Kaua‘i student athlete action goes prime time

Friday night’s Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation varsity boys basketball game will start at 5 p.m. at Kapa‘a High School.

Usually the JV games start first, but this week an OC16 television crew will televise the game on a tape delay basis.

Kaua‘i sports events have been broadcast before via several private television firms, but this is the first time a game will be telecast on the same night it is played.

The KIF sees this as a great opportunity to showcase its student athletes statewide, said Bill Arakaki, president of the KIF.

Arakaki said they will take full advantage of this pilot project.

“We’re trying to showcase our students and to show the state the type of competition we have, and the community and the parents we have,” he said.

But being broadcast in prime time is just part of the deal.

“It’s not just only on TV,” Arakaki said. “They’ll stream (the game) on the World Wide Web so anyone associated with Kaua‘i can listen to it. They’ll be able to connect it back to where they’re from.”

Arakaki sees a lot of potential for this.

“It might turn into something that might be profitable for everyone.” he said. “Positive media, that’s what we’re looking for on Kaua‘i. Who knows where it’s going to take off to. It’s a new thing for all of us, trying to get them all over here.”

It’s a new thing for the OC16 crew, too.

The sports crew of about 15 to 20 has never broadcast from Kaua‘i before. They have, however, broadcast a Kaua‘i sports team when it broadcast the Division II state football championship game between Kaua‘i High and King Kekaulike. That was broadcast from Aloha Stadium on O‘ahu.

The championship softball game between Kaua‘i and Sacred Hearts was also broadcast live on OC16 Saturday from the University of Hawai‘i wahine softball stadium.

They have contracts with the O‘ahu Interscholastic Association, Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to broadcast their games.

No contrasts exist for that of Kaua‘i, Maui, Lana‘i or Moloka‘i.

“Like most people, we’re kind of in the dark as to what Kaua‘i athletics are all about,” said OC16’s Dave Vinton. “We’re just excited, we think it’s going to be a great way for Kaua‘i athletes to display (their talents) to the state. We think it’s going to be a great experience for all sides.”

This arrangement came coincidentally. Vinton and Arakaki were in talks about another project when the topic of broadcasting a KIF game came up. Both had the same ideas, so they moved forward in making it happen.

Arakaki found the funding for the project in grants and sponsors. OC16 will tape this Friday’s game and return again on March 30, for the girls varsity basketball game between Kaua‘i and Waimea.

On Friday, Richard Holtzman, president of the Kukui‘ula Development Company, and about a dozen Waimea High School alumni that currently work at Kukui‘ula paid Arakaki a visit.

That visit came with a grant for $5,000, a portion of which will be used for the OC16 telecast.

Although the feature game won’t have any Menehune on the floor, Waimea will be reaping benefits from the telecast because along with the airing, Arakaki was offered a 30-second spot.

However, according to Gini Kapali, the public relations officer for Kukui‘ula, Arakaki turned the offer into a win-win situation.

After collaborating with Chris Faye, one of the leaders of the Waimea Town Celebration, and Dickie Chang of Wala‘au Productions, the spot will be used to promote the upcoming celebration which benefits Waimea High School through its participation in the event.

“It’s not just my donation,” Arakaki said. “It’s an island effort to promote all students. Hopefully, there will be other sponsors out there who will see the benefits of this project and jump on the bandwagon.”

Arakaki encouraged people from all schools to turn out Friday night to welcome OC16 to the island.

“It’s a major project,” Arakaki said. “It’s a good. They’re going to make it happen.”

• To listen to the game on the Web, visit www.oc16.tv.

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