Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

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.”


  1. Shag,
    again, welcome to Hawaii!
    we most appreciate your love for Hawaii; we’re thrilled to see you here, working hard..

    we really fortunate to have our current coaching staff. already creating fear for others to play us.
    your parents will be delighted to have such wonderful teachers to shape your future.

    Hawaii will come forth to support the TEAM.

  2. Great to have a new look with a true PG.

    OT, but will Caleb Dressler be signing today? Any chance of other additions in the early signing period?

  3. looking forward to his debut.

  4. when he said thousands of fans i kind of grinned..i don’t expect much turnout only because they play HPU…hopefully i’m wrong…anymore than 4,000 and i’d be suprised although that’s like the average the past how many years…2nd game at 11pm..probably less than 3,000

  5. Shaq! Welcome Again !

    We are Ecstatic that you’re here And that You’re Enjoying It !
    (and part of the Thousands that Will Be on hand Friday and Late Night Monday…)

    Not everyone who comes to Hawai’i really gets to experience it … But thanks to Dayton, we got to see you with the Marines (other than games, practices or school, does it really get any tougher than that?) and actually getting the flavor of the beach, not just the inside of the gyms !

    Thanks for steppin’ up and lifting up the team during the China-Japan trip — suspect it would Not have gone as well without you and i’m sure you now know your team and coaches way better, besides getting to see the world … That’s All Huge, Great and Well-Deserved for someone that chose to cross the country and help out here “in the middle of the World’s Biggest Ocean” …

    You might have already noticed…Hawai’i is also a very spiritual place … You ‘debut’ your career here on Friday, 11-11-11 a “Gateway Date” in the Universe — World Leaders are here … (yeah, messin’ up traffic and with their own groupies (protestors)) … One of The World Prophecies is that “When the World Learns to Live and Work together In Peace it will be through learning the Native Principles, the same ones President Obama is aware of and you as a Leader are Learning and Living every day … so you’re here at a Benchmark time and No Less … here’s hopin’ (expecting?) that you are part of Leading Hawai’i toward the forefront of College Basketball, too !

    Glad you like the pressure …
    we’ll try to keep our expectations realistic and in check …

    Aloha, Mahalo, Shaq! “Geev’ Um ! ” [Pidgin for Go ‘Bows !]

  6. wow Eagle, what have you been smoking?

  7. I know this article is about Stokes. Thanks for coming to UH brah. But, I was just in DC visiting and saw a beast of a 7th grader play. He played three games all in a row and looked faster and stronger at the end of the day. Their team only had 5 guys so he played the whole game. Oh yea, and it was a 9th and 10th grade tournament. PLEASE, Gib, Take a look at this kid before someone else gets him. True point guard, attacks like Derek Rose, has an unbelievable shot. (had 11 3’s in the final game), tough defense, and keeps the same face/demeanor the whole game. Humble as ever. Sees the floor well. Picks kids up when they’re down on dead balls, both teams. I was just very impressed.

    I have coached for 40 years in Hawaii. I coached against this kids father when he played in High School. So, when I called him and told him I’d be up here, he offered to take me to lunch, but said it would be after his son’s game. Well, I wanted to see some “mainland” ball. So, I asked if I could go. Long story short, one of the teams was Montrose Christian’s JV and another was Dunbar’s JV. Well known Iolani classic mainland schools. This boy demolished the competition. He is the real deal.

    The reason I’m writing this on here is because maybe coach or someone close to him reads this stuff. This kid is Brandyn Akana’s nephew. So, we may have the inside track on him. Montrose Christian told his father that they want him now and would be willing to make him the first 7th grade player on full scholarship. Brandyn, send him the paperwork……He wore UH t-shirts the whole day……and from speaking with him, he wants to go “home” and play….

    Jessiah Villa is the name of this boy. You will not find anything on youtube, he has asked his father not to put anything up because he wants to be a regular kid….lol…..sorry Jessiah, you are not regular and I hope UH is still in your sights when the time is right….thank you for the experience Villa Aiga…

  8. Shaq, see you and the rest of the team on Friday. I hope there’s a good turn out.

  9. so far ronnie stevens…indian hills team is 3-0

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