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Acclimatizing

July 11th, 2014
By



The waiting game continues for those looking to see a new Hawaii basketball player see significant action in the College Summer League. In the meantime, some of those Rainbow Warriors have started acclimatizing to their new digs.

Guard Brocke Stepteau has absorbed close to a week of island life and summer school, and his summer team, Grantco Pacific, was in action on Thursday night in the old Manoa District Park gym. But Stepteau said he'd not yet had the mandatory physical to play in the league, so he couldn't suit up.

Brocke Stepteau

Brocke Stepteau

The incoming walk-on from Dallas Baptist High said he took a visit here three weeks ago to affirm his decision to commit to UH. Unlike Tyler Harville and his quick stop here last week, Stepteau decided he was in.

"I feel great, I love it out here," Stepteau said just outside the Manoa Valley District Park's older gym as Wealth Strategy Partners and Chosen Few battled behind him. "It's going real well. Started working out individually on Tuesday. Tomorrow we're going to run a mile. So basketball and school's going really well right now."

With most of the 2014-15 team still scattered around the world, it's left a group of six on the island — Stepteau, Isaac Fleming, Roderick Bobbitt, Mike Thomas, Zach Buscher and Dyrbe Enos — to get to know one another through training.

Five of the six will participate in the remainder of the summer league. The exception being Bobbitt, who is still recovering from a broken arm from the end of his junior college season at Indian Hills.

"I can't wait to play (next game)," Stepteau said. "I was surprised how many people come out to watch these games. It's going to be fun. Hopefully I can come out here and play the way I'm capable of playing. Just play good, get some wins and have some fun out here."

He expressed some surprise at the relative hustle and bustle of Honolulu after seeing only Maui on a trip when he was younger.

"I was thinking it was going to be quiet (like that). I didn't realize how big of a city Honolulu was. That definitely surprised me, but it made me love it even more out here."

Fleming accompanied Stepteau to Thursday's summer league games.

Fleming

Isaac Fleming

"It feels great (to have arrived)," said Fleming, of Delaware and the Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia. "I like the environment. We had a couple good workouts this week. I just feel like we're going to have a good season. I love the islands. ... Same vibe from my visit. I just feel like it's stronger now that I'm here. I'm just ready to come and make an impact."

He'll be in action on Saturday with Clark Hatch Fitness.

"It's pretty good competition (in the league)," he said after watching Wealth Strategy's 106-102 double-overtime victory over Chosen. "I feel like I can come in on Saturday and just give everybody a show."

In the meantime, Enos put on quite a show for Solar Universe in Thursday's second game. He drilled six first-half 3-pointers in seven attempts and finished with seven long balls for 21 of his 26 points. But Solar fell, 109-89, as Christian Standhardinger poured in 43 points to keep his summer average at 40-plus.

"Shoot, I don't know, I was just feeding off my teammates because they were setting screens and D-Low (Derrick Low) was passing the ball off the screens," Enos said. "I don't know, I was just kind of feeling it."

Dyrbe Enos

Dyrbe Enos

The Kamehameha product got some meaningful playing time as a redshirt freshman last season, as UH's third-string point guard. His shooting ability is what could continue to get him minutes in the future.

"I'm just trying to get better, how I can help the team for the upcoming year of UH basketball," Enos said. "Just become a better point guard and continue to shoot the ball."

Unfortunately, Buscher didn't see any action for Chosen Few on Thursday, though he was among the first to stand and cheer for his teammates.

"I'm on a good team, so we got a lot of guys who can play," Buscher said. "I'll be here, hopefully I get a couple minutes a game and try to contribute."

Zach Buscher

Zach Buscher

Buscher is coming off a state championship at 'Iolani. When he traded the black and red for the green and white, to borrow a line from the classic movie Anchorman — things escalated quickly. They jumped up a notch.

He seemed to realize it.

"Playing high school ball in Hawaii is a hell of a lot different from D-I," Buscher said. "It's going to take some time to get used to it. Being a student-athlete, getting it done in the classroom first, that's what the coaches want us to do over the summer right now. And on top of that, it's putting in the work and getting stronger, getting faster. Getting shots up."

Buscher helped at least one of his new teammates acclimatize themselves so far. He said he took Fleming out to the Kaneohe sandbar on his family's boat and let the East Coast guard tow-surf behind.

"He loved it. Got it on the first try," Buscher said.

