Saint Louis shortstop/pitcher Nu‘u Contrades commits to Arizona State

Saint Louis senior Nu‘u Contrades committed to Arizona State on Thursday.

There’s a lot of ability in Saint Louis senior Nu‘u Contrades.

Reliability. Availability. Add versatility and flat-out talent, and schools across the West Coast were yearning to land the standout baseball player. Contrades, who recommitted from Cal State Northridge in August, made an oral commitment to Arizona State on Thursday.

“I feel good. I actually feel great. It’s a very good feeling being able to put that behind me and focus on just playing baseball,” Contrades said. “It was definitely stressful. I was torn between different colleges.”


Washington, Stanford, Hawaii and San Diego State were among the other schools in the running for Contrades, who starts at shortstop. He also plays any other position but catcher, and figures to be in the pitching rotation for the defending ILH champions next spring.

“I visited Arizona State just this past weekend. It was really good. I went to a football game and they won (against UNLV). Coach (Willie) Bloomquist, this is going to be his first year as a head coach,” Contrades said. “He and his staff really showed that they want me. They showed me around and they have a great tradition. The facilities, the campus are all top notch, out of this world.”

His older brother, Kalei, was also a versatile, standout player at Saint Louis before matriculating to San Jose State. A busy, productive summer season opened up prime opportunities for Nu‘u, the youngest of four children.

“He was in a great situation. We talked a little bit about making sure it was the right fit for him not only on the baseball side, but academically and socially. Locations, how he felt around that program,” Crusaders coach George Gusman said. “They’re expecting him to come in and contribute right away. Where he ends up playing, time will tell. He’s very athletic. I mean, he can run, has a plus arm. He has power for a guy his size and he can hit for average.”

The trend among student-athletes with college-level talent seems to be ticking up when it comes to qualifications in the classroom. Saint Louis has sent student-athletes to Notre Dame, Wisconsin, UCLA, Columbia and other upper-echelon universities in recent years.

Contrades has a 4.2 grade-point average.

“I’m happy for him and his family. Those 100-percent offers are hard to come by,” Gusman noted. “Those AP classes open more doors for you. You take care of business in the classroom, they can really help you on the back end.”

Contrades spent his summer mostly on the mainland, including a five-week stay. In June, he played with coach Kaha Wong’s team in Lake Elsinore, Calif.

“We played a lot of exhibition games against JUCO guys, older guys,” he said.

Next was a tournament in Irvine, Calif., as a member of TB SoCal. The Jr. Olympics in Arizona followed.

By early July, Contrades returned to California to play with 808 Baseball Academy in a Five-Tool tournament, where they finished second.

Also in July, the Firecrackers tourney as a member of TB SoCal. Contrades headed home for just a week after that before flying back up. He played with HBG (Hawaii Baseball Group), which played some exhibition games and won the Five-Tool West World Series. During a break during that tourney, Contrades was in Arizona with TB SoCal for a Perfect Game tournament.

“It was awesome. It was a great team,” he recalled.

All the success and exposure added up. Then came the offers. The decommitment from CS Northridge.

“It was definitely stressful. I was torn between different colleges and coaches,” he said.

Since returning to the islands in August, it’s been a steady stream of school and workouts.

“I’ve been working out, lifting, fielding every day,” Contrades said.

His father, Cory, has hit thousands of fungo-bat grounders to his youngest child.

“My dad is a Castle grad, so he likes the maroon and gold of Arizona State,” he said.

The Contrades ohana has a history of athletic prowess, including that of brothers Kalei and Nu‘u. From left: Jen Lewis, Bryson Contrades, Cory Contrades, Kayla Contrades, Coby Contrades, Nu‘u Contrades, Brandy Contrades and Claudio Borge.

GEAR

Bat: “Louisville Slugger Meta Prime. I think it’s the red one, 2019. It’s lasted me. Think it was $450. I have a Combat 2020, black and orange, think it was about $350. It’s the last of the Combats. After my bat, they sold the company to Easton. It’s gone. I’m a little sad. That Combat was good to me.

“When my brother played it was aluminum bats and the ball flies differently. I would love to play with those.”


Glove: “I have a Rawlings Heart of the Hide. I just got it in spring of this year. Gray, black and white. Uhh… I’m actually not sure. My brother bought it for me. It was kind of a Christmas present.”

Nu‘u Contrades’ lockdown staples

Top 3 movies/shows

1. “The Sandlot.”

2. “Olympus Has Fallen.”

3. “Greater.”

Top 3 food/snack/drink

1. Salmon (Yanagi Sushi, Kakaako).

2. Hotpot (Rokaru Shabu Shabu, Pearl City).

3. Spicy salmon bowl (Sushi Bay, Kapolei).

Top 3 music artists

1. Morgan Wallen – “Silverado for Sale.”

2. Moneybagg Yo – “Rookie of the Year.”

3. The Green – “Alone.”

GPA: 4.2

“If I didn’t play sports, I would be able to take more AP classes. I take AP because my parents kind of make me.”

GEAR
Bat: “Louisville Slugger Meta Prime. I think it’s the red one, 2019. It’s lasted me. Think it was $450. I have a Combat 2020, black and orange, think it was about $350. It’s the last of the Combats. After my bat, they sold the company to Easton. It’s gone. I’m a little sad. That Combat was good to me.

“When my brother played it was aluminum bats and the ball flies differently. I would love to play with those.”

Glove: “I have a Rawlings Heart of the Hide. I just got it in spring of this year. Gray, black and white. Uhh… I’m actually not sure. My brother bought it for me. It was kind of a Christmas present.”

New life skill: cooking.

“Fried rice. You have to put shoyu and oyster sauce. It balances and tastes good. You put a little bit of chicken bouillon and it tastes extra good. Instead of putting the egg in while you cook, you have to make it before so it doesn’t have a mushy consistency. I learned al this from the internet, watching TikTok. Fried rice is my signature dish. Everybody in my family loves it.”

Shout outs


“Shout out to God for blessing me with the opportunity to go to Arizona State University. Shout out to my parents (Cory and Coby). My siblings (Kalei, Brandy and Bryson).”

COMMENTS

  1. Jayson and Jordan Fukes September 17, 2021 12:40 pm

    Great kid from a great family. You make all the brotherhood proud. Go Saints.


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