basketball Edit

Four in front for four-star forward Kamaka Hepa

Kemaka Hepa
Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYB

The end is near for Kamaka Hepa and while he has yet to disclose a final list, a group of four has begun to emerge.

Texas, Gonzaga, USC and Washington appear to be ahead of the field for the four-star.

“I have been in contact with those four for a while now, especially of late,” Hepa said. “A few other schools, too, like Utah, Oklahoma, Stanford has just recently called me but mainly most of the Pac-12 schools and a few others on the west coast.”

A 6-foot-8 forward that can play various spots across the floor, Hepa is at his best facing the basket where he can extend the defense with his perimeter jumper but also has an excellent feel for the game in making the appropriate pass and in a timely manner.

Entering his senior season of high school basketball, Hepa, who had relocated to the continental United States last year from his native Barrow, Alaska, discussed how the recruitment process has been. “It has been pretty busy,” he said. “It has been good though, just being able to communicate with the coaches and build relationships with them.”


Hepa touched on the schools he has had the most contact with.

Texas: “They definitely have done a great job of building a relationship with not just myself, but also my mom and my dad, as well. We went down there in mid-June and spent a lot of time with Coach (Shaka) Smart and the rest of the staff, along with some of the players. I really like what they are building and what they all believe in.”

Gonzaga: “They have been talking to me for a long time, since I was a freshman. I have gone to their team camps since I was young and we have always had a good relationship with them there. Coach (Brian) Michaelson has done a great job of building a relationship with my family and they are definitely one of my top schools.”

USC: “They had a lot of good commitments already this past month but when I went on a visit, I just fell in love with the campus. I like what they have and what they are building. How I would fit in there, as well, really stands out.”

Washington: “It was kind of late in the recruiting process when he (Mike Hopkins) hit me up, but I just like his passion with not only recruiting, but basketball itself. He is a great guy and a great coach. He has showed me guys that he has coached that are similar to me in my position and I just believe he can get me to where I want to be.”


After finishing his senior summer with the Portland Basketball Club 17-under team this summer, Hepa has a few decisions ahead of him. “Sometime in August, we are going to sit down and cut things down,” he said. “I will probably commit during the fall, but right now, it is up in the air.”

Hepa has set an official visit to Texas for Labor Day weekend, while a few others are still being made.


Hepa had an excellent end to his travel basketball career and after making the move to Portland last summer, it seems as if he is hitting stride with his game.

At one point, the initial belief was that it would be difficult to pull Hepa away from the west coast for college. However, Texas has made up ample ground as it could be seen as the favorite for him, especially seeing that they are the only school to have set a visit with him.