Warning: Watch out for Kahuku basketball team

Brandyn  Akana is the interim head coach at Kahuku. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Brandyn Akana is the interim head coach at Kahuku. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Bet ya’ didn’t expect a positive spin.

The two football boys were not there.

The two Akina boys were.


The Akina coach was not behind the bench. The Akana coach was.

There is some in-house fighting up there on the North Shore. Alan Akina was deposed as coach (at least temporarily). The word is that he was told not to bring up his youngest son, Kawika Akina, from the junior varsity team, but that he did just that based on, he said, Kawika’s merit on the court. He was suspended and then he filed suit.

His two boys, Keanu Akina, a veteran sharpshooting starting guard, and Kawika, a speedy freshman ball-handler off the bench, are out there playing. And they’re not rattled.

“It was rough at first,” Keanu Akina said Thursday after a 57-55 home win over Moanalua, referring to his father’s suspension. “We don’t have issues on the court. We all block everything out. I was really inspired about the way my dad handled everything. He stood up for what he believed in.”

Despite these troubles, it was obvious that there was some good chemistry on the basketball court Thursday night. And it was apparent that the Red Raiders really wanted to beat rival Na Menehune.

So, imagine what Kahuku is going to be like when the talented, athletic Bradlee Anae and Hirkley Latu return? Can you imagine those two seniors’ reaction when they heard what went down without them? Anae is visiting Vanderbilt and Latu is on an official visit to Oregon State. Football recruiting gets in the way of basketball.

However, maybe this was just a sign of things to come with all the negativity swirling around —— off the court. Maybe Anae and Latu being away will pump up the team even more when they return.

Three Kahuku players are the sons of parents named as defendant’s in Akina’s suit —— Kenny Spencer, Kieran Spencer and Codie Sauvao. All had a big hand in Kahuku’s victory Thursday —— as did the two Akinas.

The suit alleges that parents of those three players —— Pua Spencer (Kenny and Kieran’s mom) and Deloma Sauvao (Codie’s mom) —— put pressure on the Kahuku administration to have coach Akina removed.

So, despite all of this stuff going on, Kahuku appeared to thrive Thursday on the court. Off the court, Sauvao and Kieran Spencer both gave Keanu Akina a “yeah you!!!!” and a big smile while Akina was being interviewed for this story. It’s slang for whatever you want it to mean, I guess —— like “yo buddy” or “what’s up dude” or “you da man!”

Chew on that one for a while. Keanu and Kawika’s dad is the Plaintiff. Codie’s and Kieran and Kenny’s moms are among the Defendants.

Add in another controversial element —– the addition of Brandyn Akana as the interim head coach. He was fired by the University of Hawaii for breaking NCAA rules, and that “fact” held up in the NCAA investigation.

Yet, here he is doing what he wants to do. Coach basketball! Keanu Akina, playing basketball! Codie Sauvao, the two Spencers, Kawika Akana, playing basketball!


Everything is hunky dory, almost. Alan Akina is not coaching. Not sure he was in attendance last night.

“Can we all just get along?” Rodney King said that in the early 1990s after he was brutally beaten by police officers and Los Angeles citizens rioted because of it.

Indeed. Get along. Not easy. Not impossible, either.

Akana was impressed with how his bench stepped up in Anae’s and Latu’s absence. He talked about how great the Kahuku kids are.

Everybody’s got their troubles. If it wasn’t known beforehand while interviewing these guys, there would be no way to tell that any of them could possibly be in turmoil.

And maybe they are in turmoil. If you know any of them (the three Akinas, Sauvao, the two Spencers and Akana), go give them a hug. It can’t be easy for them.

Life is not all bouncing basketballs and boxing out for rebounds. This is real-life stuff. It’s in a court of law. You almost wish that Akina could go and get his job back by swishing in a 3-pointer or that Kahuku principal Pauline Masaniai and/or athletic director Gillian Yamagata, two more of the defendants, could prove that they made the correct decision in changing coaches by hitting five straight free throws.

A common high school sports refrain is “It’s all about the kids.”

Well, it’s really not sometimes. But it should be.

