St. Francis’ Akana to play baseball for Hawaii

St. Francis infielder Bubba Akana embraced pitcher Shawn Ellis (22) after scoring a run in an ILH playoff game against Damien in 2017. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

St. Francis junior Bubba Akana, who plays football, basketball and baseball for the Saints, has committed to play baseball for Hawaii beginning in 2020.

Akana committed to the UH coaching staff this morning. Soon after, he passed his road test to get his driver’s license.

“Pretty great,” Akana said in a phone interview this afternoon. “It’s great because I get to be around my family and stuff and can always just play in front of them instead of them having to travel to me and not see me play a lot.”

Akana is listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds on the Saints’ football roster and threw for 196 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-21 win over Pac-Five last Friday at Aloha Stadium.

Akana missed practice time just before the start of the season to play on a baseball club team that spent two weeks competing in California.

Although he’s had to catch up on the football field, the trip allowed Akana to get noticed by college coaches, particularly the staff here at home.

“That trip helped me out a lot,” Akana said. “This year things just blew up because I went up there and played well and suddenly started to get recruited.”

Once the opportunity to play for UH came about, Akana wasted no time making his decision.

“The staff was really supportive of what I wanted to do and that helped me out a lot,” Akana said. “They’re really great guys and the things they said to me helped me make my decision.”

Akana said he’s being recruited as a middle infielder who could also play third base.

With his college commitment out of the way, Akana said he’s excited the most about enjoying the rest of his time in high school.

“I can just have more fun with (sports) instead of trying to get noticed and trying as hard to put myself out there,” Akana said. “I can enjoy it more.”

The Saints (3-1, 1-0 ILH D-II) football team plays at ‘Iolani on Friday. St. Francis is 0-4 all-time against the Raiders and have lost all four meetings by at least 22 points.

“They’re going to be tough knowing that they always win in D-II,” Akana said. “Hopefully we can win because usually they would beat us in varsity.”

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