 

New contract for Arnold

July 10th, 2014
By



This morning's news that Hawaii coach Gib Arnold is about to be given a three-year extension (plus the possibility of one more year) is sure to turn some heads, given its timing.

UH leadership felt it could not wait on it, even with the resolution of the NCAA investigation still pending.

This breakdown is this: Arnold's one rollover season from his previous contract is being honored. Tacking on the three years carries him through 2017-18, and he could push it to 2018-19 if he hits one of six performance benchmarks. What those benchmarks are isn't yet known to us. Neither is the specific contract language that might allow UH to separate itself from its coach if the NCAA sanctions are severe.

In the meantime, this is a big win for the Arnold camp.

What do you think about it? Are you for or against the extension right now?

UH loses Harville to St. Mary's

July 6th, 2014
By



What was feared in some corners proved true with Hawaii commit Tyler Harville, who was to be a preferred walk-on with the Rainbow Warriors in the fall.

Harville decided to enroll at Saint Mary's instead. UH won't get to find out — firsthand, anyway — just how deadly the diminutive guard's shooting stroke could be.

"It was a last-minute decision thing. Just a better situation for me, guard-wise," Harville said on Sunday.

Harville played some spot minutes in the College Summer League this Thursday and Saturday while here on vacation with his family. He initially planned to remain here for summer school and the rest of summer league, but he canceled those plans and notified the UH coaching staff.

His choice was made, in part, by who wasn't here rather than who was.

"(Former UH assistant Scott) Fisher got me over here," Harville said. "After Fisher left, nobody ... I didn't hear from any of the coaches for a good month and a half. They didn't show as much love as Saint Mary's did. Just a better situation for me, but no hard feelings or nothing. Just a better opportunity."

Fisher is now the head coach at Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif.

Harville affirmed he worked out with the Gaels recently and hit it off with them.

"And I went and visited and everything a while back. Just kind of fell into place last minute, really," he said.

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Much was made of Harville's commit to UH. Do you think the walk-on would have lived up to the hype?

 

 

Just some spot action

July 6th, 2014
By



If anyone was hoping for a concentrated dose of projected Hawaii walk-ons Tyler Harville or Zach Buscher on Saturday, they had to walk out of the Manoa Valley District Park gym with some disappointment.

Both players scored just two points off the bench (Harville for Grantco Pacific in a 108-103 win over Wealth Strategy Partners and Buscher for Chosen Few in an 89-71 win over Clark Hatch Fitness) , and they never really impacted their games on a night most notable for its chippy play.

Two former UH players dominated their games with 37-point nights, those being Bill Amis of Chosen Few and Christian Standhardinger of Grantco. Standhardinger is averaging 40 points in three games.

The diminutive Harville was clearly anxious to make something happen when he checked in for Alan Silva's Grantco team, firing up three quick, errant 3s in the first half before getting pulled. He did connect on an aggressive driving layup through the middle of the paint. He finished 0-for-4 from deep, but he had a couple nice passes for assists.

The wiry Buscher was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made two out of three at the line. He gives up a lot of bulk to opponents. That's something that will likely be a work in progress for him his whole freshman year. In the meantime, he'll have to make the most of limited opportunities on an experienced Chosen squad.

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By the next night of games on Thursday, Isaac Fleming, Brocke Stepteau and Michael Thomas should be in action. That should be it as far as the remaining UH players who will see action in summer league; Roderick Bobbitt will be here but is still rehabbing his broken arm and Sammis Reyes is still trying to figure out a way to get cleared by the NCAA and make it out to the islands.

—————

Sounds like Wealth Strategy's Julian Sensley will be out the rest of summer league. He had his knee scoped recently and on Saturday didn't sound like he was in a rush to get back in action while he roamed the gym on crutches.

That's unfortunate, as Sensley has been a summer league staple and was going to be key in Wealth Strategy's title defense.

Phil Martin turns back clock

July 1st, 2014
By



 

Phil Martin and daughter Gioia

Phil Martin and daughter Gioia

Phil Martin is going retro in Manoa.

The 34-year-old former Hawaii Rainbow Warrior is now a family man living on Oahu and has put a professional basketball career in Italy behind him. However, that doesn't mean he's done with hoops entirely.

Martin, now of the local fitness industry, is playing as a reserve big man for Clark Hatch Fitness — which he helps sponsor — in the College Summer League in Manoa. He had a few nice plays off the bench Tuesday in CHF's 107-90 blowout win over Solar Universe.

