HPU to continue paying tribute after tragedy with 12th annual “Kam’s Helmets Day”

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JAN 19, 2024

HONOLULU – The Hawai’i Pacific University Sharks men’s basketball team will return home to the “Shark Tank” on Saturday afternoon, looking to bounce back from a heart-breaking 71-68 road loss to Chaminade while hosting rival-island foe UH-Hilo inside the former St. Francis’ gym in an important matchup of PacWest rivals. 

The game will serve for a much bigger purpose than a conference matchup though as it will be the program’s 12th annual “Kam’s Helmets Day” – meant to honor the memory of former Hawai’i Pacific University men’s basketball player Kameron Steinhoff, whose legacy continues to live on through an incredibly generous day of free skateboarding and bicycle helmets getting handed out to the public. 

“This is a special day for the Sharks family as we honor Kameron Steinhoff, a former standout member of our ‘ohana who passed in a tragic skateboarding accident back in 2011,” HPU head coach Jesse Nakanishi said to HSRN ahead of the game. “Our annual event aims to save lives by encouraging the use of helmets and what better way by giving out free helmets to kids! We’re very thankful for Leavitt, Yamane and Soldner group as well as TNT Tinting for their generous sponsorship of the event in providing the helmets.” 

Steinhoff was tragically lost in May of 2011 after suffering a severe head injury in a skateboarding accident in which he was not wearing a helmet, sending shockwaves through the community as a young, bright and talented soul was lost. The 2008 Punahou alum was the Hawai’i State Player of the Year his senior season and appeared in 51 games for HPU before his heart-breaking accident took his life at the age of 21. 

The Sharks will hand out 150 helmets on Saturday, thanks in part to the generosity of Leavitt, Yamane and Soldner Group and TNT Tinting, continuing the long-standing partnership with the Steinhoff Family and Hawaii Pacific that created “Kam’s Helmets” in the first place. In all, over 1,500 helmets have been donated to those in need around the community since 2011, promoting safety while being active. 

Families are invited to bring their kids to receive a free helmet at halftime in honor of Steinhoff’s legacy and enjoy a game between inter-island & PacWest rivals when the Sharks host the Vulcans at 2 p.m. HT inside the Shark Tank – located at the old St. Francis Gymnasium on 2707 Pāmoa Road, Honolulu, Hawai’i.