Kamehameha hires boys, girls basketball coaches

Larry Park and Alexis Straight are the new Kamehameha boys and girls basketball coaches, the school announced Tuesday.

Park is a former Warriors player. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Hawaii.

Park has been on the Kamehameha staff as a math teacher since 1987 and has more than 20 years of basketball coaching experience at various levels.

“Larry has proven his coaching and teaching ability,” a Kamehameha athletics news release stated. “He has demonstrated his ability to be am influential leader on campus and positive role model for student-athletes as a teacher and a coach in multiple sports. We are excited about the future of the boys program under Coach Park’s leadership. His passion for Kamehameha Schools and the basketball program has given him a vision for building a successful basketball culture at Kamehameha.”

Park takes over for outgoing coach Greg Tacon.

Straight, also known as “Pua,” is a former Kamehameha player and has been part of the basketball program for nine years as a player and coach.

Straight went to Utah State and played four years on a basketball scholarship.

She will be the first female girls basketball coach at the school, where she teaches physical education.

“She has been an influential leader on campus and positive role model for student-athletes,” a Kamehameha athletics news release stated. “She has a clear vision for the girls program and is passionate about building a successful culture. Coach Pua possesses a high level of basketball knowledge and has demonstrated impressive coaching and teaching ability. She genuinely cares about the school and students and is deeply familiar with the players, coaches, and parents. Coach Pua excels in building relationships and is excited for the opportunity to lead and develop the girls basketball program.”

Straight takes over for outgoing coach Joe Cho, who was recently hired as the girls basketball coach at Roosevelt.


  1. Walaau May 29, 2018 3:26 pm

    Wow good for you, Pua! Some of you will remember her as Pua Furtado – an excellent player, and an even better person! Congrats Pua! Imua Warriors!

  2. MenehuneH20 May 29, 2018 6:14 pm

    Looks like Kamehameha got it right congratulations Pua! Great choice.

  3. afriend May 29, 2018 7:15 pm

    Coach Chico’s Maryknoll girls vs Coach Pua’s Kamehameha girls. This is going to be an interesting matchup this upcoming ILH season.

  4. ??? May 29, 2018 7:36 pm

    Don’t worry, parents and alumni will still complain because you can’t satisfy all of them..

  5. Wondering May 30, 2018 2:18 am

    Larry Park graduated from Kam in 1987. Did he go directly to teaching math as the above article says or is this mis information as usual?

  6. energizerbunny May 30, 2018 8:47 am

    Congratulations Coach Pua. Your personal school pride, passion, perseverance along with your character of courage, compassion and Christ as your beacon will fulfill the vision of the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Best of luck as you lead and guide your players on a path and journey of bringing to fruition their personal excellence athletically, academically and spiritually as the core mission of the Princess and Kamehameha Schools.

  7. NAHA STONE May 30, 2018 9:31 am

    Girls coach…plenty of good applicants…why? …she cant even win games on the csal level…not enough experience..nice isnt going to win games in the tough ILH league…KS just wants a puppet they can control…The same coaches that was bad mouthing the old coach…good luck…shes to buddy buddy with the players…they dont need a friend…they need a real coach

    Boys coach…again plenty of good applicants…why? …Again puppet that are controlled by the AD…weak…weak…weak…Not enough experienced with varsity level coaching

  8. HulaHoops63 May 30, 2018 1:01 pm

    Long time ago, KS had female head basketball coaches – at least twice…. Someone’s gotta do more homework before writing untrue “news” stories… :-/

  9. Mr Nobody May 31, 2018 12:31 am

    Larry who ? what a joke, I feel sorry for all players that come through that program.

  10. IMUA - GO FORWARD May 31, 2018 8:06 am

    Naha Stone,
    You are absolutely correct! Puppets instead of experience and bad mouthing the old coaches just to get what they want, all true.

    Everyone from and on the hill knows that it was a controlling factor in the decision. Why are we going backwards instead of forwards, doesn’t our logo IMUA mean to go FORWARD? It should be about making our keiki better, they deserve better! There are BETTER coaches out there. Did we seek them out? Nope. It’s all about the politics, so sad.

  11. Up On The Hill May 31, 2018 8:47 am

    First of all, who is Larry Park and what has he done? I asked around and the word I’m getting is ancient, archaic, not in touch with today’s athlete, and dinosaur.