"I'm just here to help out the guys, get everyone a breather here and there, get Scott (Kato) a breather," Martin said. "Get some quality minutes in. I'm not here to change the game. ... It's been a while and it's nice to come back and see the guys again, because it's like family. We've kind of grown up together and played on the courts together. ... It's fun just to be here."

Martin holds the UH record for games played (127), of which he started all but five. He finished his UH career in 2003-04 with 1,231 points, good for eighth in program history. The native of Ontario, Canada, is the only 'Bow to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 steals in a career (Christian Standhardinger came close, but he was 13 steals shy in his two-year UH career).

But most impressive on his resume, Martin was part of the last two UH teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament (2000-01 and 2001-02) and the last two UH teams to make the NIT (2002-03 and 2003-04).

You can tell it's still him, though he's bulked up considerably from his UH days.

"Physically, I'm not going to lie, I feel tired," said the player once known as UH's "Iron Man." "But it's been two years since I've been in anything organized, so I can work out as much as I want and do other activities but it's the mechanics of the game and being on the floor that gets you ready and in shape. So I think game by game here, going into playoffs and stuff, stamina, endurance will come back. Like riding a bike. I just want to have my agility. That's been a lot of what my game has been."

Martin said he hasn't been fully in tune with the current happenings with UH basketball ("I think they got a nice thing going on. I'm looking forward to next season, and I wish them a lot of success, but I haven't really delved into it") but he does keep in touch with his early 2000s contemporaries like Predrag Savovic, Carl English and Mindaugas Burneika.

"Every now and then we have the opportunity to get together here in Hawaii," Martin said. "Some guys are passing through. Carl English is playing ball in Spain and stuff, Kube (Michael Kuebler) and the other guys. We do stay in touch. We'll have a gathering, get together at someone's house and just go over the old times. ... It's the glory days. People ask, I'm not ashamed. It's in the past. I'm not boasting or bragging at all, but it was a special, special time, so when I talk about it that's what I try to convey to people. The fans and everybody was just so excellent, and that's why it's so great to stay here. I'm happy to be here, all the support and everything, the recognition. It's unbelievable to see that everybody does remember that time."

In Clark Hatch's win, explosive Kaunaoa McGee led the way with 29 points while steady Leon Ballard added 28 to help their team improve to 1-1.

Washington State/'Iolani alum Derrick Low scored a team-high 22 points in the loss for Solar Universe, which was missing some key personnel. UH redshirt sophomore Dyrbe Enos had 15 points and a sweet off-the-glass alley-oop for a fastbreak dunk by Kona Makaula.

—————

In the second game of the night Tuesday, defending champion Wealth Strategy Partners managed to improve to 2-0 for the early league lead — but it wasn't easy. Forward Joe Buck (24 points) sank the second of two free throws with 2.8 seconds on the clock in overtime to give WSP a 100-99 win over National Fire Protection.

Wealth Strategy has been without its best player, Julian Sensley, for its first two games. (Sensley apparently had some kind of knee procedure Tuesday for a previous injury, and it's unclear when he will be back.) But UH alum Miah Ostrowski is distributing the ball well and scorers like Buck and Chaminade's Waly Coulibaly are stepping up.

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Action resumes on Thursday, in the older of the two Manoa District Park gyms from what I understand. Chosen Few, the only team yet to play, will see its first action at 6 p.m. against Grantco Pacific. UH newcomer Zach Buscher out of 'Iolani is on the Chosen roster, along with veteran Bill Amis.

Right-handed layup strikes back

June 29th, 2014
By



It was at once impressive and highly predictable on the first night of the College Summer League on Saturday.

Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger

Former Hawaii all-conference forward Christian Standhardinger barreled into the paint again and again. Everyone knew where he was headed — to the right — and yet he kept drawing fouls, kept getting the ball up on the rim. Enough of those dropped for him to accrue 40 points and lead Grantco Pacific over National Fire Protection, 103-95 in the nightcap of the summer doubleheader opener.

"I play my game, no matter where. It's always the same ugly game," Standhardinger said. "But you know what, it's efficient and it's like I'm married to that game. I'm not gonna change my game for a better-looking game because my game was very good to me for the last years and I'm just going to crash the boards, play hard, hustle plays and that's it."

An ex-'Bow of a finer vintage, Geremy Robinson, added 24 points in the win.

