Konawaena hoopster Caiyle Kaupu commits to Big West school

The future is so bright for Konawaena senior Caiyle Kaupu, who committed to UC Irvine on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics.

Caiyle Kaupu prefers a quiet, happy life.

Too bad for her, the world is finding out that her journey will take her to a new place next summer. The Konawaena senior-to-be gave a oral commitment to play basketball at UC Irvine on Tuesday.

“I’m happy that my education is going to be paid for. I’m not sure yet (about a major), but when I get done, at least I’ll have a degree,” she said on Wednesday.

Kaupu is a two-time Star-Advertiser All-State Fab 15 selection and a two-time state champion. She also had offers from Hawaii and Portland State. She informed those coaches about her decision on Tuesday night.

Kaupu visited UC Irvine last week with her mother, Marie.

“UC Irvine offered me back when I was with Team Aloha (last spring),” she said. “I was talking to the Coach Tamara (Inoue) after we came home. I went to the campus and they made me feel like home, like family. The campus is beautiful. The teammates are great people. I love the coaching staff. They’re very straight-up, straightforward with me.”

Kaupu patrols the paint for the Konawaena Wildcats and has shown a high level of wing skills on occasion. At the next level, she is prepared to handle work on the perimeter and in the post.

“I’ll be playing a 3/4. I like that. Play on the outside,” she said. “My mom wanted me to stay home, but she loves it. My dad (Silva) didn’t get to come on the visit, but he talked with the coaches and we talked with him. He left it completely up to me.”

Konawaena coach Bobbie Awa is stoked, Kaupu said.

“Coach Bobbie is excited for me and what I have in store for my future,” Kaupu said.

A cousin, 2019 Hawaii Hall of Honor inductee Mikayla Kekoa of Kohala, will be somewhat nearby at Hope International. Kekoa will play softball there.


  1. Burgla July 31, 2019 5:54 pm

    Good for her! Bad for UH; all of our good players choose to turn down a chance to play for Coach B.

  2. Lee Sugai November 12, 2019 10:10 am

    So proud of you Caiyle. Work your tail off on the academics like you do at basketball and you will do fine at UCI. Make your Mom and Kona proud there!

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