    As for Pua, yes she’s a nice girl. But none of her teams have ever done that well. Last years JV teams were bad. I believe her JV team had like 1 or 2 wins. They were so bad that Sacred Hearts beat them.

    What I don’t like is numerous coaches who still remained on staff were bad mouthing the previous coach.

    Regardless if they liked the last coach or not, that is unprofessional and breaks the chain of command. Only a fool would rehire those coaches back. Better watch your back up there.

  12. Too Meke 2 May 31, 2018 8:17 pm

    I am shocked by these choices. Are these the best candidates? Does anyone know if anyone else applied?

  13. Windward Warrior May 31, 2018 9:30 pm

    Good luck Lady Warriors; you’re going to need it. Iolani is returning practically their entire team, Maryknoll will have another good squad (even if the rumors are true and they’re losing Kamakawiwo’ole)…even the other schools return most of their girls. Kamehameha lost key players in Kiana and Princy. Kalina can only do so much. If the new coach is too buddy buddy and being a puppet for the AD rather than being tough and pushing the other girls to come along and step up, it could be a looong season.

  14. Wrong Move KS June 1, 2018 8:02 am

    I’ve heard first hand from two creditable coaches that they don’t want to apply for any coaching job at KS. They are afraid of the unfair and harsh politics that goes on up there. Quite frankly, I don’t blame them.

    It was between Ron Dyrant and Larry Park as finalist. Goes to prove the the puppet theory.

  15. DIS appointed June 1, 2018 2:57 pm

    Couple years ago (maybe 3), KS (boys varsity volleyball) had applicants including Iolani’s current coaches (Varsity and JV). It is well known that they declined the position, because the AD (GA), didn’t afford them the right of picking their own coaches at the other levels. Time for the puppet master to go.

  16. Only the wrong move if you suck at basketball and don't know crap June 1, 2018 4:06 pm

    Just because YOU don’t know who Larry Park is, doesn’t mean that he isn’t worthy of this position. He was the head assistant under Jim Winchester in the 80’s and 90’s, during a time when EVERY team played in the same division, except for the ILH Division 2. The ILH was loaded with talent and EVERY game was important. The OIA was just as tough, but was a little more physical. There was no “everyone is a winner” league like the present day Division 2, Division 3, and/or lower. We all played in the same division and the winner was the champion. The other teams were the losers. None of this lets decide to move up to the Division 1 now that all the good players are gone crap….

    Larry’s Kamehameha teams went to the State Tournament EVERY year, and went undefeated in 1992 to win a State Title in triple overtime against Hilo. Lost at the buzzer in 1994 to Iolani, who had a 6’10” player. Come on, there are coaches that have WAY more talent then his teams ever had and have been coaching for years that can’t even get to the State Tournament.

    Why Larry Park? Why not? Last time I checked, Kamehameha did well with the Last Alumnus that coached. Nakanishi…..oh my goodness, who did he play under…..Larry Park. Winchester was the head coach, but Larry Park coached the guards. Nakanishi twins learned from him. Every good basketball individual knows that a great assistant coach is the key. Don’t believe me, ask Punahou. Look at their lineup of assistant coaches. Kahuku, Maryknoll, Kailua……

    Credible coaches? Who is credible? Name me a Boy’s coach that you know of that has stayed with the same program for 15 or more years in the ILH recently. What makes your coach credible? He’s a damn liar if he says that he or she wouldn’t coach at a school with a huge budget, 3 gyms, a world of talent to chose from, etc. They told you they wouldn’t coach there because they can’t. They wouldn’t be good enough….

    You say Larry is Ancient…..i guess all these guys in this article are dead then because they’re all at least 20-30 years older then Larry.


    Here’s the bottom line, it doesn’t matter what any of you do, because when Kahuku brings in the next Mainland guy, it’s over…….hahaha yes i did go there….

    Damn, give these guys a chance…..Kamehameha had arguably the two most athletic guys last year. Those guys never went to a state tournament. I’ve never seen a system (Maryknoll) with so much talent, size, etc. accomplish less….How can Larry do worse?

  17. WHAT YOU DO DOES MATTER!!! June 2, 2018 12:11 pm

    Suck at Basketball,

    Oh please! All I’m reading are ignorant statements…

    “Larry’s Kamehameha teams went to the State Tournament EVERY year”

    Are you saying that during Winchester’s reign that KS did well because of Larry? Don’t make me laugh! I have yet to read a news article that credits the ASSISTANT coach for any star player or team accolade.

