CUH Athletes Discuss Why They Play For the Swords


The Chaminade volleyball team. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Hashiro)

Why are you here?

With more than 5,000 colleges and universities in the United States alone, it’s crazy to think of how students ended up at any school. So to narrow it down and find a school that you want to go to requires a reason. For some sports are the driving factor. Sports can open eyes to schools that some would never have known about, but even then there are still so many options. So after talking with some of the Chaminade athletes on campus, they explained why they wanted to be apart of the Silversword family.

Alana Handy, No. 9, during a preseason tournament. (Photo courtesy of Mike Bell)

Alana Handy, a junior transfer from Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, joined the women’s volleyball program this year. Handy is a starting six-rotation outside for the team who has helped the team to an 20-5 record so far.

The Washington native came to Chaminade looking for a fresh start, academically, athletically and socially. Handy found Chaminade by researching online for schools that had her major, volleyball programs and a beautiful location. Chaminade University of Honolulu was one of the first schools she found when wanting to transfer, and after an email sent to the coach, she soon came on a 48-hour visit. Once the visit came to an end she had verbally committed.

The junior knew Chaminade was a good fit due to the size of the school, the culture of the team, and the opportunity to continue school in paradise. The Washington native explained that it wasn’t hard to move so far away from home considering she was already so far living in Florida for two years but feels that because Hawaii is welcoming and friendly it made the transition easier. As volleyball season is coming to an end Handy expressed that the team has done very well this season and may make it to the regional tournament.

With basketball season around the corner, Jamia Bailey from the women’s basketball team had some words on why she came to Chaminade. The freshman who fell in love with Chaminade, at first sight, came to Chaminade due to location, the team, and the school itself. Being from Fussa, a city in the Tokyo metropolis, in Japan, Hawaii stood out due to the beaches and scenery it has to offer. She found Chaminade through her college class in high school and also a recruiting program called NCSA. Bailey contacted the coaches, came on a visit and knew that this was the school for her.

The Japan native explained that it was easier to come to Hawaii rather than a school on the mainland because the distance and time change isn’t as drastic. Hawaii also included a taste of home for Bailey considering the busy city lifestyle it offers. She also has friends from Japan out on the island, which made the transition easier.

“I have already made friends from the team that I know will be with me for the next four years of college,” she said.

The beaches have become one of Bailey’s favorite places on the island, and she is enjoying the island lifestyle. The freshman is excited as the beginning of season is on the verge of starting.

“I love Chaminade because of the fact that is in Hawaii! Who wouldn’t love to play their favorite sport in college while doing it all in Hawaii,” she said. “The team is amazing and basically my second family here. I know they will have my back and help lead me to success.”

The first home women’s basketball game will be on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 5:30 p.m. versus Multnomah.

Brandon Yusue, freshman Goalkeeper. (Photo courtesy of Chaminade Athletics)

Brandon Yasue from Chaminade men’s soccer team didn’t travel far to join the Chaminade University ohana. The Hawaii Kai native explained he wasn’t ready to move away to the mainland and so he wanted to find a school on the island with a good educational program and a soccer team. The soccer team had a 6-5-2 record for their past season.

What sold Yasue on Chaminade was a 15-minute drive from home, small classrooms that allow personal connections with teachers and classmates, and the soccer team who made him feel a part of the family.

During high school, Yasue didn’t know what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go and missed many college application deadlines. But being from the island, he knew what Chaminade University was, and with further research, he soon applied. With the beauty of home and many friends and family on the island it was hard for him to think of leaving, so he stayed. After looking into schools on the island with a soccer program the freshman decided to join the Chaminade men’s soccer and become a Goalkeeper.

What I love about the Cham soccer team is everyone underestimates us and always put us as the underdog,” he said. “… We also never give up and they’re always trying to be better players on and off the field and really made me fall in love with the Cham spirit.”