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An update from assistant coach Fisher

Members of the Hawai’i basketball team are spread around the world right now. Most of the Warriors have returned home to spend time with their respective families for the next month or so.

“We’ve got two guys here on campus now going to the first session of summer school,” assistant coach Scott Fisher said. “Everybody else is either on the mainland or looking at international duties.”

Fisher said three Warriors — Vander Joaquim, Davis Rozitis, and Orel Lev — will likely see international basketball action this summer while representing their home countries. Joaquim will play for Angola, which still has a shot at qualifying for the 2012 Olympics; Rozitis will play for Latvia’s national team; Lev will play for Israel’s junior national team.

Fisher works closely with the Hawai’i post players, and said he spoke with Joaquim before the 6-foot-10 center departed for Angola earlier this month.

“Everything he has ever indicated to me is that he will come back,” Fisher said. “He wants to graduate from college. He’s very close — just a few more credits over the next two semesters and he will graduate. I think that’s something that’s important to him and to his family.”

In any case, Fisher said the players who are not in international play this summer will be expected to return to the Manoa campus in July for individual workouts. He said most, if not all, of the new recruits are expected to be in Hawai’i for summer workouts, including post players Caleb Dressler, Isaac Fotu, and a possible walk-on from Australia.

Fisher added that head coach Gib Arnold is currently out of state, but he could not say if it was for basketball or family reasons.

17 Comments

  1. Great Interview Dayton and staff! Very insightful, coming from the UH BBall office. Interesting take on Vander’s situation, ..I sincerely hope he does finish his degree and gets better as a Basketball player and person..Really, great upside..Very exciting to have 3 guys in international or in Davis’ case trying to represent Latvia, and Orel Lev Israel Jr national team..great experience..That experience made Vander a better player from last summer to end of this past year..I am looking forward to seeing Vander , or hearing of Vander playing this fall.

    Really excited: Australian walk on! And two kids already in first summer session..very good ..qualified, and expecting all the rest in by 2nd summer session, so UH MBB on right track in regards to qualifying and hopefully, everyone buying in..No question that is Gib’s priority, right fit, student/athlete and person..should be a good year this coming..with Vander and other Bigs and incoming recruits, it is like a fresh and exciting start..Dayton , I am sure, man you are already scooping the other media folks since you are an “Insider” ! with these interviews, which you share, even globally..thanks..on behalf of us UH MBB junkies, and me..I am not that old..well mid old..follow since 1966..when kid..

    Thanks for great off season interview..watch for some interesting comments from, Eagle, and the other regulars!! Good Job! And great job Fish! Correct Gib needs a good, relaxing vacation..stay healthy!!

  2. hearing someone praised how good the Australian players are (college or NBA).

    automatically triggered my thoughts on international recruiting, one of it was that
    Coach Fisher is from ‘Down Under’, sooner or later he certainly will bring in 1 or 2 good ones (happy)!

    can’t hardly wait for the ‘College Summer League’ to start (excited)!!

  3. Thanks for the update Dayton. The reassurance about Vander is especially great to hear. Hopefully the guys use their time productively to make improvements and have a great off-season. Especially looking forward to see how improved our seniors Hauns and Jace Tavita will be, as they will play important roles for the upcoming season.

  4. Dayton: Small kine favor to ask…would you be able to ask, or have interview with Gib when he comes back..What is up with last scholie that opened up when Shaq left. Are they still awaiting, or hold till next year..I am sure inquiring minds would like to know. Anyway, you and your staff and sponsors do a great job, keep us MBB fans going even during off season!!

  5. Thanks for the great update, including the expected Aussie walk-on! Here’s to hoping’ (we’ll see) he’s a player, earns significant PT, maybe even makes an impact so he (or even other walk-ons) start a trend of earning scholarships after wanting to play here enough to find a way to pay their own way…that’s a Win-Win ‘cos they get the opportunity and for the program, it’s almost as good as having more scholarships…

    I’ve said it before and couldn’t agree with Coach Fisher more, but Vander has been 100% Consistent in stating that he values his opportunity to earn His College Degree (paid) while he also gets coached up by what apparently is a pretty good coaching staff (based on Vander’s improvement); once you start playing for money, it’s hard to put in enough time to finish the degree — I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s less than 10% that finish their degrees while they ‘re playing). I’ve repeatedly and consistently seen or heard Vander state that he will be back (Not some Weasle-y statement that I’m “planning” to come back) so I strongly Object to Ferd Lewis This week printing that “Joaquim isn’t saying”… The Man said he was coming (when first recruited), then a season later said he was coming back and did both TWICE even though he’s traveling half way round the globe to do so…. And improved through the whole process and He Knows it… Yes, he’s got Good Pro Opportunities Right Now … But if he were going to take ’em, he already could have … Cut him some slack, show him the deserved and earned Respect to at least take him at his word… I think he’s honorable enough that if & when he has other plans he’s man enough to say so…

    I think, America in general takes for granted too many things, including the value of a College degree (which even for mere mortals like some of us translates on average to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional earnings; although i suspect most UHBB fans did serious work towards a degree or more). Men’s volleyball is a good counterpoint where 13-15 really good & dedicated athletes try to split 4-1/2 scholarships. I’m amazed more VB 6-9+ stars haven’t tried to walk-on and earn a scholarship in BB like some wahine… Fortunately our foreign players have seemed to value their degrees, and also usually do well in school while sticking around for the degree — like Vander, Savo, Carl English or Haim Shimonovic who were all league best at their positions. [One Good definition of Success or Excellence is “A Commitment to Completion”.]

    in case you missed it there was a great five minute video piece by Robert Kekaula @ http://www.kitv.com/marketplace/Hawaii-MVP on former ‘Bow Phil Handy who just completed is first season coaching with the LA Lakers. Highlights: A long list of countries where he played (send us some talent, Phil !); How the First NCAA Tourney team captured Hawai’i’s Attention including clips of Governor Waihee keeping the screen on during work (ideally we get dedication something like that from the latest Governor and new Chancellor Apple); and L&L-Cali just doesn’t measure up…

    Thanks for the compliment(s)/ endorsement … It’s enough that We’re All just trying to keep up with the great work & standards established by Dayton & Co. That make this site for UHMBB pretty much better than All the Rest (combined! — but all the rest out there, keep working’ at it !)

