Kaneohe Baseball Player Named Freshman All-American

For Northern Colorado freshman Jensen Park, last spring was one to remember, culminating with his selection as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

The Kaneohe native hit .363 for the season, second-best on the team, with 38 RBI, 10 doubles and seven triples. Park also had five stolen bases, but it was his flair for making spectacular catches in left field that made him a fan favorite. Indeed, his defensive heroics have earned Park the nickname “the flying Hawaiian” by his teammates.

He currently has a slugging percentage of .333 for the University of Northern Colorado, which was just seven games into its regular season at press time. Park took some time away from the Bears’ road trip to Lincoln, Neb., recently to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander by phone.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I was little, my dad coached me, and I remember getting to know all of the kids in the area. We’re still all friends. I grew up around a lot of ballplayers (in Kaneohe).

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? My first varsity coach (at Iolani) Dean Yonamine. I was a little lost my sophomore year, and he guided me through. He’s been helpful to me throughout playing. I’m still in touch with him.

What area of your game did you work on the most during the off-season? Everything, but especially my defense. I thought I needed some work there. I worked on my accuracy in throwing and on (catching) fly balls. I feel like I used to press a lot. Now I feel like if the ball comes to me, I’m always going to make a play.

What’s been the biggest adjustment in stepping up to the college level? The biggest adjustment was trying to manage my time between school and baseball and being able to switch gears between the two.

What’s your favorite road destination to date since you began traveling with Northern Colorado? I really liked going to Provo, Utah, where our conference tournament was last year. My family was able to make it so I got see them, which was big. It was also nice to have some warm weather again.

What is in your iPod? I have a lot of reggae – Bob Marley, Rebelution, SOJA …

What movie could you watch over and over again? I really like that movie Hitch. I always watch it when it comes on TV.

When you’re back on the island, where do you like to eat? The first place I always go to on the way home is Zippy’s.

What website do you go to the most? When I have some time to kill, like on road trips, I go to YouTube. I like to watch a lot of surf videos.

Do you play video games? My Xbox is pretty important. I have my own (system), and my brother and my roommates have Play Stations. I play a lot of Call of Duty – Black Ops.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? My major is exercise science, so I’m working on that degree right now. Beyond that, I haven’t thought about the rest. I have a lot of planning to do.

You are stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Ice cream.

Who would be your choice for a celebrity date on a Saturday night? That’s a good question. I’ll have to go with Arianny Celeste – the girl who holds up the cards on UFC.