Women’s hoops welcomes home-grown transfer


Chaminade Athletics

Junior forward, Courtney Kaupu looking for a teammate to feed the ball and get to the hoop.

By Manny Ibarra, staff writer

The Chaminade University women’s basketball team has started its season this past Thursday when it matched up against the Alaska Nanooks. The Lady ‘Swords dropped the game to the Nanooks 82-63.

Although the ‘Swords couldn’t get the win, some of the new recruits got some action on the court, such as junior transfer Courtney Kaupu. She was one of the starting five in this game, and she recorded nine points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 34 minutes.

Kaupu, a 5-foot-9 forward, is making an impact as soon as the season begins by already being part of the starting five. She is new to Chaminade but she is a home-grown athlete. Originally from Holualoa on the Big Island, she was a dominant factor in her high school team at Konawaena High where she helped guide the Wildcats to four appearances in the Hawai’i Division I championship games, and she won the state championship back-to-back in her sophomore and junior seasons.

After high school, she was recruited to play at Centralia College, in Centralia, Wash. She played both years at the junior college, averaging 11 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals as a sophomore. Kaupu enjoyed her time in the mainland but she often felt homesick, which was the factor that helped her decide to transfer to Chaminade.

“I was really homesick. I kind of just missed the family support and everyone coming out to watch my games,” she said just before her first game in a CUH uniform.

Now that she is here and the women’s basketball season is underway, it is time to get down to business. The Lady ‘Swords went 7-17 last season and will be looking to improve that record this year.

“I come from a winning background, even from high school, so I want to come in with a winning mentally, so I want make it to playoffs at least,” said Kaupu, who is majoring in Early Childhood Education. “As long as we get the W, it doesn’t matter. I just want to win.”

Kaupu sounds quite ambitious with her goals, but she is confident in herself and ready to work hard for the team. She is mainly playing the forward position here at Chaminade, but she also likes to play as a guard.

“I think I bring a different style of play, more calm more composed, I think it will be a lot better (this year),” Kaupu said.

Although it has only been a few weeks since the Lady ‘Swords began their preseason, the team is well aware of Kaupu’s skills and high work ethic on the court. Some of her teammates believe she is the best recruit to join the program this season.

“She is a very dedicated player, and she is a big asset to our team. We are glad to have her in our program,” said junior guard Kristle Henry from Kaua’i.

Regardless of the result in the first game of the season, the players have gone back to practice and kept working on fixing the small mistakes with the support of their coaches. Kaupu believes the coaching staff here at Chaminade is a bit different than her last college but coaches are dedicated and knowledgeable.

“They are good coaches, they are very different than what I’m used to, but they push us every day at practice. … It is a very disciplined structure too,” she said.

The Lady ‘Swords will be back in action at the O’ahu Thanksgiving Classic where they will face Western Washington on Thursday (St. Francis School Gym, 4 p.m.) and the University of Mary on Friday (Cannon Activities Center in Laie, 11 a.m.).