    “Last time I checked, Kamehameha did well with the Last Alumnus that coached. Nakanishi…..oh my goodness, who did he play under…..Larry Park. Winchester was the head coach, but Larry Park coached the guards. Nakanishi twins learned from him.”

    Are you saying the Nakanishi’s are great coaches because of Larry? Give me a damn break! No way possible are the twins great coaches all because of Larry! Larry may have coached the twins but that does NOT mean Larry takes all the credit as you seem to think. Don’t use names if you can’t back it up. I invite Jesse and Julian to read this.

    “Here’s the bottom line, it doesn’t matter what any of you do, because when Kahuku brings in the next Mainland guy, it’s over…….hahaha yes i did go there….”

    Are you saying KS shouldn’t compete because of Tolu Smith? Wrong again and so damn ignorant. KS would not have met Kahuku until states, so what you do DOES MATTER!!!

    As for creditable ILH coaches that stays at one school for 15 or more years, you won’t see any because honestly that’s not the nature of the business. Did Larry head coach ILH for 15 or more years at one school? I don’t think so! Don’t use facts that don’t even pertain! The real creditable coaches didn’t even want to consider putting in their names for this very reason…they don’t want to be a puppet on strings! The varsity head coach is the one who hires the coaches for D2, JV and Intermediate, that’s not the case at KS. Why? Control!

    How can Larry do worst? Well, let’s see…Greg is a front and center – go getter and communicator. Larry is an introvert and a man of very little words, who sits in the farthest seat of the gym, which I agree seems ANCIENT and out of touch. We all know Larry Park more than you think.

  18. Hoops 808 June 2, 2018 7:44 pm

    WHAT YOU DO DOES MATTER, Very well said,I agree on all that was said, exactly on point, Mr Personality, who loves to sit away from everyone, and also agree man of very little words, good luck! time will tell how he does, 1 returning starter, and very little talent on the lower levels.

  19. Former KS player June 3, 2018 6:18 am

    I played for Jim Winchester and Larry Park from 1992-1996. I was fortunate to go to the State Finals twice, once in 1992, when we went undefeated and won, and once in 1994, beating an Alika Smith led team in the semifinals, but losing to Iolani at the buzzer in the finals. Larry was Huge, in our success. There has been a lot said, by both supporters of the past, the present, and the future and also by the opposition.

    Assistants make a HUGE difference.
    Pete Smith would not have been AS successful without Chico Furtado, Matsuda would not have won without Arceneaux and Nate Kia, Kelly Grant has Kalia McGee, Kahuku has 3 former BYUH players as assistants, we can go on and on and on.

    I’m my opinion only, there needed to be a change. That front and center go getter personality just didn’t fit the last 5 years. I’m NOT saying he was a bad coach at all or a bad person. He will most likely fit somewhere else perfectly.

    Larry is not an introvert at all. Some people observe, learn, and handle things privately. Even when I go to the games at Kamehameha, I sit far away. I do that because for me, it was just hard to see how middle of the pack we’ve become. So, To each his own right? I do agree that #16, “Only the wrong move” is crazy, however that’s the norm on these blogs. Craziness.

    I played for coach Pete Smith in the Summers, Hawaii Slelect (Ganite at the time), he was just as quiet and just as private as Larry is. But Larry was a very intense coach.

    Larry was a finalist for the position in 2000, losing out to Micah Kroeger. I feel that he is just as qualified as the next. Not here to argue with anyone, just here to support a Local Boy.

    So, as someone has pointed out, he will have 1 returning starter, and little talent in the lower levels. So, looks like the program is really starting from scratch. So, if Larry doesn’t take this team to the State tournament or have ILH success, he would have done no worse then the previous staff that had a ton of talent and pretty good lower level teams right?

  20. Don’t Believe June 3, 2018 10:04 pm

    Honestly I don’t believe this last poster played for Larry Park. He keeps referring to him as Larry.

    If what this poster said is true, he would have respect for his coach and call him Coach Larry or Coach Park.

    He’s writing as if they are peers. In my opinion it’s a family member.

  21. NOT THE SOLUTION!! June 4, 2018 1:54 pm

    Don’t Believe,

    I’m with you, it IS a close family member. Throwing around BS that no one believes.
    What I DO believe is post #16 & #19 is the exact same person.

