Kahuku’s Akina addresses suspension

Alan Akina addresses his suspension from coaching Kahuku basketball in a Jan. 1 Facebook post. Kat Wade / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Alan Akina addresses his suspension from coaching Kahuku basketball in a Jan. 1 Facebook post. Kat Wade / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Alan Akina tells his side of the story concerning his suspension as coach of the Kahuku basketball team on a Facebook post from Jan. 1.

On Dec. 29, Hawaii Prep World learned of Akina’s suspension, which occurred apparently for alleged favoritism toward his two sons, Keanu Akina and Kawika Akina.

Hawaii Prep World realizes the Department of Education and the Kahuku administration may have had valid reasons for the suspension, so we would welcome and publish any statement from either the DOE or the Kahuku administration regarding this issue if they would like to send one.

Below is Akina’s verbatim Facebook message. (Editor’s note: Akina uses quotes from messages he received from Hawaii Pacific University men’s basketball assistant coach Jesse Nakanishi and Kaiser High head coach Brandon Kawazoe. Hawaii Prep World confirmed from both coaches that the quoted material is accurate.):

First, I want to thank all of you for the overwhelming positive support. All of the incredible kind words from so many of you in the community as well as the kids, school staff, coaches and many other people from other schools has convinced me that my path is not only the right one but also an important one. So thanks.

I’ve been patient and quiet on my coaching situation at Kahuku for a long time now, but I believe now is the time to share the real facts. But first I want to start out by expressing my love and concern for the young men on my team. Some of you I have had the privilege of coaching since you were in the 4th grade. It’s never a good thing when you are caught in the middle of an unfortunate emotional adult world that you may not understand. I am praying and wishing the best for each of you and I hope that you can learn some positive lessons that come from this situation.

Next let me address the legal action. Now I want to be clear, my intent at this point is not to sue anyone or the school for money or threats of any sort. But rather I obtained legal counsel to protect my two sons. The situation at the school involving just a couple of emotional parents, the principal and the athletic director undisputedly crossed the line. It was done so unethically and with such distain I felt the need to take off my “Coaching” hat and put on my “Daddy” hat and stand up for my kids and to make sure this kind of thing does not happen in the future to others.

Since last spring my son Kawika who at the time was only in the 8th grade was targeted and discriminated upon. I was told at that time that he would have to play on the JV team. This was 7 months before the actual tryouts, mind you. Kawika was unfoundedly denied the opportunity to play on the varsity basketball team at Kahuku High after clearly officially making the team at tryouts. The school has 15 spots for players but we only had 12 kids try out, so everyone made the team and NO cuts were made even regardless of them achieving the requirements. But for some reason that we still do not know of today, the principal and athletic director forced me to put him down on the JV team. Kawika was devastated, confused and wondering why he couldn’t play when he knew he earned a spot on the varsity team.

To make matters worse a few of the same parents involved in the discrimination of Kawika convinced some of the players to bring my other son Keanu into the mix by making false accusations that he has all of the plays run for him and thereby accusing me of favoritism.

Now I have my coaching staff track every shot taken for every game, we track both made and missed shots. I offered the admin to look over our shot charts along with shooting percentages to prove that Keanu clearly does not take the majority of the shots. In fact, many of Hawaii’s high school and college basketball coaches sent letters of support and vouching for Keanu’s playing ability and recognize him as one of the top players in the state.

Here is what Coach Jesse Nakanishi from Hawaii Pacific University said in his letter:

“I have watched Keanu for the last two years, and I have personally coached him during the last two summers at the Maui Sports Academy. Keanu is a standout, and one of the best basketball players in the state of Hawai’i. As the recruiting coordinator for the HPU men’s basketball program, I analyze the athletic capabilities of thousands of young men annually both here and on the mainland. I have no doubt that he will play at the next level, and he is Kahuku’s most valuable weapon.”

Coach Branden Kawazoe of Kaiser High School said this:

“If Keanu were playing within our program, there is no doubt that I would be illustrating plays to get him open shots and/or putting the ball in his hands to let him create opportunities for himself and his teammates. Keanu is as willing of a passer as he is a shooter/scorer. He often makes the correct play and is definitely a major asset to the Kahuku Basketball program.”
When I asked the principal if there were any complaints of physical or verbal abuse on my end or anything I had done wrong she clearly stated “No, the players think you’re a nice guy but they just feel like there is favoritism.”

I understand how people can perceive that there might be some sort of favoritism, but the facts and data show other wise. Favoritism in this case has actually been turned into the opposite, which is discrimination.

There are many unethical things that have happened that I will not discuss here because all I want to do is continue to coach and teach these young men that through basketball you can learn to set goals and that working hard toward those goals you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I try to be the best example I can be for my players and I believe I do a great job by the way I live my life on the court, in business and at home.

I would like to thank all of you who reached out to my family and I over the past few days; your kind words and support are much appreciated. I also want to thank all of the high school coaches from across the state of Hawaii and on the mainland for offering your support and for expressing concern for the future of coaching in high school sports. I will continue to fight for you to the best of my ability to protect you and others that may want to coach in the future. You are role models that sacrifice a tremendous amount of time and money to build up our future generation through coaching.

Happy New Year Everyone and May God Bless you all!


  1. Hahashandah January 9, 2016 12:06 am

    @Education First “As for ft’s Shaq never shot 25% in a game for ft’s with over 10 ft attempts. Stop making up stuff already. Have some integrity and write things that are accurate, truthful, and not stupid. GEEZ!”

    This is why you think you are so smart… Take your foot out of your mouth on this.


    O’Neal’s primary weakness was his free throw shooting, with a career average of 52.7%. He once missed all 11 of his free throw attempts in a game against the Seattle SuperSonics on December 8, 2000, a record.

