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Touring the campus

Official visits are not all about fun in the sun for recruits of the Hawaii basketball team.

Dillon Biggs and Gerry Blakes spent much of their first day at the beach while on a recent two-day visit to Hawaii, but there was also business to take care of.

In particular, the new Warriors met with academic advisors and the coaching staff, and took a tour of the UH-Manoa campus – including both the athletic complex on Lower Campus and the academic buildings on Upper Campus.

“It’s a big campus,” Biggs said. “I may have to get a bike or one of those big skateboards, something to help me get around.”

Biggs and Blakes – who are both from Los Angeles — have already signed letters intent to play for the Warriors next season, but they did not make their official visit until this past weekend. In effect, the visit cemented what they envisioned.

“It’s just a beautiful place,” said Biggs, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Dorsey High.

Blakes, a 6-4 combo guard from Morningside High, added: “It’s so peaceful here, and there’s so much support.”

The players also learned that there is plenty of support for academic success. In fact, the first stop on their UH campus tour was at the Nagatani Academic Center.

“The reason why we had the first meeting with academics is because (basketball) is a very small portion,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “I’ve got hundreds more (players) who went professional in other things because they got their degrees. Whether it’s medicine, or being an attorney, or owning a business, that’s going to last you forever.”

Biggs and Blakes also met with Arnold in his office and got a close-up view of the framed NBA jerseys of players formerly coached by Arnold, as well as the Hawaii jersey with the name plate “Who’s Next?”

Arnold also explained some of his expectations, and instructed the freshmen-to-be to be ready for an intense preseason conditioning program.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Blakes said.

The video at the top of the page is of the tour of the Upper Campus; the videos below are of the meetings at the academic center and in head coach Arnold’s office.

14 Comments

  1. Nice to see the boyz taking it all in. Seems like bruddah Gerry already got the local flavor growing on him. Got the Hawaii tank top on, plus rockin da slippahz and throwing up the shaka which gotta work on em shmall kine but he get um. Plus already kicking back talking to the academic advisor hahaha… seems to me he’s really enjoying himself and is feeling the Aloha Spirit. Bruddah Dillon kind of crack me up when the academic lady said he gotta take English and Math as prerequisites hahaha, no seem like his strong suit. No worry get planny people going help you out. Anywayz, hope the boyz enjoyed their visit and feel good about starting their basketball careers here at UH Manoa. I too, would love to see a trend of Hawaii jersey’s with names of ballers we are going to send to the NBA, on Coach Gibs wall of fame… Our football team has stepped it up in getting our boyz drafted to the NFL, I think Coach Gib is going to follow suit and get some of our Warrior Ballerz drafted into the NBA… Work hard boyz, garrans babbarrans us fans going support you and show the Aloha that you not going get anywhere else in the world!

  2. i like all these vidz…any with them doing any baskeball stuff? anyway you can really see the recruiting side of gib and he’s really good at in the way he talks….i wonder if one of the moms couldn’t understand why names weren’t gonna be on the back of the jersey….hopefully no conflicts with parents because in Hawaii the culture is so different

  3. Sorry, no basketball video of Dillon and Gerry on the visit. They were scheduled to shoot around a little bit with some of the returnees, but it was a closed session.

    The mothers of Dillon and Gerry were both on the trip and both are very nice ladies. It was Dillon’s mom who asked about the names on the jerseys because she said she wanted to have one with “Biggs” on the back.

  4. I’m pretty sure if he gets some bulk on his bones and his game begins to materialize into something special, you will see Biggs jersey on that wall. He has all the potential in the world and his game is still raw, he just gotta trust in himself and the coaches and work hard to get there. Same with Blakes and all the other recruits coming in. Gotta play big to make it big! Any word on the Shaq daddy coming to visit. I know NY is a long ways away but you could make a name for yourself here in a Warrior uniform and bring this program onto the scene. I could see Shaq and Gerry up top run and gunnin with Biggs on the wing and Stevens down low…

  5. yup they really look skin and bones in these vids but i guess coming from high school most are skinny….hard work in college will really help and tell their future

  6. Dayton, good job on the videos. I can’t ever recall seeing a video/TV report that went behind the scenes, if you will, of a recruiting visit. Good insight into what the kids are exposed to when they spend the two days here.

  7. dayton, i was thinking (always a dangerous thing). maybe you could one day put together a recruiting documentary similar what you’ve already done.

    of course, the multi media event would have to be published/aired only after the recruits have signed their loi’s. hopefully of course it would tell the story of what goes on behind closed doors and stuff. and yah, it would be with the university of hawaii and of course with a happy ending with the recruit signing his loi on camera.

    coach gibber jumping up and down with joy. you know the whole enchilada.

    just thinking.

  8. Thanks for the support.

    Only reason why access was allowed for this visit was because Biggs and Blakes were already signed, and thus could be treated like official Warriors.

    If other recruits visit here and are unsigned, this type of access could be a violation. When unsigned recruits visit, the coaches can not give out information to media, and thus we might not even know if a recruit is in town, let alone when they are at the beach, touring the campus, etc.

    That’s how a couple of recruits (Rafael Maia, Hauns Brereton) made visits here without anybody really knowing about it.

    Anyway, it was a good opportunity to go behind the scenes and I wanted to learn as much as I could myself. Glad people are enjoying it (the surfing video has already become the most popular video in the short history of WarriorInsider.com, surpassing the haka video from Ohana Hoopfest).

    Thanks to all for visiting.

  9. Mahalo Dayton!

  10. I love this site, I wish volleyball and baseball would have something similar.

  11. Good stuff. Continue to inform us on all these recruits. Keep up the great job.

  12. Good to see some of the stuff recruits go through on their visit.Good job Dayton.

  13. Will the jerseys have names on the back this upcoming season? I thought I remember reading or seeing it in one of your videos that the nameless jerseys will be for the first year and possibly have their names the upcoming ones.

  14. This site rocks!!!

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