There is only one suggestion here. Whoever you are in this imbroglio, drop your guard for a few minutes, and dig deep inside and see if there is anything you can do to work it out. Teamwork. These people are not your enemies really, although you may see it that way now.

If you wanted to, you could all make it work. Akina, Akana, Sauvao, Spencer, Latu, Anae, Yamagata, Masaniai.

Latu and Anae? They’re not involved in the dispute, right? No. But they are leaders, so they have a stake in it.


Working it out? Could be wishful thinking from an optimist.

Hey, and if not, this Kahuku team could have some serious chemistry developing —— on the basketball court, at least.

COMMENTS

  1. hilife January 15, 2016 12:20 am

    I dont think the problem is with the player’s, its the parents. If you read Alan’s post regarding the situation he shows no ill feelings for the players which I believe his 2 boys also know its not the boys, and its the parents influence on them.


  2. UH Fanatic January 15, 2016 6:28 am

    This story keeps getting better and better. Now you have the “fired” former UH assistant who was let go for breaking NCAA rules and now left UH with a plethora of violations and suspensions. He will now coach coaching young men. What is wrong with the administration.

    I am quite confused. So many of these parents are not okay with a Coach who is perceived by some to favor his kids, but at the same time is known by the kids as a nice guy. Who in the off season often drives the kids to summer league games.

    But they are okay with a guy who recently got fired for breaking NCAA rules and not demonstrating integrity and fair play?

    What is wrong with this picture?


  3. hi808 January 15, 2016 7:03 am

    Not just parents but mothers, over protective and very emotional. They took it to a higher level by getting the coach removed now Akina is playing ball with them, hope these fans learn their lesson.


  4. Education First January 15, 2016 7:40 am

    This is better than Jerry Springer, lol. Part of me almost thinks it’s scripted it’s so funny. So now they are 3-3 and beat a somewhat decent Moanalua team.


  5. YNAE January 15, 2016 9:29 am

    All the blame belong to the AD what happen AD did do your homework because you are responsible for the hiring of coaches.


  6. Education First January 15, 2016 9:54 am

    I am not saying the new coach is a bad person. But what the NCAA found out and was able to prove is very alarming. Even more so now since he is with teenagers now and not college students. I highly question this hiring. At UH, the coach’s integrtiy was questioned. He left that team in shambles. They are doing well now, but what about the next 1-3 years when they will be unable to go to the postseason and have a major reduction in scholarships.

    I am surprised that the parents are not breaking down the doors getting him out. Or is that only done if the coach coaches his kids?

    I challenge one of the parents or bloggers who has been going after Coach Akina to explain how it’s appropriate to have a coach who was FOUND GUILTY of major NCAA infractions. And yes I believe in second chances, but so soon?

    If there are no parent complaints, then the perception is many parents are fine with someone of low integrity over a man of high integrity as long as their kids gets playing time and he’s not coaching his kids.

    That’s so messed up!


  7. 88 January 15, 2016 10:51 am

    No, what’s messed up is you scared for reply to Latu’s Fadah but you can jump to another post and write one novel…


  8. fan January 15, 2016 10:57 am

    Good points Ed. First. The reason Brandyn Akana is okay to coach Kahuku is because no one on the varsity has his last name. If there was a player with Akana on their jersey and he got more playing time, then you might have some aunties and mommies crying foul.

    Still don’t know why the AD and Principal haven’t been put on leave as well as the coach. Seems like the AD and Principal should be included as part of the investigation because of their actions and, as such, should be suspended too. I sure hope those two aren’t handling the investigation. That’s like the fox guarding the hen house.

    Good luck to the hoopsters (student-athletes).


  9. Education First January 15, 2016 11:06 am

    88 we know that is you pretending so I am leaving it alone. BTW, why didn’t you show? Oh yeah I forgot, you are scared, real scared! lol!


  10. Education First January 15, 2016 11:07 am

    I guess the community is okay with someone who got caught cheating for things the NCAA can prove and left UH Men’s Basketball in a potential mess next year and after!

    BTW world, 88 is scared, real scared!


