Rachel Kane, Ready to Win WCC

The best Hawaiian female player in 7 years brought her game to Gonzaga last year and made an immediate impact, but blew out her knee halfway through WCC play. We caught up with Rachel Kane (pron: Kawn-ay) and here's what she had to say...

On her injured knee:

I tore my MCL -- for that I had no surgery and I just let it heal on its own. I partially tore my ACL -- I was supposed to have this ligament reconstructed because they thought it was torn looking at the results from my MRI, but when they went in for surgery they found it was only partially torn. So I had no reconstruction and I let it heal on its own as well. Ever since then I have been rehabing. I was cleared to play weeks ago.

On watching the team play while injured:

It's not a good feeling at all. But this isn't the first time that I have had to go through this. My freshmen year in high school I tore my ACL halfway through the season. Just like for Gonzaga we had a pretty good team and were expected to be good. It's hard to watch because I know I can and want to help my team out, but I can't. It's very frustrating, but it's also a great learning experience because you see things from a different perspective.

On basketball in Hawaii and the Lower 48:

I picked up basketball just playing around with the guys at school. There is kind of a big difference between basketball played in Hawaii and basketball played on the mainland. Probably one of the biggest differences is that our basketball season is during the spring, while it's during the winter up there. So our high school teams can't go up and play some other girls teams like the boys. This and the fact that we have no AAU teams make it hard to get exposure and recruited. Also, just the difference in physique and style of play is different. For back home [in Hawaii] I'm considered tall, but at Gonzaga I'm one of the shortest players on the team.

On her sports-oriented family:

Sports is a pretty big thing for the Kane family. My mom's dad played football, basketball, and ran track. My dad's dad played football and basketball, but he was most known for football. My mom played tennis, volleyball, and basketball. And my dad played football. My uncles Aaron, Jason and Micah played football and baseball. And my cousin Eleu played football and ran track. And my brother plays basketball and volleyball.

On other sports she has competed in:

My first sport I started with was softball. I played Bobby Sox pretty competitively, and even went to the mainland to play in tournaments. For one season I tried baseball. I eventually went back to softball and played my senior year in high school. Then I played soccer next. I started with AYSO, then club soccer (HYSA), and I also played for my school (intermediate and varsity). At the age of 10 I finally picked up the basketball. It kind of just came and I stuck with it.

On her recruitment and why she chose Gonzaga:

Some schools that showed interest in me were Saint Mary's, University of Hawaii, Yale, Columbia, and William and Mary. The recruitment process is an experience in itself. To get exposure I played in some mainland tournaments and attended some basketball camps. I also had to send out quite a bit of tapes to try and help with the exposure. I chose Gonzaga because of the academics and the coaches and the team. I really liked the environment and it was just something I knew, like a gut feeling when I came on the recruiting trip. I actually found out that Fr. Spitzer graduated from Punahou [High School] because the president of Punahou was his classmate, and he told me.

On living in Hawaii and tourest activities:

All that stuff is fun, but it's mostly for our visitors to the islands. My life is pretty much family stuff, school, and sports. The only time I really have time to enjoy the beach is during the summertime when I'm not in school. But everything is pretty laid back. And the weather is always nice.

On living in Spokane away from her family:

Well because I travelled a lot during the summer time, going away to school and being away from my parents wasn't really a big deal. I did have to learn how to do laundry though. I think that hardest thing for me though adjusting to Spokane and being on my own besides the weather would have to be being away from my extended family. I'm pretty close to my grandparents, aunties and uncles, and cousins, so not being able to hang out with them was a little weird at first.

On her goals and the team's goals:

My first and biggest personal goal is to be ready to play again at full strength and speed. And I would like to win the WCC and make it to the NCAA Tournament. I'm sure the rest of the team feels that way as well. I think after this past season we know better what we're capable of doing. Now we just gotta go out there and do it, all the time. So we just gotta work hard, smart, and together as a team.

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