Fab 48 Lands Kobayashi In ‘SI Kids’

Christopher Kobayashi’s all-consuming commitment to basketball began at an early age and with the help of one of Hawaii’s most decorated players.

“I was 6 when I went to my first clinic at Holy Nativity and met (former Iolani and Washington State University standout) Derrick Low for the first time,” Kobayashi recalls. “Meeting him was my first basketball experience. He’s still a friend of the family. I was still trying to figure out what sport to play.”

Football and basketball eventually won out as his primary interests, but it is the hardwood that Kobayashi is most focused on at present, with the Interscholastic League of Honolulu ready to begin its 2014-15 basketball season.

Kobayashi had an immediate impact for the Buffanblu last season as the only freshman to earn a varsity roster spot, and continued to hit his stride over the summer when he competed with Lanakila Basketball Club (U16 division) at the “Fab 48” National Tournament in Las Vegas.

“The tournament was a coming out for me, and it helped that it led right into the (high school) season,” said Kobayashi, who also maintains a 3.8 GPA. “I really tried to focus on my defense and my midrange (shooting) game. I was training a lot beforehand.”

Kobayashi averaged 17 points a game for Lanakila at the Fab 48 trip, and his efforts earned him a spot in the November issue of Sports Illustrated Kids Edition.

In addition to playing football and basketball for the Buffanblu, Kobayashi works as a “Luke Leader,” and he also is a member of the Punahou Academy Choir.

As his sophomore season got underway late last week, Kobayashi was hoping to regain his touch from behind the arc. He connected on 29 three-pointers as a freshman last season.

“My role was to provide a spark off of the bench,” he said. “The biggest thing was hitting shots.”

Kobayashi recently took some time away from the practice floor and his studies to visit with MidWeek’s East Oahu Islander.

Who’s had the biggest impact on you in your life?

I’d have to say Derrick Low again because he’s been a big part of my life. When I made the team as a freshman, he gave me some valuable tips.

What Internet site do you frequent the most?

YouTube. I love to watch Vines.

What is your least favorite household chore?

Probably taking out the trash. It’s an everyday thing.

If you were planning a trip, what would be your destination of choice?

I really like the Miami Heat, so I would want to go to Miami and catch a Heat game and (Dwayne Wade) D’Wade.

What movie could you watch over and over?

I’d have to say Remember the Titans. I love that movie.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists?

Drake, Hoodie Allen and Tyga.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it?

I really like hanging out with my little brother (12-year-old Andrew), playing video games and throwing around the football.

You’re stuck on Kaho‘olawe. You can have an endless supply of one food. What would it be?

My favorite food is curry rice.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet?

I’d probably like to meet (professional basketball player) Ray Allen. I’d want to ask him a few questions, like how he improved his shot.