWCA or i9 leagues. You are such a fraud. Act tough on the internet when you can’t even get a job coaching. How funny is that?

    Also Coach Akina while being removed will be something that you never will be, a coach of a Kahuku High School Team. And making a team on your PS3 and naming yourself the coach does not count.

  21. phILHarmonic December 30, 2015 10:30 am

    I hope that it works out for all involved. I hope the Coach is able to continue coaching, that the players concerns are being heard and addressed and that the community continues to encourage and cheer on the basketball team as one community. I hope that the players learn from this experience to help them in life and to carry with them if they continue to play sports on a collegiate level. I would be remiss if we didn’t advise you that a college coach will not care if you think there is favoritism, or if your parents feel you should be playing more, or if you feel he is not utilizing his players correctly. I would advise you that you need leave no doubt in that coaches mind that you are the best at that position and has no choice but to put you on the field. This mindset will help you to succeed at anything in life. Do not lower the bar but hurdle it and onto the next obstacle.

  22. 88 December 30, 2015 10:50 am

    Sparty, how you doing my multiple name using friend? I was wondering where you went after football season.. Hope your enjoying your break from the Mckinley School for adults and that your favorite math teacher is taking it easy on you ;-)….. That was you holding that “$2 for 1/2 hour” sign? I thought it was a patient.

  23. Spartan December 30, 2015 10:59 am

    I love how you try to camouflage the fact that you are a coward who wishes he could coach. Some coach like Mr. Akina and some blog like the coward we all know as 88. Try a new one buddy.

    So pathetic! Hide behind a fake name and call out family men such as Coach Akina. Fraud! Lol.

  24. 88 December 30, 2015 11:21 am

    So pathetic! Hide behind MULTIPLE fake names and calling people out. Fraud! lol.

  25. The Rim December 30, 2015 11:34 am

    I’m an outsider with no ties to Kahuku at all, but I will comment as a parent of athletes who play both football and basketball. That Akina boy can play ball, and he can play ball at the highest level here in the State. I don’t know what the issue is but as far as I’m concerned, that kid deserves to play and deserves to be a focal point of the offense. Lastly, if you don’t like coaching styles or philosophies, quit and be a spectator and then go and find someone later in life, when no one really cares but you, to say how you quit to make a dumb point.

  26. Ua Ova Lou Taimi December 30, 2015 11:36 am

    @Spartan – The kids who play for Kahuku don’t come from “big money”. Many of them play hard in multiple sports to up their chances of getting a free ride to college. You take away their playing time, you take away their chances of going to college for free so their families don’t have to spend thousands to get them in. Majority of those sitting out are from the Kahuku football team (State Champs), so you know they’re no slouch. So to me it seems more than just playing-time gripes. It’s just as bad for the kids as it is for Akina. Actually, it’s WORSE for the kids. Akina is well off “without” coaching. He doesn’t need another coaching stint to support his family. He’s the creator of Financial101, where people pay him thousands to learn a money saving technique to help families get out of debt. Funny thing is, this technique that he charges thousands of dollars for, is “Free info” and has been used throughout other countries for decades. And the clients have a clause to not share this information. Genius, right? lol I think so!

    Why did the coach bring up his son from the JV to “start” on the Varsity when they have legitimate players who can easily start and who aren’t freshman? Think about it. He might have a son on the Vars that is good, but to bring another son up from the JV squad to START over players who are better is more than favoritism. It’s a flat out “Obama”nation!!!

  27. The Rim December 30, 2015 11:55 am

    @Ua Ova Lou Taimi – Name me kids (boys) in the state of Hawaii that got FREE RIDE scholarships to play basketball that is not named Low? If you are that good to get a FREE RIDE scholarship to play basketball, everyone will know who you are and there is always camps to show your stuff. But in my experience, Hawaii boys basketball is not a recruiting hotbed.

  28. 88 December 30, 2015 1:21 pm

    Basketball is more than just throwing the ball towards the basket countless times and hoping it goes in. It also involves defense, rebounding both on offense and defense, dribbling, MOVING WITHOUT the ball instead of waiting at the top of the 3 point line, PASSING and getting the OTHER 4 guys on the court to play better and to TRUST each other. That’s playing ball at the highest level.

