Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Joston Thomas will pursue pro basketball

Joston Thomas announced on Tuesday that he will leave the Hawai’i basketball team to pursue a career in professional basketball.

Thomas, a 6-foot-7 forward, just completed his junior season with the Warriors, and had one more year of eligibility remaining. He played two seasons at Hawai’i, averaging 11.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 63 total games.

He had a solid junior season in 2011-12, finishing with averages of 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game with a .527 field goal percentage. He played in all 32 games, starting 25.

“I want to thank my ‘ohana here in Hawai’i,” Thomas said in a statement issued through the UH media relations office. “From the coaches, administration, fans and the team — all 15 of them. This was an amazing opportunity for me and I look forward to my future. None of this would be possible without the support I’ve had here.”

Thomas is from Washington, D.C., but came to Hawai’i as a transfer from College of Southern Idaho in 2010. His name is not listed on any NBA mock drafts, although this announcement of his early entry to pro basketball was unexpected.

“It’s been a lifetime goal of Joston’s to be a professional basketball player,” head coach Gib Arnold said in a statement. “I fully support him and his desire to achieve this goal. Joston has made great strides as both a person and as a player while affiliated with the University of Hawai’i. I am proud that we’ve been able to act as a springboard for Joston and his career. I wish him and his future coaches and teammates the best of luck.”


  1. Joston: Wish you the best! This past season when you had everything going basketball wise, defense, rebounding, assists, monster dunks, trying to be a leader and off the court a nice guy with great family.. it was a pleasure to watch you. Remember Hawaii, you have great talent and have grown and matured. Hope the best and come back to Hawaii for vacation!

    UH fans.

  2. I think he could definitely play somewhere in Europe or Asia. This probably means Fotu and Dressler won’t redshirt and hopefully Armstead or Mclaughlin sign.

    Any news on Miles and Wiseman? I don’t expect both to be back next season as well.

  3. Carl English, remember him? He was All WAC and still couldn’t make the NBA. Yes he has made a career for himself over seas and D-league, but c’mon you gonna settle for the Serbia Snakes in the middle of Yugosalvia? One more year of college basketball and college education for FREE. Its not like the NETS or WIZARDS is gonna draft you.

    But it might just be a cover up for bad grades, failing, attitude problems, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong JT is my dude he can ball, but whoever is advising him to take the quick route to go “pro?” is failing. One more year of college would do him good as a person and player.

  4. Um…there is no Yugoslavia anymore.

  5. Enjoyed watching you play big fella!

    Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

  6. I heard recruit Issac Fotu may not be eligible even though he signed his letter of intent. Anybody out there hear this ?????

  7. u need to dominate the wac to even get a chance in pro ball..gib will have a hard time replacing joston and not to mention the other 4 from the last recruiting class

  8. Gib already has the replacement Christian Standhardinger and he’s gonna be even better.

  9. Good Luck, Joston — Thanks for the Two Years of Both Drama AND Growth — it WAS Harrowing and Oddly Entertaining, BUT esp. since you DID always manage to get it back together, Also Rewarding! and you built a lasting relationship with your teammates & coaches !

    Keep Growing and Improving AND Maybe we get to watch you even more !
    Thanks, Again …

  10. Good luck to Joston. Hope everything works out for him. With that said what’s the real story on him leaving the program? All the pleasant quotes on the departure are all PR speak. What do insiders have to say on the state of the team. I have heard everything from Gib has lost the team to other crazy stuff. I’m starting to believe it after all these players keep leaving…

  11. Joston Thomas needs another year of college basketball. He has good quickness and skills but he lacks the mental ability to know his roll on the team and to cope with the highs and lows of playing.

  12. Dayton,

    Do you know what happened to Benjy’s son Tyler McDaniel. Recall your video when he said he was going to try to walk on to team,.then he did not qualify academically to enter UH. Is he still in Hawaii, trying to qualify for UH enrollment..maybe walkon/financial aid thing..could stay with Dad I guess..at 6’9″ tall and put on some weight, could help UH’s frontcourt for sure.

  13. With High Quality ‘Proven’ Performers like Standhardinger, Fotu and Dressler Plus a possible JC Forward or Power Forward, i think McDaniels or even Brown have to work Really Hard just to stay on the Third or Scout Team …

    Besides the PR Talk, Joston was going to have to stay “In System” or Drastically Improve his outside shooting (which he “Could” do but hadn’t enough yet in two years) or he would be relegated to more bench time — between under-achieving on defense and rebounding (sometimes or too often) players like Standhardinger & Dressler would get the majority or bulk of the minutes unless the team “needed” his scoring, but since Hawai’i was already # 1 or 2 in WAC scoring, not likely, although his size and quickness would’ve been an asset (IF he played defense and boxed out) in the Guard-Wing-Forward-emphasizing Big West …

    i “Think” recruiting players who have a little more talent AND already ‘think’ they’re “all That” increases the likelihood of players moving — in these AAU-Coach-Agent times they also “hear” more @^*%-talk blown up their back pipes …

    What i don’t (ever) get is that as much as players like Joston or Carl English improve year-to-year, why can’t they understand/figure out that a ‘free ride’ to play D-1 ball is their Best Bet to continue to improve and get Good Enough to “just have a chance to get drafted or play in NBA/Developmental League …Even League Players-of-the-Year and All-Americans are less or way less than 50-50 to make it at the top level …

  14. Good luck big guy. I don’t think his ready for the NBA. But, maybe he can hook up with a team in Europe. I think another year of college ball could have improved his stock in the pros.

