Q&A: Kahuku G/F/C Samuta Avea

Kahuku forward Samuta Avea (32) and guard Codie Sauvao (23) grab the rebound ahead of Mount Vernon forward Brandon Scott (11). Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
Kahuku forward Samuta Avea (32) and guard Codie Sauvao (23) grab the rebound ahead of Mount Vernon forward Brandon Scott (11). Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The road home has been a long, successful one for Samuta Avea. He grew up making long drives from Laie to town, playing youth basketball and showing the athleticism and skill set that made him, possibly, the most versatile homegrown player since Junior Ale. Since returning from a one-year stint at Bingham (Utah), where he helped the team win a state title, Avea has signed with Hawaii and is dealing with an offseason ankle injury that hasn’t fully healed yet. He’s playing through, defending, rebounding, blocking shots, handling the ball, hitting perimeter shots – just about anything requested.

Kahuku upset Mount Vernon (N.Y.), De La Salle (Calif.) and Southwind (Tenn.) to finish highest among the “normal” high school teams. Avea’s vertical leap remains superior, and was a big factor in Kahuku’s success. Below, a Q&A with the senior via text.

Samuta Avea
Kahuku basketball
6-6, Sr.

Q&A / Favorites
Favorite athlete: Blake Griffin.

Favorite team: Kahuku.

Favorite food (at home): Pasta.

Favorite food (eating out): Olive Garden.

What can you cook? Pasta and pork chops.

Favorite hobby outside of sports: Listen to music.

Favorite movie: Deadpool.

Favorite TV show: The Office.

Favorite music artist: Lil Yachty, Ugly God, Drake.

Favorite teacher (elem through HS): Ms. Luehers.

Favorite class (elem through HS): Science with Mr. St. Onge.

Favorite place to relax: The Ah-Hoy’s crib.

Favorite motto/scripture: If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.

What your mom always says that you can’t forget: Stay humble.

What your dad always says that you can’t forget: School work before everything.

What is the history or background of your first and last name?
My first name is made up of where my Dad and Mom are from. The “Sam” part for Samoa and “uta” for Utah where my mom grew up.

How does basketball affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
     It’s all I do. It is my daily life haha.

Your earliest memories of basketball when you started playing:
     5 years old in PAL league at Laie Park

What do you like to do — or what’s something you’re good at — that would surprise most people?
     I like to make pasta.

What are your ultimate dream and bucket list goals?
     To make it to the NBA.

What would change if you were flat broke, had no family and nowhere to live?
     We would find a way, my family knows hard work.

What would change if you had $1 million?
      My parents bank account.

What does it mean to represent Kahuku basketball today?
   Everything. Was a water boy in elementary, grew up dreaming of making the team and now have the opportunity to get Kahuku basketball our first state championship.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi December 28, 2016 3:19 am

    Samuta Avea is correct that it’s winning states that counts, not just winning the OIA. Kahuku has come close before They led Punahou at halftime in the 2012 state championship basketball game. They lost to Kamehameha by 2 points in the 2009 state championship game. They were also in the 2005 state championship game. But I say football is king at Kahuku, not basketball. I wonder why he left for Utah last year. A few years ago, Kahuku got 3 transfers from Maryknoll. I wonder who is reaching out to who. Did the players transfer on their own or did Kahuku reach out to them?

  2. turfwar December 28, 2016 9:48 am

    After watching Kahuku play in the Iolani Tourney I would be surprise if they don’t run the table, like Kalaheo several years back, all the way to the state title. It would be a big upset if they lost any games this year.

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