  29. Knation December 30, 2015 1:44 pm

    The players or player that crying about this is the one that is a very average player and for him and his mommy to go on tv instead of keeping closed doors so you can see why there’s problems there and if I were the coach I would have cut from the team and move on its is sad when the administration @ Kahuku does not support their Head Coach FIRE THE AD

  30. Spartan December 30, 2015 1:47 pm

    88 you are the biggest coward in Kahuku if not all of Hawaii. If you notice I am not the one on here insinuating that I can coach better than any coach in Hawaii. I am not the one who hides behind a name who cannot coach a team. Let’s be honest, you are a little girl sitting in mommy’s house pretending to be able to do it. But you cannot. Last time I checked, being a coward isn’t a criteria for leading young men or women.

    I personally challenged you to put your name behind it and you FAILED to do so. You instead are trying to deflect, camouflage, hide, and hope everyone cannot see that you are a coward. But it is impossible not to see it. When you are the biggest coward on the blogs, everyone can see it.

    It’s okay. Coach Akina and all the other coaches who do not hide behind a name on a board are winners, and you are a loser. And like I said, I was at the hospital like you advised and you were no where so be seen. I even had my sign.

    Please come back with the insults, accusations, homosexual jokes, etc. You are too predictable. No matter what you come back with the entire blogging community will still see you as a coward who hides behind a comptuer and instults coahes becuase you cannot get your own team.

    I know it hurts deep down inside which is why you have so much anger. But I am neither the Kahuku Principal or AD. It’s not my fault you cannot get hired. You ever thought the reason you don’t get hired is you have coward running through your blood and the people in leadership do not want to expose their players to that? Could you imagine if there was a community of people like 88 running around, or should I say hiding behind computers insulting good men like Coach Akina? Now that would be chaos! Well cowardly chaos if anything.

  31. Spartan December 30, 2015 1:55 pm

    @Knation, I am sorry, that is 88’s kid. His kid isn’t very good so he advises his son to hide like he does and then gets everyone upset cuz his kid cannot hack it. Hawaii I am sorry that 88 is doing this to a fine community. He will not apologize for this nor take accountability. It’s not in his blood. But he will come on here to insult me, say I like men, tell me I have multiple usernames (when the entire world knows this and/or a 2 year old can figure out), or accuse me of stealing the crown jewels. Let’s all count together how long it will take 88 to do so (he’s so predictable and unoriginal).

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5……………………………….

  32. Spartan December 30, 2015 2:02 pm


  33. 88 December 30, 2015 2:12 pm

    Jerry Campany December 30, 2015 at 11:03 am
    For the record, Spartan shares an IP address with the following: Red One, Reel Talk, realistic, Realistic, Basketball fan, Laie Boy, GoBigRed, Elitist, True Story, Fact, etc, etc., etc.

    And I’m the coward hiding behind a screen name? Take your meds friend, gather your thoughts and than choose which one of your MANY MANY screen names your going to use to express your nonsense. Your funny

  34. The Rim December 30, 2015 3:21 pm

    @88 I know a little bit about basketball so to try and sound smart by belittling anyone with knowledge of the game makes you sound dumb. But back to your description of how basketball should be played, what you described is what I’ve seen that boy do every time I watched him play. You are starting to sound like a bitter jealous hateful person. No current or former athlete who was worth a dime would ever talk like you. They have respect for the game and other players, good or bad!

  35. Ua Ova Lou Taimi December 30, 2015 4:03 pm


    Hahahahahaha that’s funny that Spartan is all these people:
    Jerry Campany December 30, 2015 at 11:03 am
    For the record, Spartan shares an IP address with the following: Red One, Reel Talk, realistic, Realistic, Basketball fan, Laie Boy, GoBigRed, Elitist, True Story, Fact, etc, etc., etc.

  36. AOK December 30, 2015 5:31 pm

    Main goal of the game: put the ball in the hoop. I do not know one player KHS has who can do that better than the elder Akina on the team. Hence, why wouldn’t the coach draw up plays for him? Riddle me that.

