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Catching up with new DOBO Nakanishi

Jesse Nakanishi comes from a Hawaiian tradition, a hard-working tradition, and a winning tradition. He’s looking to bring all three and more to his role as the new Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

“It’s everything to me,” he said of accepting the job at UH. “I bleed Hawai’i, I’m very proud. I’m a native Hawaiian as well and take extreme pride in that. UH is kind of the fixture of Hawai’i sports and just to be a part of the basketball program, I’m very grateful.”

Nakanishi started his new job in late June, and was thrown into the mix quickly during the program’s annual summer camps for youth players.

Leading camps, and coaching basketball at various levels are not new to Nakanishi. He led Kamehameha to two state championships (2009 and 2011) as the head coach, and then spent six seasons as an assistant/associate coach at Hawai’i Pacific University. The Sharks had a 29-3 record and were ranked as high as No. 3 in one of the NCAA-II national polls.

He was the director of basketball operations at Seattle University last season, and the Redhawks finished 20-14 and participated in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) postseason tournament.

“It was a great year, 20 wins, and a really good experience,” Nakanishi said. “I wasn’t looking to leave, but home came calling and I jumped on the opportunity.”

The DOBO is considered part of the staff for NCAA-I programs, but not necessarily a coach. Nakanishi said some of his main duties at UH will include scheduling, budgeting, and travel arrangements.

“There are tons of hats we wear, but those are a few of the main ones,” he said.

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