RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
UH quarterback Inoke Funaki hitched a ride from Ian Sample as he cruised on his roller skates after practice yesterday.
UH's Funaki rolling along
Hawaii quarterback Inoke Funaki could end up with a new nickname one of these days. Maybe "Skates" or "Carhop."
He covers the 300 yards between the Warriors locker room and practice field, twice a day, on roller skates.
"The first time I saw that I almost ordered a cheeseburger from him. I thought he was from one of those restaurants," UH running back Reagan Mauia said. "Maybe he should play that sport, where they skate around in a circle. What is it? Yeah, roller derby."
Most of the Warriors walk. A few ride bikes. Funaki is the only one on skates. And they're the old-school, four-wheel kind, not the more modern in-line version.
"I was gonna bring a bike (to fall camp), but I couldn't fit it in the car," said Funaki, who is from Laie. "Earlier this year, I was cleaning out the garage and found a box. There was a lot of old stuff and I found the skates. I don't know who they belong to."
Funaki said teammates tease him a lot about his mode of transportation.
"They always making fun," he said. "Just making jokes when I roll past them. They're walking and here I come, weaving in and out. And they all start laughing, 'Aw man, you must be the (goofiest) quarterback in the nation.' I just laugh and keep going and say, 'I'll see you guys in the locker room.' "
Also, Mauia said Funaki might be starting a fashion trend with old-fashioned two-stripe socks."
"Those socks are classic, man. They're awesome, especially with the skates. A lot of guys are starting to wear the socks," Mauia said.
"I don't know about the skates. But that's a smart idea. I'd rather skate than walk, but I'd probably break my ankle. He's got a brain on those shoulders."
Quarterback Colt Brennan summed it up.
"Inoke's the only guy who can make wearing roller skates seem cool."