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Meet the Warriors: Miah Ostrowski

It may have come a few years later than expected, but Miah Ostrowski has finally recaptured his first love.

“It was always basketball,” said Ostrowski, who is now officially a two-sport athlete at the University of Hawaii after earning playing time for the both the football and basketball teams.

In two weeks with the basketball Warriors, Ostrowski may have already created more buzz than he did in two seasons with the football Warriors.

In his first game with the basketball team, which came less than 24 hours after he caught two passes for 72 yards in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Ostrowski got two minutes of action even though he never completed a full practice with his hoops teammates. Last week, in his second game with the basketball Warriors, he scored his first collegiate points.

“I thought I was coming out here to just help the team (in practice),” he said. “I’m just trying to play smart and lead the team.”

Then again, two-sport success is nothing new to Ostrowski.

He graduated from Punahou School in 2007 as one of the most decorated athletes of the decade. He was a first-team all-state point guard for all four seasons of high school, and a first-team all-state receiver his junior and senior seasons.

At 5 feet, 9 inches, Ostrowski’s height may not have fit the standards for many NCAA Division I basketball programs. His only scholarship offers came from mid- to low-major programs, and he thought about playing at Montana State.

But then came the surprising offer from the Hawaii football team, which had one of the most prolific passing offenses in the country under then-head coach June Jones.

“I didn’t do anything for football, like no combines, I wasn’t trying to look at any schools, I wasn’t trying to get recruited by anyone,” he said.

So for three seasons – a grayshirt year, followed by scout team duty as a freshman and sophomore – Ostrowski concentrated solely on UH football. Next season, he is expected to challenge for a starting spot as an inside receiver.

“Not playing basketball made me work harder for football and maybe become a starter next season,” he said. “It was a good decision. I would never go back and change it.”

But the opportunity to add college basketball to his resume was too much to pass up.

“The timing was right,” Ostrowski said. “I know I can compete in both sports, so I’m just going to try my hardest in both.”

The layoff has not hampered his game too much. Ostrowski’s quickness and energetic style of play have been an asset to the scout team during practices – and it is also why he has been able to log game minutes so early into his “return” to the court.

Ostrowski is a junior in basketball eligibility. Next season, he plans to do the same thing – complete the football season, then join the basketball team.


Photo by Brandon Flores — www.brandonfloresphotography.com

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