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Kalei Adolpho

By Paul Honda

LAST UPDATED: 10:03 a.m. HST, Jun 5, 2011

* Molokai * Basketball, volleyball, track, cross country * GPA: 3.55 * College choice: Hawaii


Long before she wore the green and white of the Molokai Farmers, Abbiggaile Kalei Adolpho’s running shoes knew wear and tear.

Adolpho and her older brother, Manu, knew Hoolelua’s long roads and fields, and the foundation of long-distance running at a young age served them well.

She once said, “Running makes everything easier. I do the whole thing at a slow pace. I like the easy pace. It’s like meditation. But competitive running? It’s work. Racing is hard.”

Adolpho immediately became a force in cross country and volleyball as a freshman, and her success in basketball and track and field soon followed. At 6 feet 1, her height was matched by her explosiveness and balance.

Four times she was an Maui Interscholastic League basketball all-star, named player of the year as a senior. Three times, she was voted by coaches and media to the All-State Fab 15, helping the Farmers win their first state basketball crown in 2009. In the title game, she had 21 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks against Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Her basketball career was accentuated by summer trips with the Team Aloha all-stars, and coaches Dana Takahara-Dias and Fran Villarmia-Kahawai, and the Kalakaua Wahine 17U team,  and coaches Mike Taylor and Dennis Agena. She trained on Oahu for weeks at a time for basketball and volleyball, too, staying with the family of former HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya. “Besides being an exceptional athlete, she’s even a more exceptional person,” Amemiya said. “She’s such a humble, caring, considerate and pleasant person. I know she’ll make Molokai proud when she continues her career at UH.”

In volleyball, she was named MIL player of the year once and voted to the All-State Fab 15 three times, powering the Lady Farmers to the Division II state championship as a senior. As a runner, she finished 19th in the cross country state meet as a freshman, her only season in the sport.

She focused on the high jump, finishing third two times before winning the title this spring as a senior. For all her accolades, Kalei has never lost the humility and compassion that has endeared her to friends and fans across the state. Her busy life outside of athletics included the role of sergeant at arms for the student council for three years, and participation in the Molokai Environmental Protection Organization, and the Leo Club.

“I feel grateful and very blessed,” she said about the end of her high school career, while looking ahead. “I’m very excited.”

Adolpho plans to study kinesiology at the University of Hawaii, where she will play basketball for Takahara-Dias and volleyball for coach Dave Shoji.

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