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Arnold talks UH hoops at Downtown Athletic Club

Hawai’i basketball head coach Gib Arnold said he remembers the advice UCLA coach Ben Howland offered him almost two years ago.

“He said make all your decisions based upon your third year, versus your first year,” Arnold said. “That was really hard for me because I’m the type of guy that I want it now. But we made some decisions in that first year recruiting class and even this second recruiting class, where let’s think more toward the future, versus going to get a guy right now who can help us win a couple games. We’ll find that freshman that can help win the last three games of the year, or maybe two years down the road. Go develop that guy that three years from now, four years from now … is really going to play for Hawaii and help you cut down nets and win championships.”

Arnold shared that story – and many others – as the featured speaker at the Downtown Athletic Club’s monthly luncheon meeting on Wednesday at the Hukilau Honolulu restaurant.

The primary focus of Arnold’s speech was the future of the Hawai’i basketball program. He discussed some of the players who are redshirting this season who will help the team in the future, including Brandon Jawato, Christian Standhardinger, Jace Tavita and Orel Lev.

He also talked about some the signed recruits who are scheduled to join the team next season, including Caleb Dressler and Isaac Fotu.

Arnold drew laughs from the audience when he shared the recruiting process of Fotu, who is from New Zealand and is of Tongan descent. He explained how he and assistant coach Brandyn Akana found some Tongan relatives of Fotu living in Kalihi and how they all came to the airport when Fotu arrived for his recruiting visit in Honolulu.

“Once we got the Tongans involved, it was done,” Arnold said. “The kid came over and we had 40 people waiting for him at the airport. We had the music going, we had a barbecue … it was done.”

(WarriorInsider.com photo by Brandon Flores)

6 Comments

  1. Love Coach Arnold. Love the story about Fotu. Love this man’s honesty and passion.

  2. RE- Posted (to appropriate location):

    Thanks to Dayton for Video and KKEA for providing radio coverage of DAC (Downtown Athletic Club) Meeting…

    Coach Gib made “many” significant, some bold statements —
    [Big Winners have Big Goals, No Fluffy Back-Door “Safe-Talk”]

    Watch (Next Year) these players who most of you don’t get to see:

    – Brandon Jawato — he’s gonna be a heckuva player … and

    – Christian Standhardinger has a chance to be the Best Player for us Next Year (and we have a lot of great players coming back);

    – Recruit Caleb Dressler: The Washington State Playoffs started Last Night — Caleb had 33 Points, 22 Rebounds and 10 Blocks, the Only Triple-Double in the State of Washington this year …

    His “Biggest Joke”: Six Years ago when we were recruiting SOCAL, i turned to the coach next to me and said, “Mark my words, watch that 6-2 Chinese kid (Jeremy Lin). In Six Years he’ll have the Biggest Week in the History of the NBA …”

    [NO Offense — Corrections / Additions / Clarifications Welcomed …]

  3. all we need is a armstead type player that can start right away for us next year..it’ll be harsh for tavita, jawato, lev and stanhardinger to come in right away and contribute

  4. I think Stanhardinger can come in and contribute right away. Remember he was getting decent minutes at Nebraska before having to transfer.

  5. Maybe with Standhardinger at the four, (word has been for awhile that Standhardinger is already the best player in practice) Joston can pursue his wing, three-type NBA game after all — but he gotta hit the percentages …

  6. Didn’t see any reports about this in the SA or on the TV stations so thanks! Enjoyed your coverage along with what ESPN1420 had on their website.

    Here’s hoping the team will be ROAD Warriors for the next 3 games!

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