Stokes ready to make his Sheriff Center debut
China and Japan already got a glimpse of Shaquille Stokes in a University of Hawaii basketball jersey.
Now its time for the Hawaii fans to see what the hype is all about.
Stokes, a 5-foot-10 point guard, will make his debut in the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday, November 11, when the Warriors host Hawaii Pacific in an exhibition game.
“It’s going to be a lot different, you’re in your home gym in front of thousands of fans cheering on you,” Stokes said. “So I’m excited. Can’t wait to play.”
Stokes is perhaps the program’s most-hyped freshman in 25 years. The last freshman expected to play a starring role at Hawaii was probably Chris Gaines in 1986. Back then, Frank Arnold was the head coach of the program. Gib Arnold – Frank’s son – is now the head coach of the Warriors.
So far, Stokes has proven capable of leading the Warriors as a freshman point guard. During the team’s “Warriors to Asia” tour in August, several key players were unavailable, including senior guard Zane Johnson (injured ankle at the time) and junior center Vander Joaquim (he was playing with Angola’s national team). All Stokes did was step up to lead the team in scoring.
“I’m going to feed my teammates when they’re open and I’m going to score when I have to,” Stokes said.
Last month, the media members of the Western Athletic Conference voted him the Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Stokes, who grew up in Harlem, has welcomed the preseason buzz. “I’m from New York – I don’t care about pressure,” he said. “I love pressure.”