    Former KS Player,

    “Assistants make a HUGE difference.”
    YES!!! You’re absolutely correct, assistants with an s, plural! NO ONE is saying that the assistant coaches does not bring value to the team, because they do. However, we’re not making ignornate statements that takes SOLE credit and UNDERMINE the head coach as you’ve blatantly stated! THAT (what you call) IS CRAZINESS!!

    If you’re not here to argue then you shouldn’t be making ignorant statements and name dropping because it’s very irritating!

    As for sitting far way in the gym, you say you sit far away too, probably because you’re sitting right next to Larry. And, it’s not because you can’t see! There’s plenty of seats that you can see without being antisocial and judgmental. Case in point, being antisocial is not a good quality to have when you’re the head coach of these young men with great passion for the game!

    And, sure, some people handle things privately. Key word, PRIVATELY! All good coaches know how to COMMUNICATE effectively and NOT privately! Good coaches express great passion for the game and, I’m sorry, I don’t see any passion exuding from Larry whatsoever! If Greg’s front and center communication didn’t work, he wouldn’t have been retained for FIVE years!

    I agree that KS needed a change…but a change in a FORWARD direction, NOT backwards! Larry is not even a lateral move to compare to Greg. I just DON’T think Larry is the solution!!!

  22. Loca1boiAnonymous June 4, 2018 4:04 pm

    A coach can’t be labeled based off of their demeanor. A case in point is Merv Lopes. Extremely soft spoken man but knows his stuff inside and out and has gotten the most out of his players. Undoubtedly the most accomplished basketball coach in the islands in my opinion. If the last coach was such a “go getter” why didn’t he ever “go getter” a trip to the state tournament once in the past 4 years? Give Park a chance. Comments making it seem as if this is the most stupid athletic decisions in the history of the hill. That distinction belongs to Blaine Gaison never having the head AD positiom getting passed over by people far inferior to his cridentials. #IMUA

  23. NOT THE SOLUTION!!! June 4, 2018 6:30 pm


    It is not only Park’s introvert demeanor! It’s MORE than that! As you’ve read in the previous posts, it’s the bad mouthing (and the judgmental comments and demeanor this past season) that turned people off! I am related to Merv Lopes…WAY different personalities!!!

    Like I said, I agree KS needed a change and I’m not backing up Greg. I don’t care why, that’s completely irrelevant! I’m SAYING Larry is not comparable to Greg and KS could of sought better!

    As for the Blanie Gaison vs GA story…you should know better!! #IMUA…Unless, you’re LP!

  24. Loca1boiAnonymous June 6, 2018 3:03 pm

    It makes more sense to me that Park got the job over the Saint Francis’ coach.

  25. NOT THE SOLUTION!!!! June 7, 2018 9:13 am


    1) Larry is not comparable to Greg and 2) Ron Durant has a proven HEAD coaching record. Help me understand how you figure it makes more sense. It doesn’t make ANY sense! We all know the REAL reason why. Furthermore, choosing LP over RD was never my argument. Like I said, KS could of SOUGHT better and LP is NOT the solution!

    What a waste of time to give this guy a chance! Our boys don’t have the time to wait around while LP figures it out! It takes PROVEN head coaching knowhow these days to achieve some success competing against the likes of Punahou and Maryknoll. The league is tough and the boys need the best possible chance to be able to compete. What you do does matter and our keiki DESERVE BETTER!

  26. Too Meke 2 June 7, 2018 10:26 pm

    I heard they want a puppet on the boys and girls side. That athletic program is the most incompetent in the island. With all those athletes I heard they either won 0 or 1 state title last year. How is that possible?

  27. Loca1boiAnonymous June 9, 2018 11:29 pm

    So you’re saying all of the applicants were crap, basically. So the options were crapola 1, 2 or 3. Who else would you have preferred they give the job to that actually applied? I’ll take Larry Park, a former alum and assistant for Kamehameha basketball than some outsider who has no connection to the school. Larry Park is the coach. Deal with it. If he doesn’t take his teams to any state tournaments, he would not have done any worse than the coach before him who you say is not even comparable.

  28. Joe November 14, 2018 8:32 am

    Naha Stone!
    Please get your facts right! My daughter played in the KSK CSAL team this year under Coach Pua’s coaching. We won all games and lost one.
    Go Warriors!

  29. KSdinosaur December 8, 2018 8:46 am

    Good job by the KS wahine and their too-nice-to-win-in-the-tough-ILH coach in defeating #1 Iolani. Yes, I know it’s just one game and time will tell. But I’m hoping time will tell a fantastic story. Imua!

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