HONOLULU (KHON2) – For student-athletes, the journey of being recruited by a college isn’t always an easy one, or a cheap one at that, especially for students here in Hawaii having to travel to the continent to spend all that money with the hopes to pop out alongside thousands of other athletes.

But there is a volleyball club here on Oahu that is changing that process to make it a little easier and a lot cheaper. 

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We are talking about the Spike and Serve Volleyball Club and we are here with the founder, Kevin Wong, who is also a Olympian for Beach Volleyball himself. 

Today is the 2nd annual Hawaii Volleyball Showcase. 

Tell us a little bit about what this is all about.

“I think, for me, volleyball changed my life,” said Wong.

“It gave me a chance to go from Pearl City to play at UCLA, represent Team USA and kind of chase my dreams. And for me, this is my way paying it forward as well to try to get as many colleges and as many of my friends, my network, to come all the way here to Hawaii to take a look at our great talent that we have here.”

Volleyball is a big sport here in Hawaii, so how is it beneficial to have this event for student-athletes rather than having to travel to the continent?

“There are so many good players here, right? You just think about this. In a lot of ways, this is the epicenter of volleyball in the US, right?” said Wong.

“Even though we are so removed. All the success that Dave Shoji and the wahine had. Look at Charlie Wade and what they are doing with the UH men as well. There is just talent everywhere.  The problem is that they don’t always get seen.”

So, this is the 2nd annual. 

Last year you had the inaugural Hawaii Volleyball Showcase. 

How successful was that?

“It’s just part of the process that we do, right?  We do some travel; we bring the coaches here,” said Wong.

“So they are going to track athletes this year as young as 8th grade so they start getting on the radar and start getting on the map and if you take a look at our wall and all the plaques and all the college placements, it’s all coming together nicely.”

You have been doing this volleyball club, Spike and Serve, for many years now. 

How has the success rate been in terms of getting your athletes recruited from colleges?

“The crazy thing, right?  This started as a really humble program.  We were doing a volunteer program at Ala Wai Elementary School and it’s just grown because we have been surrounded by some of the best coaches in the state of Hawaii,” said Wong.

“You got the Robins family; you got people like Rick Tune at Punahou.  And what it’s done is that we have simply become a center of excellence and because of it, 100% of the kids who have come through the program and who want to play collegiately have been able to do so.”

Let’s say that there are students, or parents of students, who didn’t have the chance to participate this because its only taking place today for this year’s event. 

What is there in the future?

“This is a long process, right?  It’s not a one thing where you just come and show up and you get your ticket.  You got to put in the work, and I think our Hawaii student athletes work really hard and its starts really young,” said Wong.

“So, we have junior programs here from as young as 5 years old and it’s an investment of time but you’re learning volleyball skills, you’re learning life skills. And over the last 2 years, our athletes have earned $3,000,000 in scholarships.”

Right on, thank you very much, Kevin. 

One benefit for him is he is really, really tall so that’s a good thing for volleyball. 

But if you’re interested in volleyball here on Oahu, again, this is taking place today. 

Its ending at 8 p.m. 

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

But there are things in the future, so be sure to click here to find out more about Spike and Serve Volleyball Club.