Kawika Shoji: from team sports to an individual sport
...Kawika Shoji: from team sports
The last time we saw Kawika Shoji
was helping his Iolani
"One Team" hoist the championship trophy at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association
boys basketball state tournament.The trophy marked the fifth straight state title for the Raiders
and the third time that Kawika
has been an integral part of the team.
During this year's tourney, Kawika
scored in double figures in three straight Iolani victories and was deservedly named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
"Everyone on the team was focusing on improving every day," Kawika
And true to that philosophy, Kawika
didn't spend much time resting on his
"(Afterwards), the whole team came over to my house and we watched the replay into the early morning hours," he
recalls."It was pretty mellow, actually."
Perhaps the celebration had to be mellow out of necessity.That's because Kawika
was already moving on to his
next sport.For the fourth straight year, he's a member of Iolani's ILH championship golf team.
On the Monday following the Friday night basketball title game, Kawika
would need to be ready for the first ILH golf tournament of the season.
"I hadn't played (golf) for weeks," he
says."I practiced Saturday, chipping and putting, and then I played three holes for fun on Sunday."
went out on Monday at Waikele and accomplished something that must be considered quite remarkable.
"I shot a 75," he
says."I was pleasantly surprised."
Moving seamlessly from one sports season to another is something with which Kawika
has some experience.For the past four years at Iolani
has played volleyball, basketball and golf at the highest competitive level.As a volleyball star, he
helped lead Iolani to a state title as a sophomore and state runner-up this year.He was also a member of the Outrigger Club team that won a national title this past summer.
Because of his
exceptional volleyball talent, he's
accepted a scholarship to play for Stanford next year.
"Competitive Division I program, amazing education," he
says of his
says the adjustment from basketball to golf is much tougher than the transition from volleyball to basketball.
"(In basketball), if I don't have my shot, I can still rely on my quickness and athletic ability," he
loved it enough to fashion a personal-best round of one-under par, and last season he
was named all-ILH second team.
But to this day Kawika Shoji
, who has been all-state in both volleyball and basketball, and who has a chance to earn an unprecedented third sport all-state accolade this golf season, can't pick his
"I never loved one sport over another," he