Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Stokes chooses Hawaii

The Hawaii basketball team can now start planning its “Shaq Attack” for opponents.

Shaquille Stokes, a coveted point guard out of New York City, signed a letter of intent to play for the Warriors starting in the 2011-12 season. He will be a freshman next season and will have four years of eligibility.

“When I made my visit out there, Hawaii felt like a home away from home,” said Stokes, who added that he prefers to go by Shaq. “They have a great coaching staff and I got to hang out with the (returning players) and had a ball.”

Stokes received numerous accolades as a senior at Lincoln High this past season. Most notable, he was named the New York City Player of the Year by the New York Daily News at a banquet on Tuesday night, and was previously a finalist for the New York Mr. Basketball Award.

He averaged around 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game, and was named to several all-star, all-league and all-city teams.

Stokes said he is 5 feet 11 inches and 175 pounds, and described his game as: “I like to break people down, play defense, score at times when I need to. I just try to make my team and my teammates better.”

Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold himself spearheaded the recruiting process of Stokes. Arnold previously recruited players out of New York City when he was an assistant coach at USC, and has a friendly relationship with Lincoln High coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton.

“He’s a great ball handler, can get to the rim, multiple speeds, he’s actually got a really nice shot too,” Arnold said. “He’s a creator. He can create his own shot, he can create for others. And he’s a ball hawker, he’s got real quick hands, so he can guard the ball.”

Stokes visited Hawaii last weekend, and narrowed his choices to the Warriors and Colorado State shortly after the visit.

“It was real hard – a lot of other schools came into the process late because they thought I was available,” Stokes said. “But once Coach Arnold – the head coach – he called me direct and said he wanted to set up a visit for me immediately, I knew they were serious about me.”

Stokes spent two days in Honolulu, and the weather was not cooperative with a steady downpour of rain on both days. Not that it mattered to him.

“I’m not coming out there for the weather,” he said. “I’m coming out there to help Hawaii basketball win games. That’s my main goal. If the weather is nice, that’s just a bonus.”

Stokes is the sixth recruit to sign with the Warriors for the 2011-12 season.

“We are pleased,” Arnold said. “We got a little bit of everything.”

2011-12 Recruiting Class
Dillon Biggs, 6-7, 195, F, Fr., Los Angles, Calif., Dorsey HS
Gerry Blakes, G, 6-4, 175, Fr., Inglewood, Calif., Morningside HS
Hauns Brereton, F, 6-7, 205, Jr., Bartlett, Tenn., Western Nebraska CC
DeShawn Mitchell, G, 6-5, 205, Jr., Newark, N.J., Snow College (Utah)
Ronnie Stevens, F, 6-8, 225, Fr., Gardena, Calif., Serra HS
Shaquille Stokes, G, 5-11, 175, Fr., Harlem, N.Y., Lincoln HS


  1. now all we gotta do is get them on the island and start playing together….get that chemistry going….kinda like a first year again with so many new players

  2. woohooo!
    i’m stoked!

  3. can’t imagine what the stan sheriff center will look like next year….midnight ohana will be rocking probably with the most fans ever….probably the most inticipated year and average 6-8,000 fans a game easy

  4. Welcome Shaq to the Warrior Ohana! I hope you enjoy the warmth and community of Hawaii.

  5. Gib called Dillon Biggs a guard. Is that a typo? I thought Dillon is slated for small forward.

  6. Biggs is considered a slasher so he is sort of like a SG/SF type. He will light up the scoreboards for sure with his aerial assault now that Shaq is on board to throw some alley-oops. Gerry Blakes is another high-flyer and now that they are all teaming up, oohwee it’ll be like watching an ESPN highlight reel every night!

  7. gerry blakes isn’t a high-flyer but he can jump for his size….deshawn mitchell is what u call a high-flyer and is probably the most athletic on the team…we finally will get a chance for espn highlight reel

  8. Now Gib will go…. to China with full complement of new players. Ms Hinshaw and Co. needs to get the contract going for Gib sooner than later.

  9. Lots to work with for Gib and the staff. Building chemistry will be key…

  10. From the NY Post:
    “The program is up-and-coming,” said Stokes, who led Lincoln to the Brooklyn AA regular-season title, the borough crown, and PSAL Class AA title game at the Garden. “A lot of guys go to big schools, but Hawaii is on the rise.”

    Read more: http://nyp.st/lEIjwy

  11. I don’t think there’s any doubt now that our overall team speed will be much improved next season. Think about what Miah’s quickness did for the team in that short span. With a backcourt of Stokes and Blakes, it’ll be nice to finally get some easy transition buckets. Love that they’re both 4 year players too….

