This week, University of Hawai’i football senior wide receiver Makoa Camanse-Stevens hauled in the biggest prize of his life.
Rainbow Warrior head coach Nick Rolovich awarded a scholarship to the former walk-on from Kamehameha-Kapalama, allowing Camanse-Stevens the opportunity to finish out his college career without having to worry about the burdens of tuition, books, housing, or food.
“Oh man, it was magical.” Camanse-Stevens said.
“I could see how proud (my parents) were of me, and they could see how hard I was really working and really trying. That was my goal to reach that, and it was just magical.”
The scholarship fits the 6’4 205 pounder’s production in 2015, where he caught 13 passes for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns despite being used minimally early in the season.
This year with a free ride is set up to be smooth sailing after a tumultuous road that took Makoa to Manoa.
After playing quarterback for Kamehameha as a high school standout, Camanse-Stevens continued behind center at Arizona Western for a season-and-a-half before switching to wide out in the middle of his 2014 season.
After transferring to UH, Makoa was allowed to walk-on with the Rainbow Warriors with the help of strength and conditioning guru Chad Ikei.
“I couldn’t have done it by myself.” Camanse-Stevens said. “I had my parents, coach Chad, the coaching staff, and all of my teammates.”
“I couldn’t have done it by myself. It’s so awesome to come home and be able to play in front of my home town and I’m just having so much fun. It’s a blessing I thank God every day.”
The Rainbow Warriors will continue spring practice Tuesday morning in Manoa at 7:00am.