  11. 88 January 15, 2016 12:10 pm

    It’s not me you need to be replying too. The Gaurdian/Parent of a kid you talked about is waiting for a reply. Don’t be scared now. Use that same courage you used to write about him to reply to his Dad.


  12. education 2nd January 15, 2016 12:52 pm

    Great article Nick. Way to turn a negative into a positive!!! Keep it positive boys. Keep it positive coach Akana. Let everybody say what they want. U guys should be enjoying yourselves out there. No coach, no parent, no administration should ever take that away from a kid. Great to read that the boys get along despite all the turmoil!!!! Thats character


  13. Spartan January 15, 2016 2:34 pm

    Eh dummy (88) I wrote back, go and check. You still scared! Real scared! I understand, you was that pencil neck geek who the bullies took milk money from.

    Now you gotta hide behind a computer and act tough. We all know you not. No worries though, you mama still love you!


  14. Education First January 15, 2016 2:53 pm

    I like to change my username. Sorry I have a problem. I am going to get help at the local Straub. I did notice that 88 was next door. He was getting help with his problem, pretending to be tough.


  15. 88 January 15, 2016 4:26 pm

    I get off work at 4pm and drive pass the hospital to get to my house Monday through Friday. Tomorrow I will be there for a fundraiser right I front of the coaches house between 10am and 4pm. Be there so you can find out what tough is.


  16. Joy January 15, 2016 4:35 pm

    May I ask…..Does any of you come to the basketball game to support the kids?

    If not SHUT UP! My mama said if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it.


  17. Fletcher Lee January 15, 2016 4:55 pm

    You don’t need excellent proficiency scores, grades @school to be successful in life. Many great colleges have “open admissions”, If you’re willing to live in predominantly white towns in the middle of nowhere. All you need is the willingness to learn n adapt, and maybe a sense of urgency ’cause it’s cold up there.

    That is a true test of character, to see if you can go to school and survive at a predominantly “white” college. Not talking about BYU or UNLV, that’s too easy. Try “Pitt State University” Kansas. “Mayville State” South Dakota. “Mid-American Nazarene” Nebraska. University of Wisconsin Osh-Kosh or one of those honky schools.

    Why be like everybody else from Hawaii. Be original! Take off your puka shell necklace and spam musubi slippers, bite your tongue and try be one Haole for 4 years.

    That’s a true test of character!


  18. Spartan January 15, 2016 11:28 pm

    I am now dumber for reading this.


  19. be thankful January 16, 2016 4:35 am

    when these athletes get to college, one call from mommy or daddy complaining about their sons lack of playing time or coaches favorites gets their son benched. better watch their attitudes.


  20. Doreen January 16, 2016 11:37 am

    Hey 88 Im Alan”s Aunty & I’ve been reading all these posts. I see that your at a fundraiser vy Alan’s home. I letter him know about you. He may be stopping by, so if ypu see him why dont you reach out to him like Peni Latu? Just to let you know that Alan doesnt reas all these posts and chuclkles when I tell him about it

    SPARTAN – Alan said he would like to buy you lunch


  21. education 2nd January 16, 2016 1:21 pm

    Be thankful…cmon man. None of these kids are going to college to play basketball. None of em are good enough. U know how special u gotta be to play basketball in college?? Basketball n football are 2 very different stories when it comes to playing, let alone getting a scholarship. Some kids might make a team, a lower level team like division 2 or naia, but they not giving scholarships here in Hawaii for basketball players. We jus not good enough. They have 6’7″ guys up there that do what our 6’0″ guys do. It ain’t happening.

    The boys should be having fun n enjoying themselves. Look at this post!! U got people calling each other names, saying they wanna meet up??? Cuz of things like this??? Cmon people. Let the boys have their fun, win or lose. Its jus not that serious. For realz, u guys that know him, like Doreen, tell him stop suing people. Why is this even happening? Does he really feel like a victim? Or does he jus wanna make a point?!! Its embarrassing!!!! To him, too the school. All because kids dont like him as a coach. Its embarrassing…jus stop it.


  22. Spartan January 16, 2016 1:24 pm

    Thanks Aunty! Can we go to Uncle Junior’s place? I would invite 88, but he’s too busy being scared, real scared!


