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Shaquille Stokes leaving for family reasons

One day after attending the Awards Banquet, freshman point guard Shaquille Stokes announced that he will be leaving the Hawai’i basketball team for family reasons.

Stokes confirmed his decision to WarriorInsider.com, and said he will finish this semester at UH, then return to his home in New York immediately after that.

Stokes’ grandmother recently became very ill, and the family wanted him to return, according to Hawai’i head coach Gib Arnold.

“He actually talked about leaving several times earlier in the season, but we talked it through,” Anrold said. “But this time … he’s close to his grandmother, who helped raise him, and she got sick and took a turn for the worse last week. He actually wanted to leave right away, but we told him he needs to finish school if he wants to keep playing (basketball), whether it’s here or back home, so that’s what he’s going to do.”

Stokes finished fourth on the team in scoring during the 2011-12 season with 8.4 points per game, and second in assists with 2.2 per game. He was a starter early in the season, but then played a back-up role when senior Miah Ostrowski joined the team after the football season.

Stokes started the team’s last two games of the season in the WAC Tournament in place of sick starter Zane Johnson, and responded with a total of 38 points in those two games. He was expected to challenge for a starting guard spot as a sophomore in the 2012-13 season.

Stokes was a highly-touted recruit a year ago. As a senior at Lincoln High, he was named the New York City Player of the Year by the New York Daily News at a banquet on Tuesday night, and was previously a finalist for the New York Mr. Basketball Award.

20 Comments

  1. Maybe video interview with Gib after he gets his final spring signings..it is shocking, thought Shaq was going to stay..Maybe, there is a real family situation, don’t know!

  2. Josh, where are you. . . . . the sky is falling! You and Hawaiifan09 may have to lace up your sneakers – if you got game or are you all talk! lol

  3. Thanks for article Dayton. You are right on top of it. Glad that Shaq is going to finish school this spring..so he can transfer..Gib was trying to work with him..he felt that he wanted to leave earlier…so now we know…Wish you the best Shaq, seems like a very classy guy!

  4. speechless in manoa….

  5. OH NO, we will miss you Shaq, finish your college education, wish you and your family the best, fans in Hawaii always liked you, you never quit and you played with heart.

  6. wow laulau…

  7. Shaq,
    Good Luck to you & yours…Take Care of Grandma

    Glad you kept up with school; you always projected a great team first attitude…

    And should always be welcome in your second home, Hawai’i…

  8. guess this was the after-shock from the earth quake!?, NEXT!!

  9. Vander…please return for your senior year.

  10. as i said all along shaq never looked happy…sad because ball would be in his hands…every player that leaves says they wanna be closer to home or family reasons but you already made the decision to move hundreds of miles away

  11. This is getting to be a very interesting off-season. I hope everything works out for the best.

  12. “I would hope (we) would support who we are. Not who we are not.”
    - Norman Dale

  13. Um…I’ll take Shamburger over Stokes. Upgrade.

  14. Although thought Shaq would stick it out, if Grandma sick , have to be close to family and it appears he is…NY to Honolulu very far away..

    Dayton: You have to have video interview with Gib…”Do you think the type of athletes of this generation, they are different from even 7 or 8 years ago..” …My take Dayton, yes…with Joston, well he always thought he was a one and done(at least he stayed 2 years with one coach), Trevor and Bobby wanted to go back to Cali and play more, Shaq , family so far away, and have to take his word…grandma sick, what are you going to do?

    That is why Gib said this group of guys coming in , High Character athletes priority…you cannot have a revolving door…however it seems without question it is the changing landscape of MBBall today..players, want a change, they move on…very hard to have freshman that stay 4 years now, and graduate…hopefully a few on team will still be here in 4 years and get degree…!!

  15. That’s why Riley went jc part for most cases, more mature, probably the freshman that work it for the four years are the foreigners who are used to being away from home , have a bit more maturity.

  16. Yes, I think that to have a chance at consistent long-term success you need smart, talented & skilled, mature and ideally athletic players who can put three or four years into the program; even Riley-Jackson when pursuing JC players preferred qualifiers like Garrett Jefferson or Brandon Spearman who can put in both time and be successful in school. I think the latest crop of potential four years — Dressler, Fotu & Lev have a chance to stick for a while (value academics, workers, mature & 2 of 3 foreigners).

    One thing that maybe we differ on is valuing point guards — Coach, maybe for being more of a shooting guard himself, is Real Comfortable with “Point Guard by Committee”; Years One and Three it’s Late April and we don’t (yet) have confirmed point guards. I understand they’re “IN” on some prospects, and Shamburger should be solid; obviously Jace has earned the coaches’ confidence (not yet the fans’ but what’s new?); but what’s wrong with locking in a solid point who can nail it any time coach says (from three or anywhere like a Mark Campbell); I’m sure if we were in on the next AC, Tom Henderson or Reggie Carter (all played NBA) they’d already be signed…

    Here’s to counting on the staff doing better than some of us think is possible, and turn up a few more great surprises…

  17. Dang this one hurts… now UH is short on point guards.

    Best case scenario is that Stokes redshirts this year and take a year off and has time to recoup and comes back to UH, but that looks slim now.

  18. “You’re either in, or in the way.”
    - I forget

  19. So THIS could be the rumor that ESPN had stating the Cuse could be inline for more back court help. I couldn’t find anything about that until seeing this move. I can only assume that Syracuse (having the scholorship availability) would be interest…

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