By Brian McInnis
Negus Webster-Chan became the Hawaii basketball team's first commitment of the spring on Saturday night.
Webster-Chan liked what he saw during his UH visit Friday and Saturday. The 6-7 swingman will have to sit out 2013-14 then will have three years of eligibility.
Saturday also came with acknowledgement from UH coach Gib Arnold that freshmen Manroop Clair and Ozren Pavlovic will not return for their sophomore seasons. This shouldn't come as a shocker to anyone who followed the program.
Clair will transfer to Seattle University of the Western Athletic Conference. Pavlovic will pursue a pro career back in his native Croatia. You can read more about that in Sunday's edition of the Star-Advertiser, with statements from Arnold and both players.
Unfortunately, it was too late to get some comments from Webster-Chan into the print edition, but he was happy to do some Q&A over the phone after he'd made his decision, and those comments will appear here.
Q: What about your experience out here made you want to make UH your next school?
A: Just the great atmosphere. A lot of great people over here. The coaching staff is great. They're funny. I enjoyed my time with them through the days, the time we spent together. A great group of guys on the team. I like their attitude, they're all positive. Nothing negative to say, everything was positive when I was playing with them. All that stuff. I loved it out here. The weather's just a bonus.
Q: What other activities did you do out here?
A: Today we went to the beach, I was surfing with Keith (Shamburger) and Brandon Spearman, Coach Gib and Coach (Brandyn) Akana and their sons. That was something new for me to try. I liked it. It was really fun, actually.
Q: What other schools were coming at you once your transfer was announced? Any other visits lined up?
A: Nah, I didn't really have any other visits lined up. I really thought about it and I didn't really know if I wanted to go there, just like it wasn't worth actually signing up a visit. Boston College, Seton Hall, USC. There was a whole bunch. It doesn't even matter about those schools now.
Q: What made you decide Missouri wasn't the place for you?
A: Your first school is not always going to be the right fit for you. You have to experience it, you have to go through the season, the whole year to actually find out if it's the right fit for you or not. And I went through it and I found it wasn't the right fit for me to be in that situation. So I had to find a different situation, a better situation for myself and help me succeed and get to the next level.
Q: How do you think it will be for you sitting out the coming season?
A: I just look at it as extra time to work, get better, get stronger, get bigger, faster. Just be ready for when my name's called and my jersey's called.
Q: You're from Ontario, Canada. What's your background up there?
A: I still live there. Most of my family's out there. I went to prep school my junior year when I was 17. Been going to school in the States for three years now.
Q: What about your family background?
A: Yeah, I'm actually part-Chinese too. My mom's half on her side. My grandfather is Chinese, he's from Hong Kong.
Q: Any other hobbies or interests that led to your decision to go to UH?
A: Nah, I just felt this was the right fit for me where I could succeed better, coming to Hawaii and playing for this coaching staff. ... I just liked it a lot. I don't know how to say it. Hobbies, I played volleyball back home and stuff, but I had to stop playing competitively because I went to Huntington Prep and there was only basketball.
Q: I'd heard you're pretty versatile. You played point guard at Huntington?
A: Yes sir. My whole senior year I played point guard.
Q: Do you consider yourself a point guard, and how did that compare to what Missouri had you do?
A: 3, 2, 1. Whatever Coach Gib needs me that, I'll be there. I can play all those spots.