Q&A: All-State Softball POY Aleia Agbayani of ‘Iolani

'Iolani's Aleia Agbayani hit .636 for the Raiders on her way to being named the All-State softball player of the year. Photo by Craig T. Kojima/Star-Advertiser.

Work is work, and play is play.

Somewhere along the line, Aleia Agbayani knew they were one and the same in this game of softball. The senior was a major part of ‘Iolani’s state-championship run this spring. Then came the Star-Advertiser All-State selection as player of the year. A southpaw ace pitcher who bats right-handed — .636 batting average, 16 home runs and 56 RBIs — and also plays center field with nearly no peer.

Agbayani has one more exam to take — on Tuesday — before she can finally breathe. Before all ‘Iolani seniors can finally exhale. After graduation, it will be one week of down time before she’s back in the whirlwind, playing for the OC Batbusters in California for a fifth summer in a row. By summer’s end, Agbayani will be enrolled at Cal. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Name: Aleia Agbayani
School sport: Softball
Class: 2019

Q&A / Favorites

Athlete: Christian Yelich

Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Food (at home): Spaghetti

Food (eating out): Steak

Hobby outside of sports: Reading

Movie: Sandlot

TV show: Law and Order Special Victims Unit

Video game: MLB the Show 2019

Music artist: Justin Bieber

Teacher (elementary through high school):
Mr. Yonamine

GPA: 3.3

Class: Narrative Vision

Place to relax: Starbucks

Motto/scripture: “Don’t hate the player hate the game”

What your mom, Niela says that you can’t forget: “Work hard, play hard, study harder”

What your dad, Benny says that you can’t forget: “There is always someone working harder than you”

What your coaches say that you can’t forget: “Don’t be good, be great”

How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
It takes up majority of time but all the time i’ve dedicated to it has payed off in the end.

What middle and elementary schools did you attend? I attended mililani ike elementary then from 6th grade on i’ve been going to Iolani.

What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round?
I played for Crush growing up but by 7th grade I was playing for the Orange County Batbusters. So since the seventh grade I’ve given up all summers.

Where have you travelled for your sport(s)? california, colorado, kansas, alabama, florida, nevada, arizona, oregon

What do you like to do — or what’s something else you’re good at — that would surprise most people?
I can make my eyes go in weird directions.

What is your ultimate dream/bucket list?
To visit the 6 other wonders of the world as I have already visited the great wall of china

Where would you like to travel, what life would you like to have as an athlete? And away from sports?
I want to travel to Rome. To live the life of a professional baseball player. To be a nurse and flight attendant.

Time machine: what year and place would you like to visit?
2008, Tachikawa, Japan
(Note: This is the when and where of when her dad, Benny, was playing pro baseball in Japan. One day, Benny upended a catcher at home plate in a play that oldest daughter Aleia has never forgotten, apparently.)

What is the history and background of your name?
My parents wanted to give me a name that sounded Hawaiian but had no meaning behind it.

Any shout-outs or additional thoughts are welcome. Mahalo!
A big thank you to my parents and all of my family for all the support


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