On a night when no 2014-15 Rainbow Warriors were in action, Standhardinger (and Miah Ostrowski in defending champion Wealth Strategy Partners' 98-90 win over Clark Hatch Fitness in the opener) gave fans a reminder of the recent past. The crowd, as it has been for the last several years, was enough to fill the stands in the Manoa Valley District Park gym.

It was some of Standhardinger's first officiated action since UH's heartbreaking, season-ending loss to Cal State Northridge in the Big West tournament in March.

Summer opponents will get plenty more opportunities over the coming weeks to prepare, but on this night the right-handed layup was out in force.

"Everybody knows!" Standhardinger exclaimed. "Like, who doesn't know it? I dunno why they don't stop it, I'm still waiting for somebody to finally stop it. I dunno."

He's using the summer league to stay fresh for an upcoming professional career in Europe while he finishes up summer school.

"I have some offers from Italy, Spain and Germany," Standhardinger said. "I gotta see where I go and right now I just keep in shape. And summer league helps me to do that. Then I will sign a contract around the end of July, beginning of August. So I just wait and finish up summer school. ... I'm blessed that I can make my money doing what I love the most, and that's playing basketball. I'm going to keep doing that."

Former Chaminade swingman DeAndre Haskins scored an impressive 30 in the loss for National Fire. It seems he will have to be that team's go-to scorer this summer.

—————

Former UH point guard Keith Shamburger was in the house watching most of the second game of the night. He leaves next week for his postgraduate year at Missouri. Expect to see him back in the islands for the Tigers' appearance in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

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As for the current 'Bows, the first should be in action on Tuesday when Dyrbe Enos and Solar Universe take on Clark Hatch at 6 p.m.

Reyes no-go for summer league

June 26th, 2014
By



One of the three 2014-15 Hawaii men's basketball signees, big man Sammis Reyes, will more than likely not appear in the College Summer League in Manoa, which begins on Saturday.

Sammis Reyes

Sammis Reyes

If the Rainbow Warriors are fortunate, that's where the disappointment will end and the Chilean will arrive on time for the fall semester.

I received a tip that Reyes has some work to do before he can make it out here from prep school. So I asked him on Thursday if he'll still be able to make it out here for July second session of summer school and the summer league.

Reyes replied, "I don't think I'll be able to," and that he still has NCAA paperwork to complete.

He later qualified that the amount of material he must get through to be admitted into UH is "a lot, actually," but that he's "working on it right now" and is still optimistic things will work out. "I'm really excited to go out there," he added.

It's still too early to panic on Reyes, but UH is staring at some pretty drastic frontcourt issues if it has difficulty bringing him on board by August. Remember, the only other bigs at present are Isaac Fotu, Stefan Jovanovic, Michael Thomas and Stefan Jankovic (once he's eligible). You can bet Gib Arnold and Co. will try to pull out the stops to make Reyes happen.

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Most of the roughly seven or eight UH players expected to participate in the summer league won't be in action until summer school begins a week into the league schedule. The exceptions will likely be local products Dyrbe Enos and Zach Buscher.

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I didn't get a chance to touch upon Michael Harper's departure in this space yet, so this one's for you, Harp.

Michael Harper

Michael Harper

UH will miss the affable Aussie's team spirit and selflessness as one of the end-of-the-bench guys over the last two seasons. Harper is bound for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, where he should get a chance at being a rotation player.

During at least one semester (the spring of 2013), Harper was placed on scholarship, which helped the team skirt some potential APR issues. Whether he returned to that capacity during the 2013-14 season isn't known for sure, but it's not believed he kept his full ride.

Fans will probably remember Harper for his inspired play off the bench during UH's season-ending loss to Air Force in the ill-fated participation in the 2013 CIT. He had some hot shooting streaks in scrimmages, as well. He was never one to shy away from hoisting up shots — for good or ill. He didn't lack gumption, that's for sure.

With the projected arrival of three new walk-on guards in Buscher, Tyler Harville and Brocke Stepteau, the 'Bows should be able to keep their scout team rolling.

 

2014 Summer League rosters revealed

June 18th, 2014
By



Expecting the bar to rise another notch was probably unrealistic.

We may have been a little spoiled by level of participation of current University of Hawaii men's basketball players in the College Summer League over the last couple of years.

The numbers are down in the rosters revealed for the 38th running of the league, but among the six 2014-15 UH players slated to participate are all three members of the signing class for the coming college hoops season — Roderick Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming and Sammis Reyes.

The summer league regular season starts up June 28 and runs through Aug. 5 at the Manoa Valley District Park, with the same doubleheader format — 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. — on any game night. The majority of games are on Thursdays and Saturdays but with the occasional Tuesday thrown in. The playoffs are somewhat different — this time featuring a format of three consecutive days of play Aug. 7-9. Those will again be held at Maryknoll's gym.

Ex-'Bow Julian Sensley will be around to defend last year's title with Wealth Strategy Partners, but as of this roster last year's league MVP Aaron Valdes will not be playing.

There's plenty of the regular former Division II and small-college players you come to expect. UH fans might also be excited to see Phil Martin listed among the expected participants. Others, like expected Rainbows walk-ons Tyler Harville and Brocke Stepteau, are not listed right now.

The team names are the same, with the exception of Central Medical Clinic, which became Chosen Few.

Here's the list of active and former UH players by team. Keep in mind rosters have a way of changing on the fly leading up to (and even during) the games. Bolded names are current UH players.

Chosen Few (coached by David Patterson) — Zach Buscher, Bill Amis, Jace Tavita

Clark Hatch Fitness (Tim Thorpe and Al Kam) — Isaac Fleming, Phil Martin

Grantco Pacific (Allan Silva) — Roderick Bobbitt, Geremy Robinson, Christian Standhardinger, Tyler Brown

National Fire Protection Co. (Gilbert Hicks) — Mike Thomas

Solar Universe (Artie Wilson) — Sammis Reyes, Dyrbe Enos, Tim Shepherd

Wealth Strategy Partners (Marco Johnson) — Julian Sensley, Miah Ostrowski

 

Buscher in, Hackman out, Standhardinger spars

May 29th, 2014
By



Hawaii seems intent on keeping its corps of walk-ons well-stocked heading into the 2014-15 season, while upping its local flair at the same time.

'Iolani shooting guard Zach Buscher said he's agreed to join UH in the fall as a walk-on, which will mark the first time under Gib Arnold that there will be two local players on the Rainbow Warriors' roster (Dyrbe Enos is the other). Correction: It will be the first time under Arnold to begin a season. UH had Pi‘i Minns and midseason addition Miah Ostrowski in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Zach Buscher (photo by Paul Honda / Star-Advertiser)

Zach Buscher
Credit: Paul Honda /
Star-Advertiser

The 6-foot-3 Buscher was an all-tournament team selection for the state champion Raiders, and was the No. 3 player on the Star-Advertiser's 2013-14 Fab 15 list.

He'll be the first 'Iolani alum on the team since Bobby Nash in the mid-2000s. The last time there were two local Rainbow Warriors on a roster (for a full season) was in 2009-10 with Beau Albrechtson of Kaimuki High and Rykin Enos of Kamehameha under former UH coach Bob Nash.

"It means a lot. It's a great opportunity for me to make my dream come true," Buscher said. "I've been going to UH games as a ballboy for years. I always dreamt of playing for UH."

Until roughly the last month, he wasn't sure what level of college ball he'd get a chance to play at.

"I started getting serious about looking at colleges and where I wanted to go," Buscher said. "I always wanted to play for them (UH) and didn't know if it would be possible, but talked to Coach Gib, had a couple meetings with the coaching staff and them. Then, made the decision. ... I definitely wanted to play in college. That was a goal of mine, whether it be D-I, D-II or D-III."

He seemed to realize that there's a hefty down payment of work and time involved before respect is earned at the next level.

"One of the biggest things is attitude, having the right mind-set and working hard," he said. "Because it's going to be at a whole 'nother level from high school. Physically it's going to take some time to get used to. But having the right attitude is going to be huge. There's other ways to help the team ... defense. Defensive is huge; I take pride in my defense."

Seeing another local product like Enos succeed with semi-regular playing time this past season was a major confidence boost for him. Buscher has some familiarity with Enos from ILH games three years ago, when Enos was the state player of the year as a senior and Buscher was a sophomore. They also crossed paths in practices between separate Hawaii Raiders club teams.

"Seeing Dyrbe play (at UH) is great," Buscher said. "It's encouraging seeing him (on the floor). I know him pretty well."

'Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto said Buscher averaged about 11 points per game and shot just under 80 percent at the free-throw line as a senior, while also drawing defensive assignments on opponents' best perimeter players.