  23. Doreen January 16, 2016 2:27 pm

    Education 2nd – Alanis suing because his son Kawika has been discriminated against by the principal & the AD. He is suing for his son’s rights and not his feelings. What kind of message does this send to his children if he were to walk away quietly into the night? He is not wrong for fighting for Kawika’s rights. If he were to do this I would be disappointed in him. As for the 2 parents I feel they brought it upon themselves. They probably never thought about the consequences of their actions by influencing their boys to do what they did.Alan would never sue these 2 parents without just cause. This could have been avoided if the Admin had come to the table try
    to work it out with both parents and admin, but the parents chose to take it public.


  24. Education First January 16, 2016 3:37 pm

    For realz, u guys that know him, like Doreen, tell him stop suing people. Why is this even happening? Does he really feel like a victim? Or does he jus wanna make a point?!! Its embarrassing!!!! To him, too the school. All because kids dont like him as a coach. Its embarrassing…jus stop it.

    If someone makes up lies that could potentially affect your character or reputation, and then it affects your career, you have a civic duty to protect your good name.

    If someone says something, they better be able to prove it. I hope these 2 aunties have evidence to support what they say and that the judge believes it. If not, no more welfare checks or government cheese!


  25. education 2nd January 16, 2016 3:55 pm

    You know what? Him showing teeth, n flexing his muscle like this…that’s ruining his reputation already. It seems petty. I understand if his son was discrminated against. That’s not acceptable at all. So that couldn’t get resolved out of court? The lawsuit thing is ugly…I’m not gonna judge the guy, but it jus doesn’t make sense to do this if ur reputation is whats important to you. Protecting family I get! Hopefully his son kills it n has a successful year. Only way to shut up all the critics is to ball the hell up. If u Killin it, nobody can say a dam thing. So go get it young man!! Show them they was wrong


  26. Doreen January 16, 2016 5:25 pm

    Education 2nd – Im sorry but I’m disagree with you that Alan is flexing his muscles showing his teeth. I believe its the other way around when the 2 parents took this public and this situation has been all over social media. They took this to an unacceptable level. If they had reached to Alan and tried to resolve this in a reasonable manner and with emotions set to the side I can guarantee you that he wouldnt have sued them. They played an important part in the discrimination against Kawika .
    I dont know why this doesn’t make sense to you when hes doing whats right for his son and clearing his name. He’s not suing them for money.

    I doubt Im going to change your mind so lets agree to disagree and leave it that. With that being said I done posting. No one on here is foing to change each others minds.

    Aloha


  27. Doreen January 16, 2016 5:29 pm

    Education 2nd – Im sorry but I’m disagree with you that Alan is flexing his muscles showing his teeth. I believe its the other way around when the 2 parents took this public and this situation has been all over social media. They took this to an unacceptable level. If they had reached to Alan and tried to resolve this in a reasonable manner and with emotions set to the side I can guarantee you that he wouldnt have sued them. They played an important part in the discrimination against Kawika .
    I dont know why this doesn’t make sense to you when hes doing whats right for his son and clearing his name. He’s not suing them for money.

    I doubt Im going to change your mind so lets agree to disagree and leave it that. With that being said I done posting. No one on here is foing to change each others minds.
    To the dummy who decided to drive in Kapolei then up Makakilo with their 2 – 4 year old in the front seat of your green Pontiac with no seatbelt jumping around, I caught you on camera call the police and gave them your license plate number. you are a shity person who could have killed that child I hope you understand your mistake. if not let me help you I have a friend who allowed a 3 year old to do exactly what you did today they were only going 5 miles an hour in a school zone. They hit the back of the school bus, her daughter went through the window and died instantly that was only going 5 miles an hour think before you act. Btw I was already on the phone with the police and give your lpn b4 you speed off.
    Aloha


  28. Doreen January 16, 2016 5:34 pm

    Sorry please disregard part from to the dummy…….. I dont know how that got there. It came from someone’s post from another site. Somehow I copied it here.


