Search
Close this search box.

Brain Tumor Did Not Stop Nebraska Commit Keonilei Akana

Nick Abramo

Keonilei Akana

Keonilei Akana was part of two Kamehameha state championship teams in three trips to the state final. (From HUDL).

 

These setbacks didn’t stop her, though, and Akana finished her senior year last fall with Honolulu Star-Advertiser Player of the Year honors and a second state championship in her three years being on the court with the Warriors. She also signed a letter of intent to play for Nebraska.

 

“I was 14 when I found out I had a tumor on the left side of my brain,” Akana wrote in an essay that was part of her application for consideration to be inducted into the Hawaii High School Hall of Honor. “It was the summer before my freshman year, and I had traveled across the country to compete in volleyball tournaments. When I returned home, I was probably fatigued from all the travel but didn’t recognize the signs because I was so excited to start high school. Tryouts for the varsity team were a week away, and I wanted to prepare for the first fitness test required to make the team: the mile and a half run. I set out to go on a jog and kept pace with my sister (Braelyn), who was already on the team. At the end of our run, we walked back to the gym to meet up with our parents. … We sat and waited, we talked, but something just didn’t feel right. I was beginning to feel disoriented and fatigued. My sister’s speech seemed jumbled and I couldn’t understand what she was saying. Then, in a matter of minutes, I blacked out and fell forward from two flights of stairs. I hit face first onto the cement floor and the impact of my fall caused a seizure. The next morning I woke up in the hospital, where my family and I learned about my tumor. There was immediate discussion about surgery and further treatment. But despite the seriousness of the situation, all I could think about was school and volleyball.”

 

Two brain surgeries and six weeks of radiation treatments became part of her life as a high school student as she continued to play volleyball.

 

“I battled extreme exhaustion, poor focus, and continuous frustration with my circumstances,” she continued in the essay. “My recovery was not smooth sailing. I had some good days and a lot of bad ones too. Throughout it all, I learned that I can’t control everything in my life, but I can control the way I deal with it. Dwelling on my surgery wasn’t going to make things better. So instead, I focused on the recovery and what truly mattered in my life, such as my faith, my relationship with my family and friends, as well as striving to reach my maximum potential as a student-athlete. … I earned my Young Women in Excellence Medallion, won two state championships, trained with the USAV A1 National Training team, and stayed on top of my studies. In the end, it taught me that I can do hard things and that I am stronger than I ever imagined.”

———————————-

RELATED: Kamehameha’s ‘Peanut’ Terukina Will Wrestle At Iowa State

———————————-

In her three years as a varsity player, Akana came up big in three appearances in the state final. In a 3-0 win over ‘Iolani as a sophomore, she had six kills, 11 digs and four block assists. As a junior, despite a 3-0 loss to the Raiders, Akana had 11 kills and 15 digs. Then as a senior, she blasted 22 kills with 11 digs in a 3-1 win over Punahou.

 

Akana did not make the 12-member Hall of Honor, but she was among the finalists. She’s raring to go for the Cornhuskers, whenever college volleyball returns post-COVID-19.

 

“I know that obstacles will come my way and life will continue to hand me ups and downs,” she wrote. “But, because of the challenges I’ve endured, I’m confident I can overcome them.”

Top Stories

4-Time State Champs Tihada, Estrella And Terukina Chosen For Hawaii Hall Of Honor Induction

4-Time State Champs Tihada, Estrella And Terukina Chosen For Hawaii

The Spirited, Six-Decade Adventures Of Surfer Joe

The Spirited, Six-Decade Adventures Of Surfer Joe

A Big-Box Store, Patience and 2 Incoming University Of Hawaii Freshmen Volleyball Players Intersect

A Big-Box Store, Patience and 2 Incoming University Of Hawaii

Punahou’s Shayna Lu And Hawaii Baptist’s Joshua Hayashida Are ILH’s Golf Champions For 2021

Punahou’s Shayna Lu And Hawaii Baptist’s Joshua Hayashida Are ILH’s

Three Court Cases Involving Hawaii High School Athletics Have Been Dropped

Three Court Cases Involving Hawaii High School Athletics Have Been

Talking Story With Many Of The Ol’ Sports People In The ‘Boroughs’