  15. i don’t think stanhardinger, fotu and dressler are what u call high quality

  16. I dont think this dolt hawaiifan09 has any idea what they are like because he hasn’t seen them play.

  17. His stock wouldn’t have improved if he’s minutes went down, which they would have with Standhardinger starting over him.

  18. This young man is about to make a Big Mistake and we all know it,
    but the his coach isn’t giving him sound advice. Mr. Thomas is about
    to be thrown to the wolves of agents and people who only care about him
    for what they can get off his potential. Carl English was a much better
    candidate to play after college than Mr.Thomas. Is this the level of leadership
    we have at UH? Coach Arnold always speaks about building a program but
    the building blocks keep leaving or not getting into school

    Players who left the program (Salters,Barnes,Brumsfield,Coleman,Williams and Lay)
    Players who fail to qualify academically ( Stevens Biggs Blakes Mitchell)
    Coach who left the program ( Walter Roese)

    Coach Arnolds replacement players haven’t live up to his evaluation of being multi -positions players,
    Mills, Wiseman and Jefferson can’t shoot
    Brereton and Rozitis can’t guard
    Stocks can’t run a team

    Coach Arnold was hired because of his recruiting ability, so we shouldn’t be shock by the high turn over in
    personnel in the program, he will just replace one piece of meat for another. Helping these young men to
    develop into functioning members of society, isn’t what the AD hired him to do.

  19. Who is Stocks?

  20. It should be Stokes, can’t run a team.

  21. Gib’s statement is standard issue in sports. I’m sure he tried to convince JT to stay, but it’s still his responsibility to support players if they do choose to leave.

  22. Good luck to JT. I liked him during his 2 years here but I think he has a better chance playing 1 year with the FB team as a TE (bulking up a little) & making it in the NFL than making it in the NBA.

  23. Who’s mills?

  24. My biggest worry so far is the APR of the program. The only student-athletes that have graduated so far are recruits from the past regime. Four recruits from this past season declared ineligible because of grades, salter/barnes leaving program, possibly Fotu not being eligible this year. The talent level has certainly increased for the UH men’s basketball program compared to Bob Nash’s last year at UH but it’s not a good look that these guys aren’t graduating.

    This is a crucial year for Gib Arnold, his third year running the program. I believe we will have a great season next year coming into the Big West Conference. Stokes will continue to grow, and Vander will be a beast. I like the new recruits coming in (Dressler & Lev) and I’m hoping that Brandon Jawato will pan out and Jace Tavita will provide depth.

    As far as guys leaving school early, I can understand if we had the talent level like a Callipari at Kentucky but these guys need to know if they continue to develop during the collegiate career that they will have a SHOT at making it in the pros. But the most important thing is that they will have something to back on if it don’t work out, the degree and developing their character and becoming a man. Much love and respect to Joston Thomas for helping the rebuilding process of the program.

    The biggest thing I love about GIb Arnold is that he hits the recruiting trail hard and will get some recruits in. I can’t fret when he’s getting talented kids to commit, it’s all on them to make the grades to be eligible. Gib Arnold has a plan B, C…and D as far as recruits. It will be a fun and interesting spring signing period. Hit a home run, Gib!

  25. this third year could be gibs worst

  26. Joston high maintenance player. Tried to buy into TEAM..when he did, all in with Gib and team mates, and focused(his HEAD on straight), he was a MONSTER baller. We saw that, Xavier game, leading the WAC in scoring for awhile etc.San Jose St games, Idaho games.., No mention though of even honorable mention for all WAC..Too bad Zane was sick, maybe could have won 2 more games at least…

    If Joston gets an agent..he will probably, like Carl English, and Mike Kuebler, and Matt Lojeski , and recent vintage, Bill Amis…get a tryout, like an audition for an NBA team or two..don’t know what position he would play, tweener…NBA, even bench warmers are well conditioned even psychologically tested…, and if starters hurt (think Jeremy Lin), because being payed and because they are in the LEAGUE…defend, rebound, dive for every loose ball, focused, and listen to coach,,,if not,,they are gone..

    Joston, always wanted to play PRO, if he MATURES…mentally, emotionally, athletically, etc. he might have a shot somewhere in the world. Are Gib and fellow coaches, UH admin and teammates surprised, or crying over his decision …don’t know…Gib will support any player desire, to transfer, or go on to other things..he will do everything in his power to help kids…wants kids to be TEAM first players…Funny you could see it live at the SSC or on TV, Bobby and Tre work together, Joston whenever he lived on low block, monster with whomever…however it seems like a lot of egos on team..and what is strange, this is not even a Kentucy, North Carolina, Louisville team..!

    Now Gib is scouring the Planet for Good students, heads on straight, good teammates,..qualifiers who can play well(Canada has a lot of talent..Toronto?)…maybe that is old school..(past 5 years or so?)…The athletes, at least Bballers different from a generation or so ago, though it seems like Bill Amis, Hiram Thompson , Miah, and Zane were/are of that type…

    Hope best for the kid. He might end up in Hollywood, training the stars for BBall movie!

  27. This is a huge blow to the team. Now we lost 3 starters. Gib has his work cut out now to fill that gap. I have not seen Standhardinger play much but I don’t think he is as big of an inside presence as Josten. Gib needs to find another banger to team with Joaquim. We need someone that has proven numbers and comes highly rated. Even if he comes from JUCO we gotta get him. This is one big puka to fill because with our current players and recruits I don’t see anyone at this time ready or capable to take his place. Hope at this stage there are still some quality players available for Gib to look at. Is there another bradda Josten out there? Anyway good luck to Josten in his pro pursuits.


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