  29. Education First January 16, 2016 7:18 pm

    education 2nd January 16, 2016 at 3:55 pm
    You know what? Him showing teeth, n flexing his muscle like this…that’s ruining his reputation already. It seems petty. I understand if his son was discrminated against. That’s not acceptable at all. So that couldn’t get resolved out of court? The lawsuit thing is ugly…I’m not gonna judge the guy, but it jus doesn’t make sense to do this if ur reputation is whats important to you. Protecting family I get! Hopefully his son kills it n has a successful year. Only way to shut up all the critics is to ball the hell up. If u Killin it, nobody can say a dam thing. So go get it young man!! Show them they was wrong

    Maybe defamation of character and committing libel isn’t a big thing out there in the country But in many places, taking people to court is how to civilly resolve it. How could it be solved out of court? The parents are subjective and unwilling to compromise. The principal and AD seem overwhelmed by this. Going to court is the smart play.

    I don’t see how taking people to court would make people not want to use his financial services. If he is competent in his job, going to court will not affect it, especially if he has a track record of saving or making people money.


  30. hi808 January 16, 2016 8:29 pm

    so can we or cant we drive with babys in the front seat no seat belt? what if we only go 2 mph, are we still gonna smash a school bus and baby fly out the window to die instantly at 2 mph


  31. Tom January 18, 2016 1:13 pm

    I live in California and I’ve known Alan Akina for over 15 years. The Kuhuku school is incredibly fortunate to have a man of his character as a coach, guiding the young men on the basketball team. There are very few people I know who poses as much integrity as Alan. Coming from very humble beginnings, he has become a very successful businessman who has helped so many along the way. So many people are better off because of Alan.

    As the parent of 2 Division 1 athletes (my daughter was a Parade All-American Soccer player who won an NCAA Championship UCLA and my son is a freshman Division 1 basketball player who was one of the top ranked high school point guards the country) I have been involved in youth sports for almost 2 decades. I have seen some crazy things, but nothing compares to what has happened at Kahuku! In my experience, the kids are usually not the problem. It’s always the parents. As parents we can’t help living through our kids, but some parents take it way too far. My son went to a high school with a rich basketball tradition and at the beginning of each year the coach laid out the ground rules. If you had a problem with the coach, you talked to the coach. If you couldn’t resolve it, you and the coach would meet with the AD. under no circumstances would you ever be allowed to go directly to the AD or Principal, which is what occurred in this case. This situation has escalated to thus point primarily because of the weak leadership (I teach leadership to some of the top leaders in the country) of the AD and the Principal.

    Make no mistake. This is not a situation where the players are rebelling against their coach, it’s unfortunately a situation where two parents have been allowed to harm the reputation and integrity of Kahuku and Alan. As I said in the beginning, Kahuku is very fortunate to have a man like Alan Akina. When I was in Hawaii in December to watch my son and his team play in the Diamondhead Classic, I got to spend time with Alan. Although he was disappointed in the parents and the AD and Principal, he kept talking about how much he loved and cared for the kids on the team, including the kids of the parents who were trying to get rid of him. I wish my son could have been coached and mentored by Alan. Not only would he have benefited as a basketball player, but also as a human being.

    Finally, I’d like to comment on Alan’s sons Keanu and Kawika. Because of my son’s high school and AAU basketball experience I have seen hundreds of basketball games over the years. I watched Kahuku play a couple of games last year and I’ve seen Keanu and Kawika play in AAU games and at basketball camps. Keanu is an outstanding shooter. Everyone on a basketball team plays a role, but not everyone’s best role is to shoot. You do want your best shooters to shoot. Keanu is one of the best shooters in Hawaii, so I would hope that there would be plays run for him to shoot. The reality is in the games where I saw the stats, he only led the team in shots in one game! And these were from the games that Alan (Who was supposedly favoring him) was coaching. Alan’s younger son Kawika, is also very talented. It should not matter what grade you are in when deciding if you can play at the varsity level. My son played varsity as a freshman and he starts for his college team as a freshman. Kawika is talented enough to be on varsity. He’s an outstanding ball handler and playmaker who could provide a spark to the team.

