At first she thought it might be a joke. But then Keisha Kanekoa discovered Hawaii soccer coach Michele Nagamine was serious. She did want her to come out for the team.
After checking out Thursday’s practice, Kanekoa accepted the invitation and will join the team at Monday’s practice. UH opens its season tonight against Washington State at the Waipio soccer complex.
Kanekoa was a four-year starter at guard for the UH basketball team. The Rainbow Wahine soccer team needs a backup goalkeeper and Nagamine asked Kanekoa — whose experience is limited to intramurals.
“We had a pretty good team in the mixed division,” said Kanekoa, whose teammates included UH football players Shane Austin, Scott Enos and Corey Paclebar. “We didn’t win the championship, but we did pretty well. I played goal so I have a basic understanding of the rules, but I think some of them are probably different.”
Kanekoa is set to graduate in December in family resources. After some contemplation she decided to take up the offer. “It will be good to stay active and it will be something new,” she said. “I know some of the soccer players already and I’ll do my best to blend in.”