Galen Tolu Smith III, who is from Mississippi and transferred to Kahuku this year to play basketball, signed a letter of intent last week to play for Western Kentucky, according to the school’s website.
According to sources who live on the North Shore, Smith moved to Hawaii from Mississippi in the fall and is living with David Te’o, who has been an assistant football coach at the school.
Kahuku coach Brandyn Akana did not immediately return a call for comment.
According to two new sources, Smith has family ties to the area. His great grandfather and the grandfather of the North Shore’s Johnny Tapusoa are brothers.
Lots of players from around the world are coming to Kahuku to play.
A year ago, Daniel Fotu attended Kahuku as a student and a basketball player for approximately three months of the hoops season before moving back to his native New Zealand. Several years ago, there were other New Zealanders playing for Kahuku who had transferred from Maryknoll. Also last year, Honolulu Star-Advertiser player of the year Jessiya Villa, who lived in Hawaii as a youngster and has relatives here, moved to Kahuku from West Virginia for his senior year. In addition last year, Samuta Avea returned to Kahuku, where he had played as an underclassman, from Utah for his senior year.
Fotu, Villa and Avea helped the Red Raiders to the Division I state championship last winter.
Fotu previously signed a letter of intent to play for Saint Mary’s. Villa and Avea have signed to play for the University of Hawaii.
Smith is a 6-10 forward who played at Bay High in Bay St. Louis, Miss., last season. He was named the Sun Herald’s All-South Mississippi Player of the Year last season.
According to an April article in the Biloxi, Miss., based SunHerald.com, Smith was planning to transfer to Meridian High in Mississippi, which in March captured the state’s 6A championship.
It was reported in that article that Smith’s transfer was due to his parents receiving “better job opportunities” in Meridian.
Smith did not end up making the transfer to Meridian.
Smith’s brother, Galen Smith Jr., plays college basketball for Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans and his mother played collegiately at South Alabama.
CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, it was incorrectly reported that Smith did not have family ties to Hawaii.