Is Kealia Ohai Hawaiian? Ethnicity explored as Watts welcome baby Koa

Kealia Ohai and JJ Watt not too long ago welcomed their first baby, Hawaiian-named baby Koa James Watt, into the world.

Their selection of identify has confirmed in style. Former Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverly reportedly instructed the couple he “loves” it.

The identify Koa is Hawaiian, and casts an illuminating glow over the origins of Kealia Ohai’s identify.

She grew up on the mainland – in Utah, no much less – however you’d be forgiven for pondering her beginning identify, Kealia Mae Ohai, sounds prefer it could possibly be Hawaiian. Right here’s what we all know.

Picture by Wealthy Barnes/Getty Photographs

Is Kealia Ohai Watt Hawaiian?

She was born in, and grew up in, Draper, Utah. However Kealia Ohai Watt’s father is Hawaiian, which means her ethnicity is combined, or multiracial. 

By the way, Hawaii itself is dwelling to the US’ largest share of multiracial Individuals, based on a 2015 report by the Pew Analysis Middle. 

So there’s a cause Kealia’s identify, within the phrases of 1 US Soccer journalist, “evokes photographs of white sand, crashing waves, swaying palm bushes and light-weight tropical breezes.”

She might hail from a landlocked state, and certainly one of many drier states, however Kealia Ohai owes her identify to her father’s Hawaiian roots, and a specific browsing seashore on the island of Kauai.

Picture by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket by way of Getty Photographs

Her father Ben Ohai moved from Hawaii to California on the age of 10

Kealia’s dad and mom are Ben and Cindy Ohai. 

Ben is Hawaiian, however moved to the mainland when he was 10 years previous. He later attended, and wrestled competitively for, BYU. That’s the place he met Kealia’s mom, Cindy.

“I at all times joke with my dad and mom,” Kealia Ohai instructed US Soccer in 2012, “as a result of I was mad at them for naming me one thing that’s so laborious to pronounce.”

Her three sisters are Cambria, Megan and Aubrey – all comparatively easy, as far as pronunciation goes, for highschool lecturers unfamiliar with Polynesian names.

“It was embarrassing as a bit child as a result of nobody, particularly my lecturers, might say my identify accurately, however I’ve grown to find it irresistible. These days, if somebody struggles, I simply skip the awkwardness and say, ‘simply name me Okay.’”

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The place precisely is the Hawaiian seashore Kealia Ohai is known as after?

Kealia Seashore is on the northeast facet of Kauai. It’s a small however in style seashore for surfers and boogie boarders.

“After I’m not taking part in soccer,” Ohai says, “I’m extra relaxed and often waft.” Which, per the US Soccer profile cited above, makes her “similar to the waves at Kealia Seashore.”

“I’m not shy and I wish to have enjoyable, however I don’t get too careworn about too many issues. I’m not bouncing off the partitions. However in a recreation, I’m not the kind of participant that’s going to calm us down and gradual the sport down. I’m extra intense and I am going loopy a bit bit.”

She might share a reputation with a preferred Hawaiian browsing seashore, however Kealia Ohai is from Draper, Utah, not removed from Salt Lake Metropolis correct. That’s the place she was born, and the place she grew up. Ohai has been a part of the US Nationwide Crew for the reason that age of 13, and performed in her first youth World Cup in 2012.

JJ and Kealia Ohai Watt honor Hawaiian roots with baby identify Koa

Kealia gave beginning to a baby boy on October 23, 2022. 

His identify is Koa James Watt – he has his father’s center identify and surname, however his first identify Koa is of Polynesian origin, particularly Hawaiian.

Koa means “Courageous One,” “fearless” and “Warrior,” which can properly flip to be an applicable identify for the son of two profitable sportspeople.

Kealia and JJ married in 2020. Watt wrote on Instagram that it was the most effective day of his life. The ceremony passed off at The Ocean Membership within the Bahamas. Discover photographs right here.

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Bruno is a novelist, beginner screenwriter and journalist with pursuits in digital media, storytelling, movie and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, however returned to the UK for a level (and due to the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.

Koa identify which means explored: JJ and Kealia Watt welcome first baby

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