On the heels of Jocelyn Alo creating headlines by crushing the start to her professional playing career last weekend, a trailblazer on Hawaii’s dirt diamond continues to live out her dreams both on and off of the field.
Kamehameha graduate and former Fresno State and California all-conference pitcher Kamalani Dung is enjoying her second year in the Athletes Unlimited organization as the AUX summer schedule being held in San Diego wraps up later this week.
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The Strike zone, however, isn’t the only target that Dung has been locked in on. The Waianae native is also thriving as a model, actress and philanthropist.
Dung is currently in the process of finalizing plans for her foundation to help island keiki in athletics and education. It’s also part of AU’s ‘Athlete Causes’ program powered by Give Lively, as 50 percent of her season bonus will be donated to the Hawaii Foodbank.
“The reason I wear the 99 right now is that I’m playing for the 99 percent. There’s always the 1 percent out there that is going to be bigger, faster, stronger, more money, have everything and all the odds with them so I’m playing for the 99 percent, which was me.” said Dung. “I came from a small town, I may not have had the money, or the time or the strength. A lot of people said I was too skinny, too small, and even here at the pro leagues I’m the smallest pitcher here so when it come down to who I’m playing for this time, I’m representing the 99 percent. I’m representing the ones that may not have had all the odds going their way but if you work hard and that’s always been my thing, strive and give 100 percent in everything you do, it will always work out. I’m a firm believer in that.”
Just the way Dung likes it, the summer will be a busy one for the former Hawaii prep standout, as she will go straight from the AU season to the Puerto Rico National Team to take part in the World Games, which take place from July 7-13 in Birmingham, Alabama. While all that goes on, she will continue to collaborate with a handful of the companies that she models for and will have a role in an upcoming music video that will be released by a local artist this month. Dung says she hopes to inspire others to realize that it is possible to chase multiple dreams.
“I’m just so blessed, so thankful and I’m really putting together ways to figure out how to help Hawaii athletes,” She said. “So not just softball players can relate but maybe you want to use softball as a vessel for school or something else. Whatever it may be, showing the aloha spirit, just always trying to show people that there’s a lot of different layers to it.”