Court Sense

Court Sense

Hosted by former Hawaii basketball beat writer Brian McInnis, the Court Sense podcast hits upon hoops with relevant guests in the islands — past and present. You might get a healthy dose of fantasy, sci-fi and video gaming, too.

Oct. 21 – After coming within two games of an NBA championship, Miami Heat player development coach and former Hawaii basketball great A.C. Carter comes on and shares thoughts of his team’s memorable sojourn in the Orlando bubble. UH’s first conference player of the year relives his incredible journey from hustling on Atlanta hardcourts as a high school dropout, to making it out to the islands, to gritting out an extended career in the Association.

Oct. 16 – Former Hawaii basketball director of operations Chris McMillian becomes the first member of Gib Arnold’s old UH coaching staff to come on the pod and share his perspective of what happened when everything fell apart amid an NCAA investigation back in 2014. McMillian, now a full assistant at Idaho State, gives a candid assessment of what went wrong and what he learned from the experience.

Oct. 8 – Local hoops legend Shawna-Lei Kuehu, now a coach at Kealakehe High on the Big Island, traces back her path through her transformative college days at Hawaii that included raising her baby daughter while meeting the many demands of a star Division I student-athlete. She says what she can on a tough subject: her ongoing lawsuit against Punahou and a former Buffanblu assistant coach who is accused of sexual assault by multiple ex-players.

Oct. 1 – “Dynamic Duo” era sharpshooter Alika Smith shares thoughts on an NBA Finals matchup between two old Hawaii teammates turned big-stage assistant coaches — Phil Handy of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony Carter of the Miami Heat. Smith dishes on his rare homegrown stardom, his battles and friendship with Fresno State’s Chris Herren, and the time he saw a dejected Bob Knight walk back to Waikiki.
(Photo: Dennis Oda, 1997)

Sept. 23 – Valley Isle-based sports broadcaster and podcaster Jordan Helle wistfully reminisces with the host about his favorite memories of the Maui Invitational now that the premier in-season college basketball tournament is being relocated to North Carolina for 2020 due to the COVID crisis. What were the best teams, players and moments witnessed between the two at the raucous Lahaina Civic Center? There’s no shortage of choices.

Sept. 17 – Hawaii men’s basketball assistant coach Chris Gerlufsen was thrust into an unusual spot last November, temporarily taking over for ailing head man Eran Ganot mere weeks after arriving in the islands for a new job. He sums up his surreal two-month tenure as the program’s 22nd head coach, addresses what changes could lie ahead for UH and the rest of college hoops, and recounts facing the late, great Kobe Bryant as a player for Philadelphia’s East High against Lower Merion.

Sept. 1 – Former Hawaii point guard Brocke Stepteau, no stranger to a true underdog story, recounts his humble beginnings at Hawaii as both an undersized walk-on and aspiring music artist putting pen to paper. Since moving to New York City post college, “Step” has strode far, but has a long way to go in the bustling Big Apple. One of the Rainbow Warriors’ most clutch playmakers and 3-point marksmen in recent years lays out his vision to translate success to his new arena, the studio.

Aug. 27 – Honolulu mayoral candidate Keith Amemiya, the former executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, recounts the path that led him into the political realm for the first time at age 54. After surviving a free-for-all of a primary, he’s into a head-to-head battle with another veteran of local sports, Rick Blangiardi, for the general election Nov. 3. There is no shortage of crises to address for the winner, so why does Amemiya want to do it?

Aug. 23 – Former Hawaii swingman Jared Dillinger relives his rags-to-riches basketball arc, from Air Force Academy cadet, to UH walk-on and scout teamer, to senior starter, to 13-year (and counting) pro in the Philippines. The hoops-crazed country is about to attempt its own COVID “bubble” for basketball under possibly questionable circumstances, but for Dillinger that’s nothing compared to when he had to chauffeur noted wild card “Little Matt” Gibson around Manoa.

Aug. 7 – KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello hits pause during a busy week of COVID-related breaking news to reminisce with his old friend from Kailua High School. DeMello, one of the most visible faces in Hawaii sports, shares some twists of fate that led him to this point in life, plus his philosophy on his prolific social media game and what he thinks could happen with college football in 2020 and 2021.

July 30 – Former Hawaii basketball all-conference guard Predrag Savovic reminisces about the good old days in Manoa, his stint in the NBA, and playing against old teammate Carl English in Spain. Savovic, the No. 4 scorer in program history, sets the record straight on the identity of the biggest pranksters of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 NCAA Tournament teams and tries to recall the origin of “I am Savo.”

July 16 – Los Angeles Lakers digital content manager Joey Ramirez, a University of Hawaii graduate, details his dream job over the last six-plus years since latching on with the storied franchise at age 20. The 2019-20 season has been one of extremes for the Purple and Gold, from the highs of LeBron on the court, to the lows of the loss of Kobe Bryant followed by COVID derailing the season. Plus, Ramirez shares how some hazing at UH softball Bingo helped prepare him for the big time.

July 11 – Hawaii soccer head coach Michele Nagamine attempts to balance optimism and realism as the prospect of NCAA fall sports grows more fraught by the day amid the national coronavirus surge. Will there be a 2020 season at all? Recorded on the 21st anniversary of the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, “Coach Bud” recalls watching her old college teammate Brandi Chastain pull off an iconic moment.

June 30 – Former Rainbow Wahine basketball standout Sarah Toeaina readily agreed to a podcast request during her recent, mandatory two-week COVID-19 visitor quarantine in the islands. The overseas hoops pro opens up on Scandinavian living and language barriers, her special rapport with her father, and what she misses about her time in Hawaii. Plus, the host has some career news.

June 21 – Former Hawaii high-flying hoops wing Aaron Valdes comes back to earth to share his thoughts of recent social strife, how things might’ve been different had he pursued his love of water polo, and if he’d just stayed for that final year at UH. The two-time Mexico league champion explains how his old 7-foot-6 UC Irvine nemesis Mamadou Ndiaye dunked a franchise into oblivion (and did Valdes a favor).