Kalani Simpson Sidelines

Kalani Simpson

Bobby could be the
next Bob for the ’Bows

IT'S a family affair. Let the good times roll in Manoa. Bobby Nash is (finally, officially) a Rainbow-to-be and his father Bob is the legend in residence and associate head coach. And buckle your seat belt because the fun is about to begin. This is a Disney movie. A Friday night sitcom waiting to happen.

There it was, yesterday, at the Honolulu Quarterback Club. The first glimpse. Bobby spent most of his father's presentation with his eyes shut tight, shaking with laughter, his hands thrust skyward in a pose of resignation that said, "Why me?" A son having to sit through his father's jokes, mortified he'd tell them in public. And yet enjoying them all the same, laughing harder than anyone in the room.

"As far as the recruitment of my son," Bob said, "I think it was mostly his mom: 'You go away, there's no money. You stay at home, we'll get you a car, get you some cash.' I didn't have anything to do with that."

And then the dad spent Bobby's speech gazing proudly at his son.

After all of these years, it was finally going to come true. Destiny accomplished.

Bobby Nash, basketball player at Hawaii.

"There is a lot of added pressure for me to succeed," he said yesterday.

There is. And it hasn't even begun yet. So let's push that to the side for now and enjoy this, go along with the father-son, feel-good ride, and hear the stories and beam with pride and squeeze our eyes shut and laugh.

What position will Bobby play at UH? Inside? Outside?

"Chuck," Bob said, answering his inquisitor directly. "Have you seen that body?"

But no, the father thinks the son can play, will play. Bobby has been invited to the same camps as Carmelo Anthony, the dad said. "He's been in the gym and played with all those guys and held his own." He's played against LeBron James.

"I got to play with him," Bobby corrected later. "I didn't get to touch the ball."

Details. The point is the kid deserves this, he's the real deal, he can contribute in the WAC. "The only competition that's going to be critical," Bob said, "is dealing with Coach Wallace on a daily basis."

Big laugh. But Bobby promised he'll be tough enough. "I know that Coach Wallace is going to be harping on me, but it just shows that he cares," he said.

So polished, so high school senior sincere. "I've been taking criticism all my life."

Yeah, but now it really starts, as the next Nash at UH. So let's let that wait a second and just enjoy them together, a father-son story that feels just right.

Kalani Simpson can be reached at


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