As the clock ticks after midnight here in my living room (and elsewhere, surely), let’s have a look at some links. Huskies offensive players and coaches, by the way, will be available for interviews around noon.
--- Here’s our story in today’s newspaper about senior defensive tackle Taniela Tupou, who moved to Hawaii for the final quarter of his high-school career in order to get his grades up and qualify for college. Two years ago, coach Steve Sarkisian asked Tupou to transfer. Now, he is one of UW’s six team captains. An excerpt from the story:
On Hawaii’s Big Island, Tupou’s uncle, Sam Kekuaokalani, scheduled his nephew’s every waking moment.
The structure and discipline were necessary. Tupou had signed a letter of intent to play for the Huskies after a standout career at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, but he wouldn’t be going anywhere if he didn’t boost his grade-point average.
Never miss a local story.
So for the final quarter of his high school career — March, April and May of 2011 — Tupou’s parents sent him to live with Kekuaokalani and attend Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona, where straight-As were required to qualify for college.
But Kekuaokalani, now Kealekehe’s head football and basketball coach, said that time was about more than just grades and football.
“We understood the overall plan was to get to the University of Washington,” said Kekuaokalani, who is the brother of Tupou’s mother, Kawai. “So we sat down and I basically told him I couldn’t care less if he goes to Washington. All I care about is the characteristics that he builds while living here.
“It was really challenging for him, I thought, because our entire day here, every day, is pretty much set.”
He’s not exaggerating. Each day began with a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call for a 6 a.m. seminary class — Tupou is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints — after which he helped make breakfast for the family (Kekuaokalani has six children) before arriving at school by 8 a.m.
When the school day ended around 3 p.m., Tupou worked out with his uncle in the weight room until about 5:30, then shuttled from there to whatever church or family activity was scheduled for the evening, then helped make dinner.
He also had a list of chores, just like the rest of Kekuaokalani’s children: help clean the dishes, help wash the floors, help scrub the toilet, help clean the yard.
--- In case you missed the announcement last night, Washington’s Sept. 26 game against California at Husky Stadium will kickoff at 2 p.m. and air on Pac-12 Networks.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple