Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Video update: Stokes leaving for family reasons

There are a lot of things Shaquille Stokes will miss about Hawai’i – the weather, rice for breakfast and spam, among them. But it is no match for the feelings he has for his family in New York, so he will be looking for a school closer to home.

Stokes, a 5-foot-10 freshman point guard, announced this week that he will be leaving the Hawai’i basketball program for family reasons.

He said his grandmother recently became ill, and he decided that it would be best for him to find a school closer to the East Coast.

“It’s family reasons, really,” Stokes said. “I love the island, I love the coaches, I loved being here for this year. It was well spent here. It was more family reasons … being closer to home, my grandmother. It has nothing to do with the coaching and me not liking it here because I love it here … this is my second home, really.”

Stokes said his decision did not revolve around playing time, or his role for next season. He finished fourth on the team in scoring in 2011-12, with 8.4 points per game. He was also second in assists with 2.2. He started 12 of 30 games, and was primarily a back-up for senior Miah Ostrowski.

“I learned a lot from Miah Ostrowski,” Stokes said. “He’s a great guy on and off the court. A role model to me. I’m happy that I got to learn from him. Where ever my talent lands me next year, I will thank him in the long run.”

With starting guard Ostrowski and Zane Johnson graduating, Stokes was expected to challenge for a starting role as a sophomore next season.

He also said the earlier departures of teammates Joston Thomas, Bobby Miles and Trevor Wiseman did not factor into his decision. “It didn’t really affect me at all,” he said.

Stokes said he has not contacted any schools yet, so he has no idea where he might end up next season. A year ago, he chose Hawaii over Colorado State, but said he would prefer to stay on the East Coast.

He said he will remain at UH for this semester so that he can complete his classes and maintain his academic eligibility.


  1. Good luck Shaq , youre a class act. Aloha and dont forget Spam Eggs and Rice diet you got from the locals here.

  2. Shaq’s grown up a lot since we first saw him in the summer league. It’s too bad Hawaii won’t reap the benefits of this young man, but we wish him the best because family should always be a priority. Hope he hooks up with a good program, and keeps improving and gets his degree. Nice to hear the kind words he had for the coaches, teammates (especially Miah) and Hawaii. Study hard and finish the semester strong. Aloha, Shaq, we enjoyed watching you play. And thanks Dayton for following up on the story.

  3. Aloha Shaq. Take care of yourself and your family!

  4. Shucks, I was waiting to see Shaq explode next season. Well, some lucky school on the East Coast will reap the benefits. Good luck Shaq and God bless.

  5. Dayton,

    Great job on video and having close access to Shaq. You know what the naysayers say. Now coming from the source himself, Shaq, we know. He doesn’t hate coaches, teammates, School, playing time, Miah , etc. A family decision…and you know what ? that is more important than Basketball. Wish you well Shaq, and mahalo(thankyou)for sticking it out through the Spring semester…wish you the best and hope you come back again to visit or play!!

  6. thank you dayton.

    this puts to bed all of the people who always want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    best wishes to you shaquille stokes, may you be blessed in the days to come.

  7. Glad to see guys like Zane and Shaq appreciate the effort Dayton puts into this website. Thank you, Dayton.

  8. Hope to follow Shaq over the years and keep track of this class guy. You would have thought he would have mentioned the macaroni salad or kim chee squid. There is still time. Maybe in the next video?

  9. Too bad for us we won’t be able to see what a mature Shaq is capable of. I hope he does well wherever he goes.

  10. Bummed because Shaq was the future, but family > everything.
    He had so much upside and is such a bright kid. Good luck and thanks, Shaq.

    Moving on, the PG position will be fine with Spearman and Tavita next year.

    Can’t wait to see Shamburger as a Warrior in 2013-2014!

  11. Best wishes to Shaq in the future. No Jack in the Box on the East Coast, so try their new spam croissant before you leave.

  12. hey, Jace:
    great admiration for you persistence, patience, and performance on the TEAM!
    2.5 yrs starting pg experience and 1.5 yrs red-shirting improvement period would serve to be for the best.

    here comes the big opportunity for you to pour it all out throughout the entire upcoming season exactly as you’ve planned it,
    with the physical conditioning achieved and, partnering with Brandon ‘Superman’, we are sure of that our TEAM will ‘ran’ all future opponents to the ground!!!

    “the harder I worked, the luckier I’ll get”
    the State of Hawaii will be proud of all your accomplishments.

  13. Take care brother.

  14. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us (your fans); (Thanks, Dayton).

    You’re a really level headed good guy; and always welcome here in Hawai’i, as you said, your second home…

    Thanks for all your effort, great attitude, and giving this all a great shot.

    Selfishly, Wish you were coming back, but wish you and your family the best always …

    send stuff to this site / many will continue to follow your career – it’s like now, “you’re from here…”

  15. we should find out monday or tuesday for any commits/loi?

  16. Maybe…visits this coming week?

    Don’t believe any recruits were in this past weekend (despite recruiting site projection);

    There had been signings before visits in previous seasons, but now with the ability to work them out and get the team involved with the evaluation, would expect most cases to trip first, especially when we’re sworn to being real picky…

    The other MJ (Jackson, not the losingest NBA franchise Charlotte Bobcats owner, Jordan) warned that:
    “…One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, girl…)

  17. Much respect for a NY guy converting to Spam eggs & rice!!!

    Good Luck Shaq, you will be missed here at UH…

    That being said, UH no longer has any point guards with any experience. YIKES! I may have to revise my prediction of UH winning the Big West, if UH can’t find a point guard to run the offense. I think UH has plenty of firepower but not having a legitimate point guard to manage the offense and take care of the ball could be problematic.

  18. Jace Tavita was a 2-1/2 year starter at Utah and was outgoing Team Captain — so his management skills should be at least decent, (Utah was Not a Great Team but they played in the Mountain West and Now the PAC-12 so competition at least a notch above our program or The Big West …)

    Coach Gib expressed confidence in Tavita’s abilities, along with the ball-handling passing and leadership of Orel Lev and Brandon Jawato; he mentioned having a line on other pgs; hopefully or expectantly another pg will trip & sign; preferably a solid, decent or proven pg is still to arrive … watching… waiting … trying to display patience …

    DM & Co. — ANY Word on Visitors This or Next Week ?

    Don’t Know ’bout Winning the Big West — Didn’t Long Beach Impress?
    Hawai’i should be a Contender … Winning Record (>.500) in Conference ? Winning Record in Conference Post-Season ? Haven’t Done Either for a While …

  19. MORE… Plus Jace Tavita worked here in “This System” and building his game for a year and a half (although i’m sure he put in a lot of time with the Scout Team, even that — playing in the style of other players — can help identify ways to build your game)… in today’s HSA it was noted that Shaq had difficulty handling Jace @ Point Guard (i took that as a plus for Jace)…

    Let’s Get a (or maybe get another) Good One for This Year …

    [we probably need at least one more for next year as well even with “proven” Shamburger …]

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