Talking Story With Many Of The Ol’ Sports People In

Brain Tumor Did Not Stop Nebraska Commit Keonilei Akana

Brain Tumor Did Not Stop Nebraska Commit Keonilei Akana

Punahou Is Plenty In ‘Tune’ For First ILH Boys Volleyball Championship Since 2018

Punahou Is Plenty In ‘Tune’ For First ILH Boys Volleyball

RIVALS WAIKIKI BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK: Saint Louis Jets Into First-Place Tie With Kamehameha

RIVALS WAIKIKI BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK: Saint Louis Jets

Marlboro’s John Winske Is A Kentucky Derby Winning Horse Owner And A Hoot And A Half

Marlboro’s John Winske Is A Kentucky Derby Winning Horse Owner

Part 3: Talking Story With The Ol’ Sports People Of The ‘Boroughs’

Part 3: Talking Story With The Ol’ Sports People Of

Deep State: Kamehameha’s Girls Volleyball Approach Delivers Another ILH Championship

Deep State: Kamehameha’s Girls Volleyball Approach Delivers Another ILH Championship

Related Post

Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali And Doug Flutie Picked For NickAbramo.com Hall of Fame Inaugural Class

Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali And Doug Flutie Picked For NickAbramo.com

his subject has been swirling in my head for years. Who would make it if I were to pick my

The Crushing Loss Of Two Amazing Men — Billy Sullivan And Ron LaFreniere — In One Day

The Crushing Loss Of Two Amazing Men — Billy Sullivan

Author’s note: The story will run in sister sites BedrockSportsMarlboro.com and BedrockSportsHawaii.com. — I did not know Billy Sullivan personally.

Kamehameha Awarded No. 1 Seed In ILH Baseball Tournament

Kamehameha Awarded No. 1 Seed In ILH Baseball Tournament

This year, the ILH baseball championship is pretty simple. There’s no first-round (regular season) winner and second round (tournament) winner.

WATCH: Happy Birthday (and Cinco de Mayo) to BEDROCK SPORTS HAWAII

WATCH: Happy Birthday (and Cinco de Mayo) to BEDROCK SPORTS

There will be no cake. No real celebration, other than the knowledge that one year is in the books for

Part 3: Talking Story With The Ol’ Sports People Of The ‘Boroughs’

Part 3: Talking Story With The Ol’ Sports People Of

riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of

‘Iolani Shortstop Tate Shimao Makes One Of Those ‘DID HE JUST DO THAT?’ Plays

‘Iolani Shortstop Tate Shimao Makes One Of Those ‘DID HE

There were no real fans to cheer about it, but there was one secret fan applauding inside. It happened Saturday

HHSAA Plans for 2020-21 Fall Sports, But There Are Many Contingencies

HHSAA Plans for 2020-21 Fall Sports, But There Are Many

There was a lot of discussion and ideas brought up at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s Zoom meeting with

WATCH: Saint Louis Pitcher Caleb Lomavita’s 13th ‘Iolani Strikeout Victim

WATCH: Saint Louis Pitcher Caleb Lomavita’s 13th ‘Iolani Strikeout Victim

Last Saturday, the Saint Louis baseball team topped ‘Iolani 3-2 at Central Oahu Regional Park to move into first place

BARRELS FULL OF DRAMA: If Nothing Else, The World Surf League Judging Feud Is Just Not A Good Look

BARRELS FULL OF DRAMA: If Nothing Else, The World Surf

—– There’s barrels full of World Surf League drama going on. In recent days, Brazilians Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and

Deep State: Kamehameha’s Girls Volleyball Approach Delivers Another ILH Championship

Deep State: Kamehameha’s Girls Volleyball Approach Delivers Another ILH Championship

Three girls got most of the media attention after Kamehameha’s 25-22, 25-20 ILH girls volleyball championship match victory over Punahou

VIDEO: 2021 Hawaii High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor Inductee: Shaye Story of Kamehameha

VIDEO: 2021 Hawaii High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor

The 12 Hawaii High School Hall of Honor selections for 2021 did not get a banquet and ceremony this year

Bedrock Sports Hawaii Stories Emailed To Your Inbox:

Bedrock's YouTube Channel: