After enduring several injury-related setbacks the past few years, Raphael Ieru is poised to start at right guard in his senior season. Ieru, a McKinley High graduate, took a couple of minutes to answer questions from the Warrior Beat:
Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello …
“Everybody thought (Teenage Ninja Turtles is) where my name came from. It came from my uncle in Seattle. He has a long Samoan name. In the middle is Lafaele, which means Raphael. That’s where my mom got it.”
He answers to Ralph:
“It makes me sound tough. Raphael is more formal. A lot of people call me Raf. They said it shouldn’t be Ralph because I don’t have an ‘L’ in my name. I didn’t like Raf, either. I always told them to call me Ralph.”
The story of the tat:
“Me and my mom were chillin’ at home, and I told her I wanted to do a tat. So we did that. She said it was OK. My dad was the one who gave me a hard time about it. … My brother-in-law did it with a home-made gun. … He loves to draw. I figured I’d trust him. I let him blast a tat on my body. It took three hours (each day) for three days. He had to do different portions for my arm. It took forever. It was sore. It was one needle. The more needles the better.”
Born in Kalihi, raised a Tiger:
“My uncle Nick Ma‘afala asked me to come to McKinley. I was debating whether to go to Farrington or a private school like Saint Louis or Damien. He passed (away) while I was enrolled in McKinley. I stuck it out. I liked it. (Head coach) David Tanuvasa was good to me. He kept me on the right path.”
Should McKinley compete in Division II?
“They should go up (to Division I). It’s tougher competition. That’s what makes you better. McKinley is a pretty big school.”
His favorite journalist is Advertiser blogger Kelli Miura, also a McKinley graduate:
“She’s a homey. She’s a good friend of mine. She’s always been cool with me.”
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Our thoughts and prayers are with (Jesse)James’ mother, who underwent emergency surgery last night.
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Happy birthday to Stephanie Lum, one of the Best of the Best.