More golf, heading for Samoa … Is Jane “swamped” with mixed emotions?

June 25th, 2008

The June Jones celebrity golf tourney on the Big Island on Monday raised $10,000 each for two Hawaii charities, HUGS and the Ronald McDonald House. Also, $10,000 for scholarships for five football players from American Samoa, which will be awarded when Jones and Greg McMackin and members of their SMU and Hawaii staffs run a clinic there this weekend. The group heads out tomorrow.

Today, McMackin is hosting his golf tournament on Kauai. Jack Thompson, nicknamed The Throwin’ Samoan when he was Washington State (NOT WASHINGTON, thanks to BigIsland Kurt for keeping me honest on this one) quarterback, is among the celebs at McMackin’s tourney. Jones is playing on Kauai at McMackin’s tourney also, with the governor of American Samoa.

When I moved to Gainesville 10 years ago, there were very few people with any Hawaii ties living in North Central Florida. There was a Hawaiian high school football coach named Danny Akina who was born and raised in Florida and Mike Fitzgerald; I worked for him here and he hired me at the paper in Gainesville. After I left, Punahou swimmer Nicholas Borreca, the son of Star-Bulletin reporters Richard Borreca and June Watanabe, swam for the Gators.

But Jacksonville and Orlando are big cities and there are quite a few people with Hawaii ties in those cities; lots affiliated with the military, or in the case of Orlando, with Disney.

When I wanted Hawaiian food and someone to talk story with about back home, I just had to make the hour’s drive to Jacksonville and see Jane Inouye.

Many of you remember Jane because she is keiki o ka aina, graduated from Castle and UH, and worked in PR in Hawaii for many years, including in the UH sports information office. She now has her own PR/communications company and lives in Gainesville and anxiously awaits the Aug. 30 game in The Swamp.

Since she’s also a University of Florida alumnus in graduate studies, I asked Jane if she has mixed feelings about the game.

Here’s her take: A combination of jet-lag, extremely hot field conditions (think of an August day with Kona wind conditions, then add 10-15 degrees), and a sell-out crowd of 97,000 Gator fans will force the Warriors to really step it up. Keep in mind that UF is the birthplace of Gatorade – which was created as a way to hydrate and provide electrolytes to players. UH will need more than a little power-drink to wipeout the Gators.

Jane’s prediction on the score? All she can say is, “Go Bows!” (She’s a bit old school).

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