World Wide Warriors: Australia
The Hawai’i basketball program has a long history of international players. As unlikely as this might sound, Michael Harper is the first from Australia to play for the Warriors.
Harper, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard, is from Melbourne, and one of seven international players on the 2012-13 roster. Based on his description, Australia has some similarities to Hawai’i.
“It’s the biggest island in the world,” he said of his home country/continent. “Very friendly people, easy to get along with.”
Harper is not the only Australian representing UH athletics this season. The Hawai’i football team has two Aussies in Alex Dunnachie and Scott Harding. Harper said Australian rules football is the most popular sport in his home country, and he played it through high school.
“It’s a pretty rugged sport,” he said. “No pads, full contact, and you can use your hands and feet.”
His experience in that sport may be beneficial as he adjusts to NCAA Division I basketball — he has already proved to be one of the fastest runners among the Warriors during conditioning drills.