About the Scholarship:
Kenan Knieriem Sr. first discovered soccer while living in Germany at the age of five and started playing competitively in high school in New Jersey. His talent progressed quickly and he would out-hustle everyone else on the field. He was all over the field and seemed to be involved everywhere there was a big play. His first coach, Julius Corubia, called Kenan “The Little Colonel.” He was a natural leader and was named Captain of his high school and his regional soccer team and was instrumental in the team’s quest for the state championship where they placed second.
Kenan went on to play at the Naval Academy where he was a standout striker for Navy Soccer. By the time he graduated he was the fifth all-time leading goal scorer at the Naval Academy and his accolades can still be found on their sports wall. After his Naval service, he played semi-pro for the Coca Cola team in Hawaii and continued playing in competitive men's leagues in Honolulu.
He started coaching youth soccer in Honolulu in 1981. His strategy was simple. HAVE FUN! WORK HARD! Winning was great, but more important were the relationships he built with his players and teaching them the beautiful game of soccer. He made sure the kids treated their teammates with respect and learned the importance of hard work. He was a true mentor for them on and off the soccer field for over 35 years. He completed his coaching experience as an assistant coach of the Punahou School Varsity Boys Soccer team.
Kenan was a hard working family man and always found ways to give back to the community. He believed that soccer was the best sport to stay healthy and fit, to teach leadership and to have fun by bringing friends and family together. The leadership skills he learned through soccer allowed him to become extremely successful in business at Merrill Lynch as well as an Officer in the Navy Reserves.
This Scholarship in Kenan’s honor is a way to perpetuate the mentorship through soccer. Kenan, Captain K, Coach K, Mr. K, this is for you!
About the Tournament:
Founded and managed by "coach" Lloyd Nishimoto and the Honolulu United Football Club, this tournament has grown in participation, energy and fun. Kenan's favorite quote "Living the Dream" is the motivation for the day. Kenan's influence on the soccer field, in business, and the Navy reflects the growing participation in the tournament that honors his values of Integrity, Community, Family, and Fun.
The money raised has funded after school soccer scholarships in Hawaii, through the Non Profit Advantage Sports Academy. In 2016 & 2017 12 kids were given full year scholarships based on their love of the game and desire to be great teammates on and off the field.
This Tournament is about Kenan and his values, but also giving back to the community through soccer as a means of making future leaders through the lessons of team sports.