Never Stop Reaching For The Prize

Chaminade sports information director Kevin Hashiro shows off his hard-earned bachelor’s degree | Nathalie Walker photo

This is the story of perseverance, commitment, determination and follow-through about someone I’ve known for nearly 20 years.

But I didn’t know this about him until he posted a photo of his college degree on Facebook.

Kevin Hashiro, 42, who was just promoted to sports information director at Chaminade University and who worked for me as a volunteer intern on Hawaii Sports Final in the 1990s, finally earned something that had eluded him for the better part of two decades.

Hashiro received his degree from the University of Hawaii late last month, nearly 23 years after starting his college education way back in 1990.

“Never have I been so proud to get a piece of paper in the mail,” he says.

Hashiro graduated from Maui High School in 1988 and started his college path at the University of Northern Colorado before returning home to the Valley Isle to attend Maui Community College.

In 1992, he entered UHManoa with the goal of getting into journalism, either print or broadcast.

With a true love of sports and a natural enthusiasm and determined work ethic, Hashiro ingratiated himself in the local sports scene.

It wasn’t too long before he was volunteering behind the scenes in TV sports at Channel 2 and in radio at KCCN. The more he volunteered, the more his classes had to take a back seat to his passion for sports. By the late ’90s, he was a producer for the Bobby Curran Show on 1420 AM, and also doing sports information work for the UH Wahine basketball team.

In 1997, just a few units short of his degree, he decided he would take a break from college classes.

“I figured I would have time, but I didn’t realize it would be 11 years before I would go back,” he says.

Hashiro’s broadcasting career blossomed, and he did play-by-play of UH Wahine basketball and softball, and occasionally other UH sports. He eventually got a job as an operations assistant for the Wahine basketball team.

In 2008, he finally decided it was time to finish his degree.

“But they had changed some of the prerequisites when I went back, so it meant I had to take more classes,” he says.

With his busy schedule, he only had time for one class a semester, so over the next few years, he took subjects including Spanish, anthropology, Hawaiian studies, humanities and more.

Finally, in the fall of 2012, he took his final class.

“It was Spanish 202,” he says.

In December, he finished all his requirements. The graduation ceremony was Dec. 15, but Hashiro had a conflict. Working as the events manager at Chaminade, the Silverswords were hosting the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team on Molokai.

“I didn’t have time to walk (at graduation),” he says.

Ten weeks later, his graduation degree, a B.A. in journalism, arrived in the mail.

“‘Finally!'” he says his parents told him. “But they were very happy to see me finish.”

He says the whole experience has been very fulfilling.

“It’s something you want to have,” he says. “I’ve learned that when you’re close to something, you can do it. It makes me believe you can do anything.”

Now, Kevin Hashiro has something else to finish.

“I’m looking for a frame,” he says. “I’m not sure where it’s going to be displayed, but I’m so happy to have it.”