I remember Kameron Steinhoff as a high school standout at Punahou School. Although his greater skill was in basketball, my first memory was thinking that this was the biggest wide receiver in recent prep football history. The kid was 6’ 4” and was a giant against a cornerback who may have stood 5’ 8” with high cleats.
As a radio broadcaster for high school sports, I saw many games in 2007 and 2008. One thing for sure, this guy was athletic. He wasn’t one of those big wide receivers that you used only in the red zone so you could throw an alley-oop pass in the corner of the end zone. Although, the Buff N Blu did do that. Are you kidding, who wouldn’t? But he had some speed to get down the sideline and the size and strength for those crossing patterns.
Steinhoff suffered a serious injury his senior year playing football, rupturing his spleen. Many thought he wouldn’t be able to play basketball later that year. But he surprisingly recovered quickly, led the basketball team to the 2008 state championship, and was named Player of the Year.
I had the chance during his senior year to interview both his football coach, Kale Ane, and his basketball coach, Dan Hale. Both of whom would be considered illustrious Punahou student-athlete alums in their own right. Both noted how coachable he was, his work ethic, and how good a person he was. When I interview coaches, that is what I hope to hear.
On the court, like he was on the football field, he was a very good athlete. But he was not the most athletic or the most gifted player. He just worked hard, was committed to excellence, and seemed very grounded. There was no trash talking, no attitude. A good guy that I quietly rooted for.
At HPU, his head basketball coach Darren Vorderbruegge said that he was really working hard and would possibly be contending for a starting spot next season. Even he said the same things his high school coaches said about him. Just a good kid.
Steinhoff died in a skateboarding accident while having fun at a friend’s house. Shock. Disbelief. Tragic. All appropriate descriptions. He was only 21 years old.
He is an organ donor. A good kid. Someone I quietly rooted for.
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