Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Interview with Amanda Kamekona

The Pac-12 is widely regarded as the top softball conference in the NCAA, and there's a good reason that it is: They've won 21 WCWS titles. The conference with the second-most championships in the sport of softball is the now-defunct WCAA.

The UCLA Bruins are probably the most storied program in the country, with 12 national titles to their credit. They've also been responsible for the development and the "starting block" for many a professional and international softball star. One of the biggest stars to come out of UCLA in recent memory is Amanda Kamekona, now a star in the National Pro Fastpitch league.

Amanda spent last season as a member of the Carolina Diamonds, and has already signed on to play for the league's newest franchise, the NY/NJ Comets. The 2013 collegiate season is Amanda's first as a head coach, as she was tapped to lead the Brevard College Tornados. The Tornados are a respectable 5-7 with four postponed games already on the young season. (The school is located in Brevard, North Carolina, about thirty-four miles from Asheville.)

Amanda and I completed this interview last month, and it's on me that it's just getting posted now. My apologies! But I think y'all will enjoy reading it despite my lack of timeliness. :)

Be sure to check Amanda out on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and follow the Brevard softball squad throughout their season by checking on their schedule here.

Credit for the AWESOME photo goes to Ray Marsden.

Q: Although you're best known for being a great hitter, how do you think you'd fare if you stepped into the pitching circle and threw to some hitters?
A: I’ve always admired pitchers.  Pitchers are the only people that get to touch the ball EVERY PLAY.   While I like throwing batting practice to my kids at Brevard, I’m extremely real with myself and know that I’d probably be just that to hitters--- batting practice.  J

Q: What is the proudest moment of your career?
A: Graduating from UCLA and playing in OKC in front of my family.  Even though the overall outcome in 2008 wasn’t exactly what I’d hope, seeing the look on their faces and how proud they were was awesome!

Q: According to your bio on the CSF website (and I did not know this until I read it there), you not only played softball, but also baseball, volleyball, AND water polo in high school?! Why did you decide to stick with softball?
A: Well, my first love has always been baseball.  To be perfectly honest, had I felt I could have earned a college scholarship playing baseball I would have stuck with that.  Being 5’2 and 120lbs doesn’t make for the best build to play baseball competitively at the Collegiate level. So, I did what I thought was best and tried softball out the summer going into my Junior year of high school.  I was pretty good at it, liked playing, and things just happened from there.

Q: It's only been a few months since you were hired as head coach of the Brevard College Tornadoes. How are you adjusting to your new role?
A: I LOVE IT!  My kids are AWESOME (don’t tell them I said that)  hehe.  Juan Mascaro (BC’s Athletic Director) and the rest of the coaches that work at Brevard are an amazing group of people who have made the transition so easy.  They’ve helped a lot with settling into a new environment, and I cannot imagine a more helpful and supportive group to work with.

Q: It's already been announced that several players from multiple NPF teams will not be returning for the 2013 season. Will you be coming back next year?
A:  I’d love to-but it has also been brought to my attention that the Carolina Diamonds might be folding.  If that’s true I’ll need to find another team to play for if I want to return for the 2013 season.

Q: Complete this sentence: If I were not playing or coaching softball, I would be _ _______________.
A: still in school—possibly studying Law.

Q: If a movie was going to be made about your life, who would you cast in the role of Amanda?
A: Aww man!  This is a tough one… I’d want someone funny like Emma Stone or someone like that…  to be perfectly honest ANYONE other than Kristen Stewart. 

Q: Say you were Aladdin and the genie agreed to grant you three wishes. What would you ask for?
A: I’d wish for good health for my family and friends, a successful career, and I’d save the last for a rainy day.

Q: If you were offered a guest-starring role on any television show currently on TV, which would you like to appear on?
A: Downton Abbey or host a segment on MLB Network.  The only channel my TV stays on is MLB network…

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