  37. 88 December 30, 2015 7:09 pm

    The 2 Spencer boys, Latu, Wright and the Anae kid put the ball in the basket pretty good in a win over the defending State Champs…. Why wouldn’t the coach draw up plays for them? Riddle me that.

  38. Spartan December 30, 2015 8:24 pm

    Does anyone know who won the game between McKinley and Kahuku today? 88 told me that McKinley is one of the teams to beat for the D1 title this year.

  39. Spartan December 30, 2015 8:29 pm

    “We’ve written letters. We’ve gone in to see them individually as parents. The boys have gone in as a group to see them and to have no results and to think that we’re going to just continue the way it is?” said Marina Sauvao, whose son plays for the Red Raiders.

    While I do not agree with how this is being handled, I do respect this person (Marina Sauvao) for going on record using their name, unlike 88. 88 would never go on record like this fine person with integrity and accountability.

    Instead of being interviewed by the news or newspaper, 88 would head quickly to his mother’s computer and complain on it here.

  40. Spartan December 30, 2015 8:33 pm

    Found this online from Hawaii News Now. I couldn’t say it myself. And once again unlike 88 who likes to call our coaches but won’t use his name, this fine gentleman is willing to post his feelings and thoughts and put his name behind it like the true American he is!

    Ronald Bailey
    Kahuku High School parents should let the coaches coach their team. It seems that every time things don’t go their way, they find a way to get the coaches dismissed from their coaching duties. Kahuku needs to find a Athletic Director who can manage his coaches and their teams, and have the power to control the parents of Kahuku High… What kind of MORALS are the parents teaching their kids by choosing to sit them out of their sporting event. Would they do the same to their employer if they weren’t happy at work?

  41. 88 December 30, 2015 10:31 pm

    Sparty(and friends) please join with me and the rest of Kahuku in congratulating our new Coach….. Why dont you be a true American and post your name first. Thats what i thought…..

  42. AOK December 31, 2015 12:45 am

    @88 ain’t even answered the question. I said name one KHS player who can score it better than Akina. You didn’t answer the question because you can’t. I’ll make it easy for you: there is none.

  43. 88 December 31, 2015 5:57 am

    I did not know there was a better way to put the ball through the hoop for a score. Do lay ups not go in if your not good looking or something?

  44. Spartan December 31, 2015 8:07 am

    88 I would, but don’t feel a need to. I am not the one who is chastising Alan Akina. I find it hilarious that you are on here so much, yet are selective in what you choose to answer to. I will put the questions below in number format. I am guessing you don’t answer them since it’s hard for you to dissect my pieces due to lack of intelligence or you are a coward. I am guessing that it’s the later along with the entire blogging community.

    1) What Hawaii High School Basketball Team have you taken to the HHSAA Tournament?
    2) What basketball teams have you been the head coach for?
    3) What life events has caused you to be arguably the biggest coward in Hawaii?
    4) Are you going to ever forgive Mr. Akina for cutting your son?

  45. bawlah December 31, 2015 8:21 am

    AOK….name one KHS player who can score it better than Akina

    Latu, Sauvao, Anae. You know why??? Cuz they all take shots close to the rim.

    But I’m not gonna knock Akina cuz he’s a baller…I’m speaking truth tho. Latu n Anae dunk 2 hands, so u know they can dinish around the rim. Sauvao only hits layups, again near the rim. High percentage shots. Akina can bomb 3s, probably better than anyone in the state of open. But percentage tells u that 3points are not a successful shot to take. If u a bawllah, u know.

    Kaiser will win states this year if their big man is the featured player in their offense, because he takes high percentage shots. Same for Kahuku. If they focus on their inside game, they’ll kill everyone because Akina will get wide open looks once they start killing inside. And when he’s wide open, Akina will knock it down higher percentage shots. I hope the coach stays, tweaks his philosophy a little bit, cuz I bet the kids will follow him again.

  46. Spartan December 31, 2015 8:21 am

    Here are so more questions since you are so intelligent in basketball. You say that Kahuku has the biggest teams with so much talent. Well you must know that in Hawaii, guards dominate the game and throughout the years teams without fine guard play struggle even though they have bigs. With that in mind, you need to get the balls into the bigs to finish. Since you have been saying that they are so big and can make lay-ups, but you rarely mention anything about fine guard play or great ball-handling, how will these bigs get the ball?

    1) Are you going to run a 4 our or 3 out set on offense?

    2) To enter the ball to the post, let’s assume you want to get the ball to the wing, will you pass to the wing, dribble push and replace, screen, etc? Hard to get the ball in these spots with weak ball handling and passing.

    3) To get the posts open are you going to cross screen, up screen, or straight post?

    4) Now what counters will you make if the defense decides to play behind your post and put a large kid like a Hogland or Kalaugher behind? (exactly what Coach Alika Smith did against Maryknoll a few years ago in the state title game when Maryknoll had the 6’8 European kid & the Kiwi and defended them from behind with two wing players).

    5) What will you do if the wing defender plays off and fronts the post while the defender is behind and dares thew wings to shoot given that Kahuku lacks outside shooting?

    6) How will you operate in the post if the defense plays a 2-3 and sits down on the post and lets the guards shoot?

    7) How will you control tempo if teams are pressing full-court or running half court traps? Normally when the game speeds up, posts become less of a factor? How will you control tempo when you have great bigs like you say but not so great guards?

    There are many ways to neutralize having teams with bigs if you have poor guards play. After watching Kahuku struggle against Kalaheo (missing thier best player), a Punahou Division 2 team whose .500 and hasn’t beaten any good team, and losing to a not so great McKinley team, it’s clear they struggle against any kind of ball pressure.

    I saw kids dribbling with their inside hands against pressure, I saw kids shooting off balance with the wrong foot forward a few times, I saw dribbling with the heads down, and I also saw kids who rarely got into the fundamental triple threat position that is typically taught at ages 7-10.

    You could have Coach K take over and it would take a few years to fix these fundamental deficiencies.

    So since you are by far the most knowledgeable basketball coach on the island, can you please answer these questions above so we all can learn and become smarter? IT’s simple basketball 101 that almost all head coaches and assistant usually discuss when game planning. It should be very easy for you to answer. With your brains, I am guessing 5-10 mins tops. We shall all be waiting.

  47. Spartan December 31, 2015 8:26 am

    @bawlah you can answer the questions above too if you like. You guys think you can just get the ball to bigs that easy. Kahuku has had some of the most outstanding athletes and tall kids for the past 30-40 years. Yet I don’t recall them having a single state title? They have had fine coaches with Nathan James, Daren Johnson, and now Alan Akina.

    Why might you ask? They never had enough guards play to exploit that mismatch. Anyone can say, “let’s get the ball to our bigs and they will make lay-ups.”

    Well how do you plan to get that done? The past 4-5 Kahuku Basketball Coaches never seemed to be able to do that on a consistent basis.

    Let’s get technical and tell us with basketball schemes as evidence. Are you guys able to? Or do you just ramble on with no supporting evidence?

    You take the best 5 bigs with no guard play and I’ll take 5 decent guards and we will smash you with ball pressure, controlling tempo, and transition play. Your bigs will never smell the paint.

  48. Spartan December 31, 2015 9:56 am

    I will help you guys even more. Since 2007 when the state split to D1 and D2, I cannot recall any team that just pounded it inside and won states. They might have had a good player inside, but these teams won due to great guard and wing play.

    2015: Kalaheo (Caleb Gilmore-Guard & Kupaa Harrison-Guard/Forward)
    2014: Iolani (Ikaika Philip-Wing; Zach Buscher-Guard)
    2013: Kalaheo (Josh Ko-Wing; Kalei Zuttermeister-Wing; Derick Morgan-Guard; Kupaa Harrison-Wing)
    2012: Punahou (DeForest Buckner-Center; Malik Johnson-Wing/Post)
    2011: Kamehameha-Kapalama (Micah Christenson-Wing/Post)
    2010: Iolani (Kainoa Chu-Guard; Trevyn Tulonghari-Guard; Andrew Skalman-Guard)
    2009: Kamehameha-Kapalama (Pii Minns-Guard)
    2008: Punahou (Kameron Steinhoff-Wing/Post; Dalton Hilliard-Guard; Robert Toma-Guard)
    2007: Kaimuki (Keoni Reyes-Post; Beau Albrechtson-Post; Daniel Colon-Guard)

    Now looking at all these years, they all have something in common. They had fine guard play to control tempo and get the ball where it needed to be. Almost all teams were guard heavy with not too much post play except for 2012 Punahou and 2007 Kaimuki.

