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Kekahi Graham a Young Man's Journey

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Over the years we have seen an amazing development of younger and younger talent across our great nations High School programs. This story will involve a young man, his family’s story along with his coaches and academic influencers. I chose this story not because it was yet another young man who has amazing God-given talent but how his true family surrounding him has been there with him on his journey and has helped to mold this young man as he prepares for whatever life brings his way. Full transparency, I have not met Kekahi nor his family.

I have relied on their own words (as you will read) to help tell a story about a young man’s journey that is also located on one of the most isolated islands on the planet. In addition to his family's comments, we were also very fortunate to get the comments of Kekahi’s high school coach and the dean from Saint Louis School in Hawaii.

A child’s dream to one day be on that stage of stage and compete at the highest levels begins at a very early age. For most, you would go through organized sports like Pop Warner as I once did. But for many, they have that special inside coach as a trusted advisor. That parent that not only sees the potential of their child but has the tools and care to nurture their son or daughter to achieve their dreams while also being a fine young member of society. Reading through the stories of other’s and of course, Kekahi's own words you will see why I chose to publish this young man’s story and hopefully make others aware (USC and Texas are) and spend the time to watch his film and force themselves to travel to the islands to see for themselves.

Ok, so you ask yourself, why is Steve suddenly turning to help tell a story on someone he has no connection to? USC24x7 has always been a place where I can exercise my true love for college football and all that it has to offer and also portray the journey to the big stage. This story will be a framework for future stories I want to bring to all of you. For those in Hawaii they will recognize Kekahi Graham and for those not blessed with living on our treasured islands well please enjoy his journey and if you are a college football coach or scout you will have plenty of information to learn more about the journey and thus the character of a young up and coming person and athlete.

The Journey Begins for Mom & Dad

Growing up in Hawaii Kekahi loved playing outdoors and sports activities. Kahi’s first sport

that he fell in love with (at the age of 5) was soccer which he still plays today on his high school varsity team.  As a varsity football coach at my high school alma mater (Farrington high school) Kahi was automatically thrown into the football arena where he was constantly on the sidelines, at practice, and watching game films. He also served as the water boy. So, when Kekahi was old enough to play flag football (age 6) he picked up the game really fast and excelled very quickly in the game. 

The funny thing about it was that Kekahi initially wanted to play on the defensive side of the game as a free safety. (As that’s where I played in high school and in college at the University of Hawaii). So, it was inevitable that I would be Kekahi’s flag football coach.  With his mindset as a free safety, I then told Kahi that: “if you want to be a good free safety, you need to learn how to play quarterback”. For the obvious reasons, I told him “to beat a quarterback you have to think like a quarterback”. 

As a result, because of his upbringing, Kekahi’s football IQ was ahead of most kids his age, and he excelled at the quarterback position.  At a very young age, Kahi was exposed to a lot of competition. At the age of eight, Kekahi’s flag football team played in national tournaments in Vegas where he would lead his team to the semifinals. By the time he was old enough to play tackle football (12), he quickly excelled there as well leading his Metro team (Big boy league with no weight limit) to two championships.

Kekahi's Own Words

"One of my greatest accomplishments in my football career thus far was getting into Saint Louis School and earning the starting QB position as a 7th and 8th grader on the intermediate football team where we went back to back with undefeated seasons (something that hasn't been accomplished in the past 15 years at Saint Louis). Following that year, I was invited and played at the University of Southern California (USC) high school varsity football 7on7 tournament. Whereas the starting QB, I lead my team to the championship and winning the tournament. I was later invited to play in the pro football Hall of Fame all-American eighth grade team in Canton, Ohio. After the game, I was named offensive player of the game. I was since been ranked eighth in the country on the quarterback Hitlist a dual-threat quarterback c/o 2023

After having a blessed year I suffered (2) collapse lungs, where I was hospitalized for one month on a ventilator to help me breathe. During this time, I was unable to work out or participate in any activities at school. I have since recovered and started training harder using the situation as motivation to prepare for the varsity as a freshman. As a freshman on the varsity team, I was able to play sparingly but got lots of reps at practice and played on a team that won (4) previous state championship (2016-2019) and finished the season ranked 6th in the nation (2019).

The following year COVID -19 occurred and Hawaii’s football season was canceled. Still trying to stay in football shape and perfecting my craft as a quarterback, I continued to train with my dad (who is also a LB Coach on the varsity football team) and do what I could to stay in shape (running the beach, hills, throwing the ball with my receivers, lifting weights and watching game film) during the pandemic.