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Showcase  | Story  | 6/14/2022

Aukai Kea Performs Well at Jr National

Alanna Jacob     
Photo: Aukai Kea (Perfect Game)
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Aukai Kea went through over eight hours of travel from his native city of Kapolei, Hawaii, to Atlanta for this weekend’s 2022 Junior National Showcase.

And although Kea was not satisfied with his performance, that comes more from his extremely high expectations for himself. Because from other's perspectives, his dedication and talent was apparent on the field as he worked and competed through his jet lag over the past weekend.

Kea, the No. 1 overall player out of Hawaii in the 2024 class, is also squarely inside the top-100 overall prospects in the class at No. 86 overall. A catcher by trade, Kea was among the most impressive backstops at Jr. National, throwing with accuracy and acumen and also showcasing his strength at the plate, with exit velocities over 100 mph during batting practice.

He wasn't satisfied with that, though.

“This wasn’t my ideal performance, I could’ve done a lot better on the offensive side," Kea said. "Defense, I think I did okay, I had a couple of throw outs, but overall, could have just done better.”

A few hours after that, he was on a flight back to Hawaii. For someone who expects greatness out of himself, he should go home happy with how he performed.

Kea started his athletic career at 4 years old playing T- Ball and was coached by his father up until about two or three years ago, though he is still coached by his father in many ways.

Kea’s dad, along with his own hard work and dedication, can be credited for his success and growth as an athlete.

“I have grown a lot. Not just physically, but mentally,” Kea explained.

A college commitment hasn't been made just yet, but Kea finds a strong academic program very important in a school to ensure success after college, he said. He has no problem moving away from home, which opens his list up quite a bit, and he has interests in schools nationwide including those one would imagine from a top-prospect: Arizona, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Oregon State, Texas, Missouri, and NC State.

There is no doubt that Kea will fulfill his dreams of playing for a college team, and his performance at Jr. National is a step in that direction.