  12. hawaiifan09,

    DeShawn Mitchell is a high-flyer for sure but maybe you haven’t seen Gerry Blakes highlight videos. I’m not talking the ones posted on here, I’m talking highlights from tournaments he’s been in and the such. He can sky at 6’4″ and his game is gonna be ridiculous once he gets stronger and more seasoned. Regardless at least now we got a few leapers which will be putting up some nice highlights this year. The only thing I’m a little concerned about is how is Coach Gib going to split minutes with all this talent??? Zane Johnson is pretty much a lock to start as well as Vander Joaquim…so who will step up? Trevor Wiseman will be in the rotation for sure, Joston if he becomes the player he should be will be in there. Blakes, Biggs, Stevens and Stokes games are D1 ready but they just need to get stronger and seasoned… Hauns Brereton is interesting as he could be an instant impact guy like DeShawn Mitchell… Plus we still got Miah after football season, Bobby Miles, Rozitis, etc… Curious to see who’s improved their game and who will step up when the lights go on and ball out…

  13. Bonzaiiii!!!!

  14. he can sky for his size but not high-flying jumping over everyone type of guy….really gonna be interesting to see if stokes and blakes start together….practice will be super competitive….we got so much athleticism i wish we could play 8 on 8 lol…if they all are as advertised we should get 20 wins easily

  15. Good job coach Gib and to your coaching staff for recruiting a gem of a guard.I don’t think UH ever had better incoming freshmen class.

  16. What a recruiting class! Well done, Coach. Let’s get the season started a’ready.

  17. Getting them here is 1 step.Keeping them here is another. The program has to make sure to keep them accademically and socially stable. There will be homesickness and the difficult adjustment to a totally different culture.

  18. Stokes initiation when he gets here in the summer…..he has to go surfing!!!!!!!

  19. HOLLA!! start the season, I’m ready…

    Shoutout to Dayton! Thanks for the site.

  20. When is the last time anyone can remember talking about UH hoops like this…in May, no less? Welcome to program basketball. May we experience it for a long, long time.

  21. Never heard of Shaquille Stokes? He was named the best player in New York City last night. Check out some highlights at http://www.nycmayorscup.com.

  22. hawaiifan09, shutes I give you that…he may not have the hops like DeShawn Mitchell but he get hops enough to throw down on some heads. There was a highlight video I watched of him in a tournament where he threw down some pretty high flying dunks. Still if he and Stokes are in the backcourt together, sheesh who do you guard??? Blakes is going be mean once he grows into his body and gets much stronger. His game IQ is ridiculous and he balls out man! This team is going to rise up fast, quick and in a hurry just you wait and see…

  23. Does this complete the recruiting class for 2011-2012?

  24. very happy with the recruits; still wondering why there’s no word for another center?

  25. bring the newbees to Rainbow drive in and get them started on local style plate lunches, they need some pounds on the bones. Get them around da locals

  26. pauoaboy, yup if he gets bigger stronger faster he’ll be awesome…i really like to see him in practice shooting the 3….seems like he has a hitch in his shot

  27. He’s a lefty too I think so his shot looks a little wierd but eh as long as he can knock em down with consistency it’s all good. Still though Blakes and Biggs once they get some bulk and work on refining their game, they gonna start beasting. Stokes already has the package he too just gotta gain some bulk and he’ll be killing it.

  28. i hope mitchell isn’t one of those that demands to have the ball at all times….i think he’ll be the roderick flemings type of player….only tries hard in spurts and will try bring the showtime

  29. I think Zane Johnson will still be the focal point on offense and Vander Joaquim will be getting double doubles all day. After that I think the scoring will be spread around…Joston will get his too, but then we got Hauns, DeShawn, and everyone else who can get buckets too. Coach Gib is probably going to do more run and gun with these guys since they are more athletic and quick… plus they can handle the rock and create off the dribble…

  30. This is the kind of ball we’ve been waiting for. Gib is da man.

  31. If Shaq is as good as advertised, he will open up doors in Gib’s recruiting efforts – bigs (quality centers/power forwards) will love to come to Hawaii now and be on the receiving end of his passes.

  32. If Gib brings back the dunk contest for midnight ohana, who do you guys think will win the dunk contest?

  33. Dunk contest, I say DeShawn Mitchell has the most hops and flair in his dunking ability. Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes can air it out too though…

  34. deshawn, gerry, dillon, josten..not sure how creative a dunker the rest are

  35. Gib is the man! Read somewhere that Tyler McDaniels was offered and committed to UH. That makes 17 with Rozitis, Minns, and Tavita also somewhere in the mix.

  36. They have nothing to offer Mcdaniels(except walking-on)… all scholarships are taken.

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)