Youths’ Website Making Basketball Shoe Shopping Easier

Keanu (left) and Kawika Akina are helping basketball players find just the right shoes via online reviews. Photo by Kuulei Media.

Keanu (left) and Kawika Akina are helping basketball players find just the right shoes via online reviews. Photo by Kuulei Media.

Two enterprising brothers recently launched a website that allows users worldwide to provide reviews on basketball shoes.

Keanu and Kawika Akina, basketball players at Kahuku Intermediate and High School, began about a year ago when, inspired by their love for the sport, they sought to provide a forum for people to know about specific shoes before purchasing them.

“We notice that every year they get more and more expensive,” said ninth-grader Keanu. “And a lot of times we pay a lot of money for basketball shoes that we think are going to be good, (but) when we actually try them out on the court, they’re not really what we expected.”

Ratings are organized by brand, and users also are encouraged to upload a photo of the shoe and provide additional comments.

Reviews are comprised of six categories: comfort, traction, weight, durability, ankle support and overall. The highest rating each category can receive is five stars.

Neither brother had previous experience building a website and had to learn from scratch. It sounds like they did not know that there are tutorials out there that could have helped them, and got them to learn more about how to build a website, so it is amazing that they were able to do this from the starting line.

“It was fun learning … all this technical stuff that I had never thought about when I went to a website before,” admitted Kawika, a seventh-grader.

Because of the website’s accessibility to anyone with Internet service, the Akina brothers also have been able to interact with other basketball aficionados.

“It’s been really fun,” said Kawika. “… I get to meet a lot of basketball players, and I get to also learn about shoes while I’m doing it, so it’s pretty fun.”

Both boys hope to continue with their website and expand their entrepreneurial experiences.

“We can do it on our own,” noted Keanu, “and we don’t have a boss.”

They started a crowd-funding campaign to support their business ventures, and nearly achieved their goal of $2,500. Although the campaign closed last month, donations for their burgeoning enterprise are still being accepted.

The brothers also are active on social media and may be found on Facebook (KicksSource), Twitter @kicks_source and Instagram@kickssource.

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