Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

It’s official: Fotu signs with Hawaii

The letter of intent is officially in and cleared — Isaac Fotu will be joining the Hawaii basketball team for the 2012-13 season. He is the third recruit to sign with the Warriors during the “early” signing period, which actually ended last week.

Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold’s comments are in the video above, and here is the official announcement from the UH Media Relations office:

HONOLULU – University of Hawai`i men’s basketball coach Gib Arnold announced the signing of top New Zealand prospect Isaac Fotu to a national letter of intent. Fotu will join UH as a freshman for the 2012-13 season and will have four years of eligibility.

Fotu, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward is a native of Torbay, Auckland, New Zealand and is considered on the nation’s top young players. At age 17, he was called up to the senior national team earlier this year and is believed to be one of the youngest members ever on the “Tall Blacks” national squad.

“Isaac is a huge addition to this year’s recruiting class,” Arnold said. “A skilled power forward with great natural ability and strength, Isaac has the potential to help us immediately. When I first got this job we emphasized recruiting the Asia-Pacific rim. Hailing from New Zealand and of Tongan descent, Isaac is a perfect fit for the University of Hawai’i and we are thrilled to have him join us”

It has been an eventful year for Fotu who was first called up from Rangitoto College to the New Zealand Breakers developmental team. Soon after, he earned a spot on the New Zealand national team and competed for his country in the Boris Stankovic Cup in Guangzhou, China, a tournament ultimately won by the Kiwis. Fotu also competed with the national team in Turkey and Macedonia and was selected to the Nike All-Asia Camp this summer.

The year was capped with a world title for New Zealand at the world 3-on-3 youth basketball championships in Rimini, Italy. Fotu and his teammates topped their pool with a 6-1 record, beating the Czech Republic, Serbia and Italy in overtime through knockout play to set up a gold medal match against Bulgaria. Fotu hit the game-winning shot against Bulgaria to help New Zealand capture its first world title in a FIBA-sanctioned event.

Fotu, who owns size 17 feet, is of Tongan and English descent and his father played professional rugby in England. He committed to Hawai’i after also being recruited by Oregon, Washington, Washington State, UNLV, Utah, and St. Louis.

Fotu joins fellow freshman post player Caleb Dressler and shooting guard Orel Lev who also signed early with Hawai’i. All three will join the team with four years of eligibility.

“The signings of Isaac, Caleb and Orel have given us three very good freshman players who fans will enjoy watching for years to come,” Arnold said.

2012-13 Recruiting Class
Caleb Dressler, 6-10, 240, C, Fr., Vancouver, Wa., Evergreen HS
Isaac Fotu, 6-9, 235, F, Fr., Torbay, Auckland, New Zealand, Rangitoto College
Orel Lev, 6-4, 190, G, Fr., Tel Aviv, Israel, Ironi Tet High School


  1. new zealands play some crazy ball based on that one video…i can see isaac getting real physical and maybe some flagarants..it’ll be fun watching him bang

  2. and more importantly he could teach the coaches how to do the real haka.

  3. Great group of recruits. Things are really looking up for UH in the long run.

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