Eastside Golf, the lifestyle apparel brand rooted in golf, continues its support of the next generation of golf athletes, signing Kihei Akina to its NIL athlete roster, who was ranked No. 1 in the 2025 class by Golfweek. He accompanies Temple University freshman Matthew Vital on Eastside Golf’s NIL roster.

“Kihei is not just one of our country’s best young golfers but also a standout athlete who represents the bright future of our sport both on and off the course. He’s an incredible player from an amazing family with major ambitions who put in immense effort to be the best version of himself and someone kids look up to. Eastside Golf is honored to have him on our team,” said Earl Cooper, Eastside Golf’s co-founder and CEO.

“I’m proud to welcome Kihei and his family into Eastside Golf, where our NIL program will bring him the access, mentorship, opportunities, and financial support he deserves as he strives to be the best golfer he can be. Earl and I understand the grueling journey that golf can be for a young athlete, and we are excited to work with Kihei to support him as he continues to excel in the game,” said Olajuwon Ajanaku, Eastside Golf’s co-founder and creative director.

Akina, a native of Kahuku, Hawaii, and a rising senior at Lone Peak High School in Highland, UT, was named the 2023 USA Today National Boys High School Golfer of the Year. He secured a pair of Top 5 finishes in Junior tournaments thus far in 2024, including 1st place at the Nike Junior Invitational, and set the course and tournament record at the Terra Cotta Invitational at Naples Golf Club, shooting a 62. He also advanced to the final qualifying round for the U.S. Open this year after shooting the second-best score (-3) at a local qualifying game. Akina has committed to attend Brigham Young University.

“As someone who has worn their gear for years, it’s exciting to now represent Eastside Golf on the course, ” said Akina. “I admire how Eastside Golf is all about bringing the community and culture together as one. Their values and how they want to bring opportunities to those who previously may not have had them closely align with my goals. I want to be a model to younger people and grow the game of golf, and I’m pumped to be able to do so alongside Earl, Olajuwon and their entire team. Plus, their gear is fire, both on and off the course.”

Founded in 2019 by former Morehouse College golf teammates Olajuwon Ajanaku and PGA of America Golf Pro Earl Cooper, Eastside Golf’s apparel has been worn by golf pros, former presidents, celebrities, fashion influencers, and pro athletes and further underscored by relationships with global brands including seven collaborations with Jordan Brand, and strategic partnerships and licensing deals with the NBA, MLB and Mercedes Benz.

Image courtesy Desert News