    And remember, for Punahou to beat Kahuku that year, they needed a physical specimen who will be drafted in the NFL in the top 15 picks and a new PG. Let’s recall that Buckner and Johnson, as great as they were could not make states during their junior year (losing to AOP in the ILH 3rd place game) because they had no guard play. There is no one on Kahuku that is anywhere near the talent level of DeForest Buckner and without guard play he could not make it to states. They even paired him with a 6’5 very good player named Malik Johnson, and they could not make state. I am not saying win states, I am saying just get to states. This shows no matter how great your posts are, without guard play, you won’t get it done in Hawaii.

    Well how did they win states in 2012? They added one player, a freshmen names Jordan Tanuvasa. He didn’t need to score, he just took care of the ball, minimized turnovers, and got the ball into the post. He handled press packages, half court traps, and base defenses.

    Let me repeat myself, there is no one on Kahuku who is even close to that level of Buckner & Johnson.

    That year they almost lost in the finals to Kahuku. Why you might ask? Kahuku spread the floor and used their 3 guard approach of Kawehena Johnson, Evan Ramirez, and Mason Kualii-Moe (transferred from Kaimuki).

    They spread the floor, made Punahou’s bigs have to defend outside the key, and took advantage that Punahou really had one solid guard that year.

    And even with a HUGE size advantage, and arguably the most intimidating physical presence Hawaii Basketball has ever seen in Buckner, Kahuku had the lead with one minute left and barely lost by 7 (game was one possession until Punahou hit late free throws after being intentionally fouled).

    Kaimuki also used to get inside play from Reyes when they won states. But let’s also recall that Daniel Colon was the sparkplug of that team and when he didn’t play that team struggled. If I can recall, they finished like 5th in the OIA, got hot during the OIA playoffs and states, all when Colon came back.

    So Kahuku might have some bigs, but if you cannot dictate tempo, control the ball, and get the ball inside, you aren’t winning.

    I look forward to you (88) responding with technical knowledge of basketball so the entire basketball community can learn and become better coaches, spectators, and students of the game.

    We all thank you in advance. It’s very exciting and I am waiting in anticipation for a very scholarly reply!

  49. bawlah December 31, 2015 12:26 pm

    I dont see anybody in Hawaii with great guard skills. They’re pretty good, but not great. You can eliminate good ball handling with long defenders. Thats not hard at all. Take away the drive, force them to be jump shooters, win the rebound n posessions game.

    But if Kahuku doesn’t have guards, then that’s not a now problem. Thats a development problem. That problem should’ve been solved years ago. People said their basketball coach been coaching them for years…so how are they not able to break the press? If their guards aren’t good, then they haven’t been coached well.

    Iolani always has 1 or a few skilled bigs, average guards, yet they always know how to win. They game plan the right way. You can always hide your weaknesses with a solid game plan. Since Low, there haven’t been any real dominating guards here. Tanuvasa was alright. Colon was alright. That reference to the Punahou bigs vs Kahuku bigs, those guys weren’t as skilled as Latu n Anae. Buckner wasnt that good and he got winded easily. Big, but not as skilled. I remember Mason, Kawe, and Ramirez. They were ok ball handlers. They’re football physicality got them there because they were physical, not good shooters or ball handlers. Streaky guys.

    Why can’t Kahukus guards do the same? Akina can handle the ball well. That Sauvao is another physical guy. Im jus rambling but they should be able to figure it out. Hawaii basketball aint that tuff. We got a few that really standout, the rest are average at best. Jus gotta game plan. I’m not answering ur questions, jus thinking out loud. You said great guard and wing play. None of the names u mentioned were great. Their coaches jus put em in a spot to be successful. Some of em had a solid team, so they looked better than they were.

  50. bawlah December 31, 2015 12:34 pm

    I take some of that back. Kalaheos guards could shoot the lights out. When they beat Kalaheo, that was amazing

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