Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Thomas commits to play for Hawai’i

The excitement for the upcoming 2012-13 season is still building for the Hawai’i basketball team, but it’s never too early to build for future years.

The Warriors received a commitment for the 2013-14 season today from California prep forward Michael Thomas.

“I would say I chose Hawai’i because of three things,” said Thomas, who is currently a senior at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, Calif. “First is the intensity and seriousness of the basketball program. Second is church … I’m in the Church of Christ and I met with the campus leader on my recruiting trip and I think I can be part of that. And third is the academics – it’s amazing over there.”

Thomas is an athletic 6-foot-6 senior who will play multiple positions for El Camino Real this season. He averaged around 16 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior last season.

“He can play anywhere from 1 (point guard) to 4 (power forward), depending on what you need,” said El Camino Real coach David Rebibo. “He’s a match-up problem because he can do so many things. If you put a smaller guard on him, he’ll take it inside and post up. If you try to put a big on him, he’ll go right past him or shoot it from the outside.”

Thomas said he enjoys playing the all-around role, but if he had to pick a position for college it would probably be small forward.

“It makes me a better player to do different things,” he said. “I think I can bring intensity, energy and immediate impact if given the opportunity. I just have to work hard at it.”

Numerous programs recruited Thomas over the past year, including Arizona State, Oregon State, Boise State, Santa Clara and Utah State. He narrowed his choices to Hawai’i, Northern Arizona and UCSB. He picked the Warriors after making an official visit last weekend.

“He can shoot it from mid-range, he can shoot the 3, he can get to the rim and finish with both hands, and if he has an opportunity to dunk on you, he will,” Rebibo said. “I really think Hawai’i is getting a guy with a chance to be a pro someday.”

Thomas said his family is “excited” about his choice to play in Hawai’i, in part because they will still get to see him play several games per year.

“I’m going to be away from them but because we play in the Big West, they’ll get to see some of my games,” Thomas said. “It will be a good way for me to grow up.”

Thomas had a 3.8 grade point average last year while taking advanced placement classes, according to Rebibo.

Thomas said he enjoyed seeing the UH campus and Waikiki Beach during his recruiting visit, and he’s also looking forward to another local delight when he enrolls a year from now.

“Malasadas,” he said. “I never had those before, but it was good. Real good.”

Below is a highlight video for El Camino Real’s team last season. Thomas is featured from the 3:54 mark to around the 4:30 mark.


  1. Thanks, Dayton, Sponsors,

    Looking Forward to Michael locking in a Good Future with this team in Hawai’i.

    Based on the Coaches and the Guys we Do Know (already here),
    IF they think Michael can help, there’s a Good Chance they’re right …

    Could fill that position Hauns will be vacating…

  2. Mahalo Dayton for update!

    Gib is doing what he said: going after good student athletes that fit. Hope they can fill the 2 or 3 scholies available for next year!

    MIchael Thomas great possibility!

    Also: Let us know the status of Aaron Valdes, with NCAA clearinghouse, if you do know of anything, curious how long it takes.

    Thank you Dayton! MBB has a core fanbase that is thrilled by your informative site!!

  3. Not so fast my friend as Lee Corso would say. Because Thomas is a senior this year does anybody know if he’s eligible to play D1 BB? I don’t think so. So I can’t get excited, yet after Blakes, Stevens, and Biggs, not to mention Mitchell. To me, it’s wait and see and pray. We will know more later, but for now it’s like promising. We can only hope he’s done his work in the classroom.

  4. According to Brian McInnis, Michael Thomas has committed to UH. Congrats all around!

  5. Great addition of Michael Thomas. Hope he has stellar senior season on and off the court! Gib and staff and team sure made good impression on Michael! Good job UH MBB ohana!!

  6. Awesome pick up.

  7. an all-business minded young over-achiever.
    perfect match per “fit” for both MBB Warriors & MT.
    add another winner to the wonderfully long list of “dat kine” (that kind) for 2013!

  8. “IF they think Michael can help, there’s a Good Chance they’re right …”

    what? they better be right!d
    what are you saying???

    Derek, what? there is no basis for your derogatory assumption. why bring this up? its comments like these that could turn a young man away from hawaii.

    what? kepola, mcinnis did not say such a thing. read again.

    n2o4joy, double what? calling him an over-achiever when you haven’t seen him play ever, let alone the past few years. saying one is an over-achiever would also mean that to you he is not worthy???

    what? nonsense spews from the lips of a few irresponsible fellows.