  6. Dayton, what position will this Aussie walk on play at ? No mention in your article,mahalo

  7. Eagle: Always enjoy your comments and opinon.!

    Good insight and you are correct, foreign born players cherish the educational aspect of college more so than their American counterparts sometimes. Vander, seems to have improved in a lot of areas since the END of this season. Just showing a lot more maturity. Wish him well, and look forward to Vander and the new guys and returnees having a great upcoming season. There is an element that questions every move, or apparent move of everything involved with UH MBB, don’t know why…(Gib)? UH athletics is the only D! program in the state so we support unless something really criminal or abusive. Can’t wait to see what the Aussie will bring, is he a Big or a Small..starting the Australian, New Zealand pipeline huge…wait and see.!! Believe UH MBB on the right track, kids have to be right fit and all in , and Gib can coach em up, get them to love Hawaii and enjoy the privilege of a full ride scholarship!

  8. Yeah, was trying to be patient…

    Who’s in First Summer Session?

    Are we talkin’ Future NBA Aussie Version of Steve Nash type or more like Luc Longley,
    who’s also Rich Enough to pay his own way?
    (Until the Facts and Details are filled in The Universe is Open to All Possiilities…)

    A Hard Working Project Type could also (eventually) work…

    Keep THAT Aussie Pipeline OPEN, as well as
    Africa, S.America, N.America & Europe
    All OPEN, Flowing BB Gold,
    Diamonds Polished & Rough,
    even Raw Hard-Working Crude…

    Looking Like A Program On The Rise…?

  9. Would be nice to know what position the Ausie player figures in the mix?

  10. …Earlier, several times, Coach Gib mentioned that the coaches were in on some International Players who could qualify and be in by Summer… And should be more able to help at the 2-3, maybe 4, positions…

    Would be Great IF he were also another Flyer, Shooter and Physical, like Orel Lev (who he said was the most athletic player (Currently) on the team — I’d like to think Isaac Fotu might have something to say about that….)

  11. i wonder if we’ll see some of the guys play in the ncaa summer league in manoa. just to get a glimpse of the new guys and their talent. sure its not the most defensive/talent rich leagues, but it does let them play organized ball and keep in shape.

  12. Thanks for the update, Dayton.

    Chawan: Unless Gib prohibits them from playing, if last year was any indication, I would think they all would be playing based on when they arrive in the islands. From the 2011-12 roster, I count 11 who played last summer.

  13. …and apparently NCAA now allowing them to practice as a team up to two hours per week…

    SO maybe can see them against some decent competition …themselves…

    (although watching ‘Roop BOMB from 25 feet and out gotta be impressive)

    Let Us Know When (Practices)…see you there…

  14. It appears their is more talent, athleticism, scoring prowess, a Big in Isaac Fotu(whom Jamie Dixon coach of Pitt said “is the real deal”)at a lot of positions. Now with guys in summer session and all the team, new and returnees in by second summer session, that is KEY…Davis, Vander, Garrett, Brandon Jawato, Orel Lev, Jace Tavita, Hauns Brereton, Christian Standhardinger, in good academic stead and the newcomers set to enroll, THEY(new guys) qualified to get into UH..huge..! Gib and staff have done a pretty good job, making sure ALL IN character guys are still with team and LOI new guys..are moving on in.. and now we wait to see if they all buy into DEFENSE..as a team and individually…It appears the guys who are here now and coming in , know the deal, what went down before, NOW ladies and gentlemen, it is basically a NEW team with a NEW attitude(hopefully). ..if everyone on board with TEAM and coaching staff, and fans..look for some excitement(again)..building..for this upcoming season..

    Let’s Go Bows / Warriors , Men’s Basketball Team, and I hope Laura Beeman has great success too. and Uncle Norm..!

  15. WOW, that is even more exciting, official team practice for 2hrs/week!

    if it is opened the the public, the gym going to be packed.
    the coaching staffs can really do their things for the TEAM now, deserved even more credit & appreciation for the extra work!?

    Mahalo for the latest scoop. keep up the good work (need all the details).

  16. any walk-on comes by invite or tries out by his own accord.

    a walk-on is without a scholarship, though he could still be eligible for grants,etc. he is such because;

    one, no schloarship is available
    two, we have committed the last scholarship to one or another and until that is finalized, we have none.
    three, perhaps we are awaiting the holy grail of mbb to knock on our doostep.
    four, well you get the picture about why you are a walkon and not a scholie guy.

    but, hey…you never know.

  17. Some coaching staffs of building programs have appealed to more-or-less well to do families/ parents of players who could afford tuition to allow the team to build faster/ stronger… So IF for example Dad is a rich executive, NBA Coach or pro player, he can help “more” than regular donors or just plain cash (which doesn’t get you “additional Scholies” or necessarily more players…

    There was some similarity to this when Coach Benjy’s son would have walked on (he could have done this even IF he were a potential All-Conference player) But Still gotta qualify….

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