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Leaner Kurtz is more confident

At 7 feet and 270 pounds, Douglas Kurtz will never be mistaken for a lightweight.

But playing at a lighter weight may be the key to success this season for the senior center on the Hawaii basketball team.

After struggling with injuries and a lack of playing time last season, Kurtz dropped 15 pounds during the offseason, and said he now feels faster and fitter.

“Just running up and down the court, I feel a lot better,” he said. “With my size, if I can run the floor like that, I think I can help the team.”

Kurtz is originally from Pelotas, Brazil, but played two seasons at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa before transferring to Hawaii in 2009. He spent much of this past summer visiting friends in Iowa.

“A lot of home-cooking,” he said. “Just eating better … salads, more vegetables and less meat.”

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