  9. Wonder if Ako Kaluna is next.

  10. we could sure use a point guard this year and next.

    too late for this year, but we definitely need someone to be the sham’s understudy.

  11. UGH we have manroop get used to it!!

  12. We’ll see how The Roop pans out @ the #1 spot. As far as what was said, The Roop is concentrating on the pg spot. You can see on the open gym video he’s handling the ball and dishing off so he’s trying. He’s a Freshman and with Shammy eligible the next 2 years The Roop got some time to get better @ the #1 spot, we just gotta wait and see how he improves.

    I think The Gibper needs to land a Center with his last scholarship. Next year Vander is gone, Rozitis taking over if he hangs around for his senior year and you got only Freshman Dressler. The Gibper going to need to land an athletic Center IMHO.

  13. To “what ?”
    I got no problem with anyone clarifying accuracy …
    NO NEED to jump on anyone who mis-reads or mis-interprets –
    – Just Clarify with whatever other evidence you have…

    Few, more like No One, gets It ALL Right…
    (but i think it IS GOOD you challenged the commitment one fast, because even recently, the over-excitement has led to premature ‘commitment announcements’)

    Suggest you Read In Context …
    i’m guessing you’re “Relatively New” to this site

    YOU CAN Read things to make people “Wrong”
    OR You Can read things to make sense
    i suggest the second….you get there faster

    For My Wording, these things are intended and could be inferred:
    (if you were tracking, say as far back as this time last year, but i don’t assume this, so…)

    ?They “BETTER” Be Right? Recruiting is NOT so much a Science as An Art…

    1) It is NOT So unusual that a well-regarded recruit at ANY University just doesn’t work out…whether it’s adapting to the ‘unusual’ culture of Hawai’i, or “Real” (vs. Hyped) Basketball Skills or Team /Personal Chemistry… we just “Lost” four players in the past year who i’m sure had higher hopes on the parts of many (they did Not get the benefit of working out with the team before they came).

    2) IF BOTH the Coaches AND the players “approve” a recruit, i’d like to think there’s a better chance that:
    i) The recruit really can play D-1 bb;
    ii) CAN adapt to Hawai’i’s BB Style;
    iii) WILL Fit in with the team; bb chemistry & personality;
    iv) Might want/choose to stay more than a year or two.
    THESE are likely Part of The Reasons the NCAA and Coach Gib this year began working out recruits with the team… in search of better fits for all concerned.
    Last Season at about this time several highly regarded recruits did not rate so high with the team; the coach concurred valuing their opinions.

    i (personally) DO NOT Consider Derek’s Question Derogatory — IT IS Based on The FACT that several previous California High School recruits COULD NOT Get In to U.H. AND one “current” Cali recruit is still awaiting NCAA Clearinghouse Approval — WE Better Address it because other schools’ recruiters Will and ‘this recruit’ better understand the issues AND FACTS before someone else “Spins” it on him….

    i usually interpret ‘over-achiever’ as a compliment, irrespective of current or past successes or original starting point — Do Not see why you chose to take a “neg” interpretation; i find most compliments are Not Left- or Back-handed — maybe you might not handle compliments very well….
    The General Response Recommendation is “Thank You”….

    RE: what? nonsense spews from the lips of a few irresponsible fellows.

    “Consider” just adding your two cents’ worth, rather than assuming bloggers here DO NOT have some basis or maybe even know something about what they’re writing….Most i’ve observed have No Problem with others disagreeing or offering different perspectives …


  15. Eagle, thanks. You’re spot on. I was merely stating what happened before. In fact Blakes, Biggs, and Stevens came here on their recruiting trip and Gib took them surfing at Waikiki. They couldn’t get into UH. I’m glad Thomas wants to join the program. I hope he does. All good intentions.

  16. Several of prospective recruits are potential pgs…

    SO FEW scholies to give got to be Good…

    GIB also seems to think/ believe he can either grow/ train one out of his current players &/or scheme/cover for pg position…

    Sham seemed to think they’d be O.K….
    May Be An Adventure…


    E Komo Mai

    His Mum must be proud…

  17. I like this pickup. He played the guard positions when he was younger, so he is much more comfortable shooting the ball than most forwards. Kind of like a Bill Amis, who grew so much in HS and had to play the post later in his career. Needless to say, Bill’s clutch outside shooting was a major asset for our teams in recent years.

