Archive for May, 2011

Trip coming together

May 16th, 2011
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Though the details aren't all in yet, indications are that the UH men's basketball team is close to announcing the full travel package for the 10-day summer trip to China and Japan. The plan is still to have boosters or other supporters join the team on the August expedition (those who have the dough and time to go, of course).

Significant progress has been made in both sponsorships and overall fundraising, though the cost was higher than the total $75,000 initially thought because the whole team (including new players) must be enrolled in the second summer session starting in July before they can go on the trip. There's been support, though; even Gov. Neil Abercrombie donated to the cause.

UH coach Gib Arnold can't comment about sponsorships and the final product just yet, but things appear close to finalization. Stay tuned.

Shaq reax

May 10th, 2011
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How's this for dessert? After Shaquille Stokes' signing ceremony in New York, the Lincoln High standout went to a dinner where he was named the New York City Player of the Year by the New York Daily News. He beat out seven other NYC players for the honor.

A nice way to cap the recruiting class for 2011-12 — if indeed he is the last added. UH is out of open scholarships for next year, but in the event that a player (or two) doesn't get into UH, Gib Arnold will have to plug in substitutes.

But on paper, at least, the six players signed  — Ronnie Stevens, Gerry Blakes, Hauns Brereton, DeShawn Mitchell, Dillon Biggs and Stokes — bring an exciting blend of athleticism and potential.

There's a core in place, with senior-to-be Zane Johnson, center Vander Joaquim, small forwards Joston Thomas and Trevor Wiseman, and half a year of Miah Ostrowski the main returning contributors. Enough of the roster has changed that we won't know exactly how it'll all come together until the fall, but Arnold has a few reliables that he can count on.

Shaq narrows it down

May 8th, 2011
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After Shaquille Stokes' visit to Oahu from Thursday night to Saturday night, this is known: the Lincoln (N.Y.) High point guard still has Hawaii in his sights, despite some less-than-ideal weather during his stay.

He was originally planning to visit Western Kentucky next week, but said last night that he "most likely" would not and was going to decide between UH and Colorado State sometime in the coming days.

"It was some bad weather, but overall it was fun, a great atmosphere on campus," Stokes said on the phone prior to boarding his flight back to New York. "I love hanging out with Coach Gib and the rest of the coaching staff."

———

Oh, and most importantly, Happy Mother's Day to the moms out there.

Shaq in the house

May 6th, 2011
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Lincoln (Coney Island, N.Y.) High point guard Shaquille Stokes is on Oahu this weekend for one of a few official visits he will take before deciding where to play college basketball, said his coach, Dwayne Morton.

The 5-foot-10 Stokes was the MVP of his highly competitive league after averaging about 19 points, 6.5 assists and four rebounds. Lincoln went 28-3, won the Brooklyn regular-season title and lost in the championship game of the New York public school tournament.

"He's one of those points that can push the ball up. He can shoot the 3, fast-paced guard," Morton said. "He did a little bit of everything. (As a senior he learned) how to play the point guard position, when to go get the ball to the right people, or when to take his shot."

Morton became an academic qualifier late in the school year, which reduced the scope of his interest from recruiters. Another point guard couldn't hurt UH, which will start the year with sophomore Bobby Miles and freshman combo guard Gerry Blakes. Hoops senior Miah Ostrowski will rejoin the team in December, once football season finishes.

UH coach Gib Arnold recruited some of Morton's players when Arnold was an assistant coach at USC.

"I'm just so happy that (Arnold) is a friend of mine and I can get him on the phone anytime I want to make sure Shaquille's alright if he decides to go there. I'm happy that one of his schools is someone that I really know," Morton said.

Stokes has already visited Colorado State and may visit Western Kentucky after hitting Hawaii.

"(After his visits) he plans to sit down and decide," Morton said.

UH currently has one scholarship to give.