Illinois State is lucky enough to be able to recruit athletes from around the globe. The women’s volleyball team alone has players from New Zealand as well as Australia. This season, the Redbirds were lucky enough to recruit an athlete from the island of Hawaii. Kamea Chock, a right-side junior, hails from Pearl City, Hawaii. Pearl City is located in Northern Honolulu County with a population of about 47,000. Illinois State is not the first stop for Chock since leaving Hawaii, she spent her freshman year at Alabama State before transferring to Delta College in Stockton, California. I was able to sit down with Kamea and learn a little bit about her.
Q: What made Illinois State an ideal location for playing volleyball?
A: Illinois State has a really good program; they have a history here and a very good reputation. I was looking for a school that would help me achieve my goals both academically and with volleyball. They offer everything I wanted so it was a perfect fit and I was excited to come here.
Q: What is one good thing and one bad thing about living in Hawaii?
A: One positive thing is because it is such a small island or literally a rock in the middle of the ocean, everybody knows everybody. The culture there is much different; it is really friendly. Everyone one wants to get you involved. They sometimes will flag you down to come eat with them. The weather is amazing every day of the year. One negative thing is because we are literally a rock in the ocean, there is not a lot. Being here in the mainland, there is so much more. For example, here, Chicago is only two hours away; we don’t have a city like that. We do not have all of these opportunities so I think that is the one thing that lacks in Hawaii. That is the reason why I do not want to live in Hawaii after college, I want to live in the mainland where there is so much more.
Q: One aspect of Hawaii that you could bring to the mainland?
A: I wish there was the ocean and clear waters. I wish there was more diversity, in Hawaii we grow our own food and are very social. I wish there was that here.
Q: What are looking forward to the most while living in Illinois?
A: I am going to be enduring my first winter. It is going to be my first snowman and I am really excited for things.
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies besides volleyball?
A: I really like everything outdoors, back home in Hawaii we go hiking and go paddle-boarding, climb up rocks and jump off cliffs. That is all we do. We wake up, eat food, go to the beach, come back, go back to the beach. I just really like to do things outdoors.
Q: What will you miss most from Hawaii?
A: Definitely my family. In Hawaii everything is family-oriented. People do say I am about my family but I feel like you do not know what it is like until you go to Hawaii. That is what you really have. That is what I miss the most, I see them everyday and do everything with them so that is the thing that is a little tough. The time difference is another issue. I have to wait to talk to them, and by the time I can talk to them it is really late here and I am tired so that is a little rough.
Fans will have a chance to watch Kamea Chock make her home debut and take to the hard court versing the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames Sept. 9 at Redbird Arena.