  18. Anyone know more about Mike? There’s a bunch of dunking, but what about other skills? I like his size, he looks taller than 6’6″. Very good explosion as well. Gib already doing work! Good job coach!

  19. Glof,

    Here’s a report from ESPN recruiting:

    “Thomas has a large frame with very long arms and big hands. The left-hander has a smooth jump shot out to the 3-point line and his shot mechanics are quite good. Due to his length and good hands he is a solid rebounder in traffic.”

    Apparently, he was a highly rated recruit by Scout and Espn. Also, recruiting guru, Josh Gershon‏, he would have been a Pac-12 signee if we waited until the Spring signing period.

  20. …and another Left-ee…

    might be young enough to keep growing taller …. growth spurt…?

    reportedly very good student — Nothing Marginal about Academic Qualification….

    Already Got Business Plans Post Graduation …

  21. Thanks for the followup Dayton. Looks like another high-character kid. And great stats from last year: 16.0, 8.0 and … 3.8! Great start to the 2013 recruiting class.

  22. Mr. Thomas, welcome to the MBB program and ohana. I recommend that you try the malasadas at Zippy’s at a few locations. I don’t know about the King Street one, but I always get mine at the Mililani Town Center. They are better than Leonard’s in my opinion.

  23. Michael ,malasadas at Champion Bakery real good and cheaper than Leonards, located on Beretania st ,right close to school. Check out plate lunches at Rainbows drive in, cheaper than Zippy’s and taste better as well.

  24. Thanks guys, thanks DK.

    Welcome mikey boy! The most impressive thing about this recruit is that he has a3.8 GPA and has taken AP classes. Awesomeness. Thank you for choosing the UH! I really see this young crew taking us places in the future. And to say we could never get freshmen at the UH. Big ups go to coach Gib and staff. Doing work! Mansu mansu!

    While we’re talking about malassadas, try Kamehameha bakery. The taro ones.

  25. Well, Gib and coaches recruited a great bunch of young men, from what I can see, they have CHARACTER . Gib’s hair color the past year as you may have noticed turned pretty gray, lot of whites sprouting from all that attitude and aggravation he got, here’s hoping maybe his hair will turn back natural brown , ha ha. He was heading towards a heart attack. Now the Gibber looks like he got the 1000lb gorilla off his back. good luckl to the Gibber and October Madness coming up!!!

  26. Hey Dayton can we please have more open Gym videos:):):):). You could even have it be unedited back and forth type of stuff. From UH’s trouncing this past saturday to the NFL this pat monday we need a little bright side

  27. Dayton, I have never seen this kind of interest in UH MBB preseason in long, long time, back to Fabulous Five time!

    Gib redirected his type of athlete going after, still freshman first of all, with transfer here and there, now he prioritized High Character, so limit attitude problems, so far, the young guys are great fits,academically and athletically… get along and are working extremely hard to be winners this year. Good mix of upper classmen and frosh!

    I echo ROB T and Pocho, I guess we need another sampling of OPEN GYM, as ROB T says, even 6 or 7 minute unedited would be fine!

    I guess we like to see the guys in action again!!

    Know you are busy ,and it takes a lot of work to get reports, interviews and video up and running , so we appreciate all you have done!! This is a great site for the hard core and new fans of UH MBB!

    Mahalo Dayton and sponsors!!

  28. i just hope there is still interest during the season

  29. You Thinking it could just take a few Bad Losses for the Fair Weather Fans to Lose Interest…?

    AS Long as they Keep Winning…

    Besides Continually Improving…

    SO their Best Ball is Late/ Post Season…

  30. Let’s hope this one doesn’t bug out after 1 season …..

  31. I think this guy may end up to be a good recruit. He has good credentials.

  32. Let’s hope he’s not like “THE OTHER THOMAS”…WHAT WAS HIS NAM…..JOSTEN ?????

    Sorry Michael…just giving “THE OTHER THOMAS” a bad time.

    You’ll have all the support from “The Warrior Hoops Faithful” to prove yourself and
    we have your back…WELCOME TO THE OHANA !!!!!

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