    Nobody likes a lawsuit and I can assure you that Alan likes it least of anyone, but what other recourse did he have? The two parents were acting like bullies and the school administration was unresponsive. The Kahuku community is such a wonderful place! I love it every time I’m there. You all live in Gods country. And you deserve a stronger school administration who looks out for your kids And rewards coaches like Alan who dedicate untold hours molding kids not just into better athletes, but better human beings.


  32. Education First January 18, 2016 3:02 pm

    Tom you are by far the most insightful, articulate, and scholarly writer I have ever seen on this site. Unfortunately, you could soon be bombarded with 8-10 (especially 88 who is scared) bloggers who are better coaches than Coach K, and will tell you that both Akina boys are not too good and if they run plays for Anae and Latu, not only could Kahuku win states, but they could also beat Golden State.

    And after 88 is done ranting, bawlah who has now grown to 7’10, and played in the NBA with Kobe and MJ in their primes, but not hangs out with Coach Kawazoe, will tell you how much of an expert he is at basketball, making money, and life.


  33. 88 January 18, 2016 8:37 pm

    You talk to much. I told you I drive pass that hospital everyday at 4pm to get to my house. Be there with your sign. If not keep running your chicken shet mouth on this site cause that’s all you can do. Run and hide behind your computer.


  34. Education First January 19, 2016 7:34 am

    88, you are the biggest coward in the history of blogging. You act tough, but when I was there you were nowhere to be seen. There was a lady with a guy hiding behind her skirt. C’mon, that was you right?

    I understand that you have to live through the Kahuku kids since you never got a chance to make a team and after being cut so many times (even cut from the pep squad) you gave up.

    I know you are mad at all the coaches since you never got hired to coach even the local lunchtime leagues.

    But making threats and being aggressive when we all know the reason why you use the name 88 is cuz u scared!, REAL SCARED!

    You had the chance to show up and you didn’t. Keep talking all big, haha. Everyone here knows your M.O.

    BTW, you are really tough behind mommy’s computer, or was it her skirt again?


  35. Education First January 19, 2016 7:34 am

    “My name is 88 and I make threats on computers.”

    HAHAHA! BTW, Mr. Chang says hello!


  36. 88 January 19, 2016 4:24 pm

    Pulled into the hospital and waited. I will try again tomorrow. Enough talk sole, just show up.


  37. Education First January 20, 2016 7:48 am

    I was there with my sign. It said, “Oh where or where has my little 88 gone?” And for the record, I am not of Samoan Ancestry. Please stop wasting my time. I have been there several times and the community has told me that you won’t show since you are known as the town coward.

    No worries you can keep talking tough behind your computer if it makes you feel good. We understand.


  38. 88 January 20, 2016 4:03 pm

    Where you at tough guy? Please don’t be full of shet like your post’s. Use some of that courage you show when you talk about young kids and their mothers and show up. All talk


  39. Education First January 20, 2016 7:56 pm

    Dude, stop wasting my time. I was there about 8 times. We know you are not showing. The one time you came you was hiding behind your momma’s skirt (like always).

    We all know you scared. Why else would you call yourself 88? I am guessing that was the number you wished you could have but never got to wear because you couldn’t make the team.

    So now, full of anger, you attack fine men like Coach Akina.

    And my posts are full or crap? Hmmm, I put statistics, data, and Hawaii state statues into my writing, while using proper English.

    You on the other hand write like a borderline fool. You hide behind your username. You tell me to show up but you don’t show.

    You can insult my writing, but both you and the entire blogging community know that your brain isn’t nearly on my level. I have forgotten more bits of information than you have learned in your entire life.

    You can be mad, but you know you aren’t too smart and that is why you get so angry. I on the other hand sit back and laugh.

    The only thing I am guilty of is picking on someone that isn’t equipped to have a logical and intelligent debate with. So, I guess that makes me kind of a bully.

    You are right, I am bullying you since you are a blabbering idiot who picks on coaches and is a coward.

    And how come you didn’t say hello to Mr. Chang? I told you he said hello. Geez, at least be friendly to my special buddy.


  40. Education First January 21, 2016 9:44 am

    “My name is 88! I am the toughest guy in the world!” (albeit while sitting behind his mommy’s computer)


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