    GEEZ 🙂 BOOM (This is you slumping in your chair thinking of how smart you thought you were). Bye This was fun.

  2. Hahashandah January 9, 2016 10:47 am

    @Education First… I think I will reply to your posts from now on with this “Stop making up stuff already. Have some integrity and write things that are accurate, truthful, and not stupid. GEEZ!” Education First.

  3. bawlah January 9, 2016 1:11 pm

    this is so sad and irrelevant. hawaii basketball is competitive, but it’s not that serious!!! these kids should be playing to have fun and that’s it. coaches n parents need to stop being so serious and chill the hell out. kids need to work hard in the classroom so that they can go to college and have fun. that’s it. nobody from hawaii will be getting a d1 scholarship anywhere for basketball, unless they are amazing (which none of em are). kahuku are a bunch of football players trying to have fun and ball…why is that such an issue? they’ve proven that they can win at basketball here in hawaii with their football players. it’s not a secret. so all these coaches saying this kid is good, he’ll play at the next level is cool and all. i hope he does. but the year round players are the 1s that usually take states. the ilh schools, the kalaheos, all got boys who take basketball seriously year round. maybe kahuku will win states? idk.

    if the coach wants his boys to experience something else, he should have sent them somewhere else like the mainland because they’re playing at a football school. it’s never never never never never a good idea to coach your own son, let alone 2 sons, in high school. and if u do, like the smiths at kalaheo, they better be really really good. they better kick everyone’s trash at practice every day. working harder than everyone else in the offseason doesn’t justify playing more than everyone else…u have to be better than them at practice everyday because the players on the team have to believe that the coaches sons are better than them. if that’s not happening, then there’s nooooooooooo way you’re gonna convince the team to play for u. put in another coach and let em battle in practice so that a “coach” will have an unbiased view of how the “team” will compete.

    he’s a good coach, so if he really likes coaching he’ll go coach somewhere else. and if he’s a really good coach, it’ll work out for him wherever he goes, be successful, win a ton of games, and there won’t be any squabble no more!

    his boys got skills and i hope they’ll be able to work through this since it looks that they’re gonna stay. they shouldn’t be getting trashed on here. neither should the coach. high school only happens once. kids should be enjoying their experience. coaches should facilitate that. parents should stay outta the way. the a.d. better step up because this is bad publicity for the school.


  4. Education First January 9, 2016 1:46 pm

    Fair, and correct, point. But what you failed to mention in the game that he missed those free throws was he still scored, over 20 points. The only way your son would score twenty points is if the OIA allowed the stat takers to multiply by 4.5.

    Seriously though, can you show me where you can google “lame ball handling” I am still searching!!! hahahah.

    Comparing two guys that don’t even average double digits to Shaq, arguably the top center ever! Man, stop trying to pump up your sons! There are decent, but not that good where we should be talking about them, haha.

    BTW, please put the link so I can locate stats for “Lame ball handling” hahahah!

    I am also curious, while Akina coached Kahuku, where did you coach? I googled your name and noticed that you were dismissed from the lunchtime league at Kahuku Elementary since you were getting too close to the little kids.

    “LAME BALL HANDLING” hahaha. I sent ESPN an email asking if the NBA will ever stat lame ball handling and how would they track that.

    I have to say, I will give you a merit badge for being the most original. Never in my wildest imagination would someone come on this blog and come up with something as “SPECIAL” as lame ball handling and then tell others to stat it.

    Now my mistake was a lack of research that happens all the time in critical writing. That is why the newspaper has to retract a lot of information.

    But how do you retract a ridiculous comment like “GOOGLE LAME BALL HANDLING!” HAHAHAHAH.

    Now I admit, I should have spent more time researching. My negligence had to do with lack of effort. Yours had to do with being an idiot.

    Now I can work hard to limit errors, but how do you fix your problem of being an idiot? haha…


  5. Hahashandah January 9, 2016 3:47 pm

    @Education First “As for ft’s Shaq never shot 25% in a game for ft’s with over 10 ft attempts. Stop making up stuff already. Have some integrity and write things that are accurate, truthful, and not stupid. GEEZ!”

    December 8, 2000. Missed all 11 attempts. Here you thought you were on your high horse all the while MAKING UP these stories. Throwing out words like INTEGRITY, and ACCURATE, and TRUTHFUL. Show me where you got your stats that showed he NEVER shot 25%… You have no credibility. Congrats all this trolling and your done. You have been confirmed just some liar behind a keyboard.

    Now, that @Education First is done. back to the article at hand. I wonder if he were not the coach, Would there have been a stipulation another coach? A new coach may have brought kid up anyway, except Akina would have had to cheer from the stands instead of being his coach.

  6. Fletcher Lee January 9, 2016 8:36 pm

    And another thing… If you’re a coach in Hawaii at any league @ any level, you don’t wanna come in w/ big chips on your shoulders, especially not basketball.

    And yes Kelly Grant did win 2 State titles w/ da Bulldogs with very little to work with. Guy is impressive! Coach Smith got tired of the crap “the system” was handing him, what a shame the Admin chased him away like that. His Pops founded that darn program, who are they to do that to him. The boys needed him over there! Kawazoe and Nakanishi I sure as hell hope they don’t have chips on their shoulders. We’re gonna have to introduce them to Froggie Fujimura @ UH so they can go wash some uniforms.

  7. Fletcher Lee January 10, 2016 2:47 pm

    My mistake… Raymond Fujino won it with da Bulldogs in 1993. They had those two Croatian guys both over 6’5″.
    Still means Dr. Mark still has the most state titles w/ 6.

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