Kailua Native Brings ‘A’ Game to Chaminade Silverswords

Kennedi Akana

Kennedi Akana

Not even 6 a.m. practices at Chaminade can undermine Kennedi Akana’s love of basketball. No matter the hour, the Kailua native always is ready to bring her “A” game when she steps onto the hardwood.

“Basketball always has been a really big part of my life – it’s an outlet,” said Akana, who starred at Kamehameha in high school. “I wake up at 5 every day to get ready for practice. It’s a good way to start the day off in a healthy way, and it clears up the rest of the day to do other stuff.”

A 6-foot-2 sophomore forward, Akana started 18 of 23 games last season at CUH and averaged 5.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Her 19 blocks set a school record. She’s also found campus life to be a good fit.

“It reminds me of Kamehameha,” she said. “Classes are small, and you get to know everyone.”

Akana and the Silver-swords return to action at 5 p.m. Thursday when they host Alaska-Anchorage at McCabe Gym. Akana recently took some time away from college life to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander.

What is your earliest sports memory? When I was a kid, I used to play in the Kailua Basketball League along with my sister (Makana), who is the same age as me. Every year, my dad (Thomas) was our coach. I remember he would give us the hardest time because we were his daughters. Those were good days, though.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? Both of my sisters (Makana and Alex, 22). They’ve always been there for me, and I’ve always been there for them.

What was the biggest adjustment from prep to college-level basketball? The speed of the game is a lot of it – I’m a big girl and I don’t run that fast, so I’ve had to adjust – and the strength (of college players). All of these college girls are strong and can move people out of the way.

What’s your favorite PacWest road destination? I like going to the Bay Area (for road games versus Academy of the Arts, Dominican, Notre Dame De Namur).

When you surf the Internet, what website do you go to the most? YouTube. I actually like watching all the NBA players on it. I like the dunk contests, and I like watching the bloopers, which are the funniest.

What movie could you watch over and over? Madagascar. It was hilarious. It has a lot of adult humor going on there – things that you would miss without watching it over and over.

Who is your favorite musical artist? Beyonce.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? Free time would be a luxury for me. Most of the time, I end up sleeping because of those 6 a.m. practices. If I did have free time, you would find me at the beach.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully, I will have graduated from Chaminade (with a communications/broadcasting degree) and gotten myself a good job that will support me.

If you were planning a trip, what would be your dream destination? I have always wanted to go to Ireland. I’m Scottish from my mom’s side of the family. I’m Hawaiian from both sides of the family.

You are stuck on Kahoolawe and can have only one food. What would be your food of choice? Saimin.

Given the chance, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Fashion model) Tyra Banks.