"I think that's kinda a testament to the type of player he is and why he may be successful at the Division I level," Shimamoto said. "Defense is about heart and desire, and intelligence. And I think he's capable of bringing that defensively to the next level, but his athleticism's got to catch up. I think if he does that he can contribute both defensively and offensively."

Shimamoto played him at the 2 but said Buscher should be able to play the point at the next level if he is asked to do so.

"He has a long frame, a good understanding of basketball and a great work ethic," his coach said. "You never know how that's all going to turn out. Right now, coming out of high school athletically, I don't think he's a Division I athlete yet. But if you put the work in you can be and I think he's capable of doing that."

Buscher will play in the upcoming College Summer League in Manoa/Maryknoll Gym, so that will be a good opportunity to watch him go against next-level talent.

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It's not a direct one-for-one swap with Buscher by any means, but current UH walk-on guard Jack Hackman confirmed Wednesday that he's leaving the program in pursuit of a scholarship situation affording him more playing time. In fact, he was taking a visit to Division II Sonoma State at the time of a phone call on Wednesday.

The scout teamer with the sweet stroke saw action in four games for UH, scoring three total points. He finishes his 'Bows career a perfect 100 percent on 3-pointers — he was 1-for-1, with his score coming against Hawaii Hilo.

Jack Hackman / photo by UH

Jack Hackman
Credit: UH

"You know, just one of the biggest things, just somewhere I could play more right away," Hackman said. "I think I could have played at UH, just a little further down the road. I would have taken a lot of hard work. I'm not afraid of the work or anything, but I mean ... you only get four years of eligibility and I wanted to spend that time out on the floor where I felt like I was a good contributor to the team.

"But I want everybody in Hawaii and everybody to know that I absolutely loved my experience in Hawaii and wouldn't trade anything. I had a great time and it's something I'll never forget."

Hackman, of Portland, Ore., is leaning toward a West Coast situation. He's also been in discussion with Dominican (if it sounds familiar, that's because it's in the PacWest Conference) and Rollins College in Florida.

He's the third 'Bow from 2013-14 confirmed to be leaving the program early, after Caleb Dressler (Central Washington) and Keith Shamburger (Missouri). However, as a non-scholarship player, he does not affect APR.

Hackman is an intelligent, team-oriented guy who showed he could knock down shots in practices. Best of luck to him with a probable expanded opportunity at his next school.

—————

 

Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger

My colleague Cindy Luis notified me today that ex-UH forward Christian Standhardinger is appearing on a local boxing card this Saturday, May 31 at Palolo District Park Gym, against an opponent to be determined, in an apparent tune-up to his professional (hoops) career.

Admission is $12 for the show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and features boxers from Oahu and Maui. Standhardinger, who trained in boxing last summer back in Europe, is fighting in the semi main event against an opponent to be determined.

That fight alone could be worth the price of admission. Standhardinger brings entertainment value no matter what he's doing, and you can bet he'll give his foe an earful at the very least.

The main card is Gaylord Balasi of Kalihi vs. Rocky Vigil of Colorado.

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Look for a story in Friday's newspaper about UH director of operations Chris McMillian's next destination.

Good get for 'Bows

May 21st, 2014
By



The Hawaii men's basketball team may have been quiet for most of the spring signing period, but the Rainbow Warriors made some noise on the final day of the period Wednesday by signing post banger Sammis Reyes of North Broward (Fla.) Prep.

Sammis Reyes

Sammis Reyes

The 6-7, 240-pound Reyes should be of immediate help for a UH team that lost two of three players from its frontcourt rotation in the 2013-14 season. He averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists per game for Broward.

Bottom line, it was a get UH absolutely needed on the heels of losing out on Jaleel Cousins to South Florida. Big bodies don't exactly fall into your lap at this time of the year, and Reyes is a load. He also has junior national team experience with Chile.

Reyes' enthusiasm for joining Gib Arnold's team comes through in his comments in Thursday's edition of the newspaper.

Here's a montage of Reyes highlights from this past season.

He's got a crowd-pleasing game with a degree of ballhandling ability you wouldn't expect from a guy of his dimensions. If everything goes well with Reyes in the preseason, you could see him on the court in games sooner rather than later, especially with Stefan Jankovic ineligible until mid-December.

That, right now, should be something for beleaguered UH fans to get excited about.