Hepa leads Portland Basketball Club U17 to historic EYBL win

May 13, 2017

Kamaka Hepa basketball

Kamaka Hepa

You can tell Barrow’s Kamaka Hepa is special because he keeps helping teams do big things for the first time.

The Barrow Whalers had never won an Alaska Class 3A state title before he arrived.

The Jefferson Democrats had never won an Oregon Class 6A state championship until he got there.

And the Portland Basketball Club had never won an EYBL game in the elite U17 division before last night.

The 6-foot-9 Alaskan has been a catalyst in all three ground-breaking achievements.

His latest achievement came in Atlanta, Georgia, where he led Portland BC to an 85-77 win over UPLAY of Canada for the team’s first win in nine EYBL games this season. The team’s previous eight losses came by an average of 17.3 points.

“Obviously, the competition is a lot better than what we’re used to in the local area, but I think it’ll be good for us,” Hepa told www.d1circuit.com. “It will only help us for college and the future. A lot of the guys we’re seeing now we’re going to see in college.

“I’m trying to play against the best players in the country because that’s the only way I’m going to improve.”

Hepa, of Barrow High fame, led the way for Portland BC with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

He is averaging 11.2 points and 6.2 rebounds with shooting percentages of .514/.758/.368.

Hepa is a 4-star national recruit and one of the most highly touted power forwards on the West Coast. He has been offered a scholarship by virtually every school in the Pac-12. He also has an offer to play professionally in the Philippines.

A lot can happen between now and the end of the summer, so he will leave his options open.

“We’ll see in the next couple months,” Hepa said. “I haven’t sat down and talked with my parents yet, but definitely after my last year of AAU basketball we’re going to have a serious conversation about that.”