Only in Hawaii: Coaches give surf lessons to new Warriors
Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes have a long list of goals they’d like to achieve on the court together as members of the Hawaii basketball team, such as winning conference championships and playing in the NCAA Tournament.
They also have some things they’d like to do off the court, and they can now cross surfing off the to-do list.
Biggs and Blakes got in a memorable surf session on their first day in Hawaii on Saturday. They are in Honolulu this weekend on their official “recruiting” visit, even though both players have already signed letters intent to play for the Warriors next season. Due to school commitments, they were never able to schedule a trip to Hawaii until now.
“Certain places you go, you can just feel the good atmosphere, you can feel the good vibes,” Blakes said. “And you can definitely feel it when you come here to Hawaii.”
One thing that is certainly unique about Hawaii is receiving a surfing lesson from your future coaches. Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold and assistant coach Brandyn Akana both surf in their spare time, so they provided the guidance and instructions for Biggs and Blakes.
“Well, I don’t think we have to worry about either of them getting a surfing scholarship any time soon,” Arnold said with a laugh.
As expected for first-time surfers, Biggs and Blakes spent more time falling into the ocean than riding the waves, but both said it was a priceless experience.
“It was a good experience, definitely,” Blakes said. “Now I can say I came surfing here in Hawaii.”
Biggs said: “It’s kind of soothing, but it’s tiring because you have to paddle. It’s a lot of work; it ain’t easy.”
The players were next looking forward to sleeping in their Waikiki hotel room – to recover from the surf session and wake up to the view in the morning.
“All I know is I can look out the window and see the beach right there,” Blakes said. “Can’t beat that.”
Biggs and Blakes are both high school seniors in the Los Angeles area – Biggs at Dorsey High and Blakes at Morningside. They have already formed a friendship after learning that they were both going to play at Hawaii as freshmen next season.
Biggs is a 6-foot-7 small forward and Blakes is a 6-4 combo guard. Both players said they plan to return to Hawaii in July to start summer classes.