Hawaii men’s basketball gains commitment from Texas transfer Kamaka Hepa

Sports

Texas’ Kamaka Hepa (33) defends against Kansas State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Austin, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Kamaka Hepa, a power forward who most recently played for Texas, announced his decision to play for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team on Sunday afternoon.

Hepa announced the decision on his personal Instagram page.

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As a former consensus four-star recruit, Hepa was ranked the 47th best player in the 2018 class by Rivals.com, while 247Sports and ESPN Recruiting ranked him 53rd and 68th respectively. He also played for USA in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Americas Championship, helping the team win gold.

Hepa averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game over his UT career, playing in 58 total games with 12 starts.

At Hawaii, Hepa will have two seasons of eligibility remaining and is allowed to play immediately due to the NCAA’s new one-time transfer rule.

Hepa graduated from Jefferson High School in Portland, Ore., and is of Hawaiian, Filipino and Inupiat descent. His father, Roland, is originally from Kapa’a.

“I think the coaching staff has been doing a really good job of building a relationship with me although the circumstances we’re in now, not being able to get out there and go on a visit and meet everybody. I think they were still able to develop a really good relationship with me,” Hepa told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello on Sunday.

“I also think that just where the program is now and what I want to do, I feel like it’s just a great fit overall for what I’m trying to do as a basketball player, so I feel like I’ll be able to really grow my game from a player development aspect with the guys they have on staff and that’s another big part too because I feel like in these next two years, I’m really gonna have to show some growth and continue to become a better basketball player.

“I’m really excited just to kind of get out there and experience what it’s like to live out there because my dad is from there, so just being able to go back to his home state and really spend a couple years out there is really exciting for me.”

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