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Rising Son

Waimanalo’s Hugh Hogland is about to realize his Olympic dream. The former Gatorade Player of the Year was recently named to Japan’s national team and will compete in this month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Hogland, who led Iolani to two state basketball championships (2014 and ’16), is a citizen of both the U.S. and Japan. He was recently interviewed by ESPN Honolulu’s Josh Pacheco.

Among the highlights:

On learning that he made the final Japan national team roster:

“I immediately started breaking down [emotionally] because it’s been such a long journey since I left Iolani to get to this point. Those four years were a crazy ride, and it just all caught up [with me].”

On his first experiences trying out for the team at the age of 19:

“Yeah, it was just a three- or four-day camp in Kumamoto. My body broke down on the third day. I just wasn’t ready to play at that level. I mean, I played well, but my hip flexors and my knees just couldn’t handle it. Where I’m at now at 22, I had kept having injuries every time I played here because I was playing against pros, but this was the first time I’d been healthy the entire camp. So physically and mentally, yeah, I’ve grown a lot since Iolani and even my freshman year at Portland.”

In this 10-minute interview, Hogland also also talked about the maturation of his game, his experiences at the University of Portland and UC Davis, and life in the Olympic “bubble.”