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Koki’s Lucky Switch To Hoops Benefits Castle Lady Knights

Castle High School's basketball ace Sierra Koki. Photo from Sierra Koki.

Castle High School’s basketball ace Sierra Koki. Photo from Sierra Koki.

By the time Sierra Koki was in seventh grade, she’d already dropped basketball to concentrate on softball. But when she entered Castle High School, she plunged back into basketball in a big way. Now the junior-to-be no longer plays softball at all.

“At the beginning of my freshman year, I started playing for 808 (Club),” she said. “I started to get better when I began going to their clinics. I’ve made a lot of new friends. I’m always busy with basketball.”

This summer, Koki competes on 808’s traveling team. Last winter, she had a breakthrough season for Castle, averaging 13.2 points per game and helping the Knights earn a berth in the Division II state tournament. She was an offensive force at times, tallying a season-high of 21 versus Kalaheo. She also had big scoring nights against some of the OIA’s better teams, including Kaimuki (17), Roosevelt (16), Kahuku (16) and Farrington (18).

“She did great for us last year — she was only a 10th-grader, but she didn’t show it,” said head coach Joseph Lilio. “Handling the ball and distributing (are her strengths), but she also takes the ball to the basket pretty well.”

Koki recently took some time away from the court to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I was 9, I was playing in PAL League at the lower courts at Heeia. Our team was named Air Jordan. I remember we always wanted to beat this team called Lil Players, and we did beat them.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life? My dad (Derek) and my coaches. My dad was also one of my coaches and always worked with me on my game.

What area of your game are you working on the most this summer? My shooting. This past summer, I’ve felt like I was making progress.

What movie could you watch over and over? Love & Basketball.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Chris Brown, Drake and Trey Songz.

What is your least favorite household chore? Doing the dishes.

What website do you go to the most? I go on Instagram a lot.

When you have free time, how do you spend it? I watch Netflix. I watch a lot of series — like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I want to be an athletic trainer or do something that has to do with sports.

You’re stuck on Kaho’olawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Squid luau. I love Hawaiian food.

Given the chance, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Pro basketball player) Stephen Curry.