Chaminade’s Positivity Power Plant: Kobe Brown and the Art of Having Fun

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED AUG 12, 2023

HONOLULU — Softball is a sport that is centered around failure.

It’s a game that can cause mental toil, self-doubt and a lot of questioning of yourself. Weird plays happen at inopportune times and hot streaks turn into long cold spells consistently.

Despite all of that, Chaminade softball first baseman Kobe Brown remains one of the most positive people that you can come across.

The 2019 graduate of Mililani is one of the best defenders in the history of the Silverswords softball program, covering first base as well as anyone has for Chaminade. She holds the highest fielding percentage (.994), most putouts (984) and has nearly 50 career double plays turned. 

Her journey on the softball diamond began with the boys, growing up playing baseball first. She recalls baseball being first introduced to her at the age of four while spending time at her babysitter’s house, playing in the backyard with the sitter’s grandson.

She started to play both softball and baseball at six years old and continued playing both up through middle school. While her baseball career eventually closed out, she just “kept playing softball.” 

Despite her success in the sport, Brown wasn’t a stranger to the mental turmoil of the game she loves. Nobody is a stranger to adversity. Despite that, she remains the upbeat teammate that can lure anybody into comfort. Brown credits her ability to keep a positive mindset and attitude partially to her time at Mililani.

“Of course they taught me a lot about [the game of softball], but most importantly, something I took forward into college was [Mililani] taught me how to have fun with the game,” Brown said. “I think that at the front of my mindset is what keeps me going, because it’s easy to give up on yourself in a sport mainly about failure.”

“I’m really thankful for Mililani,” she continued.

Her thankfulness for the OIA member school continued, understanding the differences between the public-school league versus the experience at an ILH institution in Maryknoll. With two years spent at each, Brown got a good idea of the ins-and-outs presented to her by each school.

While she acknowledged financial resources are typically an advantage for ILH school, the first baseman held firm in her belief that the OIA’s Mililani provided her with an unforgettable high school experience that didn’t leave her feeling shorted after graduation.

“I believe I’m very lucky to have experienced the two leagues and see the differences between, but I wouldn’t say there are too many differences. Obviously, Maryknoll has a lot of money,” Brown said. “The main difference between the two I would say is pride. Playing for my home school and having Mililani across my chest and playing for my community that I grew up in? It was a different feeling and I had [even more pride] playing for Mililani.”

After a successful prep career, she originally committed to a school on the mainland. Brown got cold feet on her graduation day when it came to leaving the islands to continue her softball career and re-opened her recruitment with eyes to schools at home this time.

Chaminade wasn’t the first school to come calling for the platinum glove first baseman, but they did end up being the program to win out the services of the former Trojans star. The ability to have her support system still in place as she approached her college career was a comforting thought. It clearly has worked out for the Swords fifth-year senior, etching her name in the record books for one of her hometown schools. 

Despite experiencing a global pandemic in her first season of collegiate athletics, Brown’s positive attitude continued to shine through. Since then, she has been a mainstay in the lineup and at first for the Swords and been as consistent as they come with the glove.

Brown also discussed her major, the family inspiration behind her career pursuit, her experience growing up playing baseball with the boys, the advice she would offer to her younger self and much more.

Chaminade may not have been the initial destination for Kobe Brown, but the partnership has proved fruitful for both sides. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been or won’t be mistakes, but with Brown around, positivity will always shine through.