Kahuku alum on the move, back to play for the Warriors
Malik Alatasi is not an idle worshiper.
“I’ve got to stay busy,” said Alatasi, who has a full-time job in construction and works out in the early morning and late afternoon each day. “I can’t just stay at home. It’s one of my pet peeves.”
Alatasi’s schedule will become more hectic this summer when he joins the University of Hawaii football team as a defensive end.
Alatasi is a 2015 Kahuku High graduate who played the past two seasons at Ventura College.
“I decided to stay home and play for UH,” Alatasi said. “My family is here. Home is home.”
It took three semesters for Alatasi to earn an associate degree, an NCAA eligibility requirement for a player transferring from a junior college. He said he earned 27 credits in the 2016 fall semester to complete his Ventura studies in December. He then moved back to Hawaii in January. He said he will have three years to play two UH seasons.
Alatasi, who is 6 feet 3 and 230 pounds, projects to compete at defensive end for the Rainbow Warriors. He showed his toughness after suffering a broken hand in the Pirates’ third game of 2016. He played the rest of the season despite the injury.
“Man, it’s that Kahuku in me,” Alatasi said. “I can’t give up.”
Alatasi showed courage in the seventh grade when he first jumped off the cliff at Laie Point. “You go there, you’ve got to be a man,” said Alatasi, who admittedly is uncomfortable at great heights. And while he avoids roller-coaster rides, he said, “I’d jump off a rock into the ocean.”
His hobbies include free diving and spearfishing. “I went free diving with my uncle once, and after that, I was hooked,” he said. “You have to have good lungs, I guess.”
Alatasi said he attended UH’s Football Family Festivus and Warrior Bowl. He grew up in Hauula with UH linebacker Rashaan Falemalu and safety Keala Santiago. He also is friends with several Warriors, including slotback John Ursua, offensive lineman John Wa‘a and linebacker Solomon Matautia. Former UH rush end Paipai Falemalu said “it was like (Alatasi) lived in our house.”
Alatasi said he trains under Kahuku offensive coordinator Sterling Carvalho and defensive coordinator Sola Soliai. “I wake up at 4 in the morning,” Alatasi said. “I work out, then come home. I have 20 minutes to get ready for work. I work all day, come home, then go straight to running. I’m always moving.”