Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

World Wide Warriors: New Zealand

Kia ora!

Those words in the Maori language of New Zealand are sort of the equivalemt of aloha in Hawai’i. Those are also the only Maori words that freshman forward Isaac Fotu has brought with him to the Hawai’i basketball team.

“That’s all I know right now,” he said.

He hopes to do a lot more talking with his actions on the court for the Warriors during the upcoming season. Fotu is a skilled 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Torbay, Auckland, New Zealand.

Like almost all New Zealand youths, he grew up playing rugby (New Zealand is considered the top rugby nation in the world). The rugby national team is known as the “All Blacks” because of its jersey colors, but Fotu is instead a member of the “Tall Blacks” – New Zealand’s national basketball team.

Fotu noted that his home country is “kind of like Hawai’i, but colder.” It is currently winter in New Zealand, and Fotu said his hometown has been hit by recent rain storms and flooding.

“I’m glad I’m here,” he said.

However, people in New Zealand have an idea of what Fotu is doing in Hawai’i. A crew from the sports television show “code” recently made a trip to Honolulu to film a segment on Fotu.

Here is the link:


Please note that it is a long video clip, and Fotu’s segment starts around minute 40.


  1. Kia Ora, Isaac!,
    Aloha No e Mahalo No
    Welcome and Thank You for pursuing your basketball Career in Hawai’i…
    I pray you’ll find this among the most beneficial and enjoyable experiences of your life…

    Also that you see it as so special that you would want nothing less
    than to be able to share this with your most talented family and friends?…

    Looking Forward to a Great Season and Career!
    Thanks Again!

  2. The best part that Isaac said is that he’s going to be here for 4 years. I liked that.

  3. Australia and New Zealand are fierce competitors when it comes to rugby …. but I am really glad that Issac and his family are on our side in the UHMBB team! …. and he mentioned is mother’s cooking …what more could mothers of world want!
    Go Issac
    Go Warriors

  4. Mahalo(thankyou) Isaac and the Fotu Ohana for choosing the UH MBB to represent!
    Isaac is quite a great athlete, person and student!

    Mahalo Tonganator and family!

    Hope to see families from Croatia, Angola, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and Latvia at the SSC watching their young men playing for UH team!!

    Would be awesome!!

    Thank you again!!

    Great that you are connected to this site Aussie Mum and Tonganator! Appreciate your comments and support!!

  5. hey Dayton,

    thanks for the wonderful update, video..

    just got a fund raiser suggestion for you to ponder ~
    title ==> my 20 favorite Videos of 2012.
    format ==> High Definition DVD.
    packaging ==> low cost.
    price ==> $25.00/or more each; $50.00/more for two..

    introductory sale in person at Ohana Hoopfest in October, there after sale by gift -shop, mail-order, or another in person sale specify by you.. (next year for new edition).

  6. Aww you can tell he was shy on camera, I am sure he will get more comfortable in time when he does more interviews. Can’t wait to see him dominate the paint.

  7. Isaac has great and large SOFT Basketball skill hands. Great benefit, he can catch any type of pass to him in traffic, on the break, lobs etc. He can make entry pass and big to big passes..very highly developed skillset for a young big man.

    Isaac what a great recruit for UH MBB. Might be the best(Caleb another Potential great, very good big down the road), freshman to senior Big in UH history..to think he only playing basket ball from 14 years of age till now 18 yr old or so…amazing!!

  8. Isaac is going to be a beast down low! I can see him pushing for starters minutes if he picks up the offense and defensive schemes quick enough.
    The new recruits really seem like they want to work hard and they want to succeed. It’s good to see because that desire to get better and succeed usually turns into a desire to win!

  9. Who they remind me of:

    Isaac reminds me of Hakeem Olajuwon maybe because of his great hands, started playing the game late and quiet demeanor but fierceness inside.

    Caleb reminds me of Bill Walton. Looks maybe. Hopefully skills too.

    Christian’s 100% effort rain or shine reminds me of Anthony Carter. (note: Carter lasted so long in the NBA not merely because of his talent, but his shear hustle every second he was on the court and his willingness to follow instruction)

    Vander reminds me of Paul Milsap—a terror under the boards and for opposing players.

    Dyrbe reminds me of Chris Paul. Who knows one day……..

    You just gotta believe.

  10. servante,

    Good comparisons. Maybe one day?
    I agree , all the guys you mentioned , plus Spearman(this young man bball smart, good athletic build)Downtown Freddie Brown(Seattle Supersonics), Andrew Toney(Philadelphia 76ers), Davis(if got stronger, Dirk Nowitzki), Kind of fantasy comparisons..

    .However so far, just like Norm Chow’s FB team, the UH MB working extremely hard , preseason, and from summer to be a good team…love the effort, it is already a Championship type attitude(the hard work and desire, and competitiveness)..NY Knicks of old, Celtics, LA Lakers, Maybe one day these guys will be in the NBA or very high euro Pro leagues, or better yet, having gotten BA degree or Masters from UH !!

    Also, I thought about Caleb too, although, not fleetest of foot right now, the young guy is as strong as a lot of the upper classmen , will not back down, pretty good offensive skillset. ..a very young, but larger body, Jack Sikma(Seattle Supersonics)

    One thing, these young guys, or the whole team all 16 of them, are on a mission to win for UH and Hawaii, great bunch of student athletes!!!

  11. Since you mentioned, One thing I was planning to track was “How Quick” Caleb Will Become…there are supposed to be “theoretical” limits to how much you can ‘change’ the percentage make-up of the body, fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscles ….but theories get revised all the time…and a Master Trainer would be the kind of guy to expand the envelope…
    I thought Caleb was a Great Experimental subject; for a guy that big & strong he has a quick, smooth shooting stroke…and probably a motor, determination & consistency to average that many rebounds & blocks…

    HOW GOOD, HOW GREAT of a Center of the Future?


    Without Over-Stating it (especially because I haven’t really seen their Half-Court and 3/4-Court shots, from the other free-throw line)… OZ & ‘ROOP brought images of potential (second choice) options with The Integrated Globetrotters…
    Oz’s Facebook page hints at an outrageousness or zaniness ( we’ll see)… so far, ‘Roop seems “quiet”…
    Far Better, they both become solid all-around Upper Tier Pros…

  12. Aloha and Mahalo Dayton and the team, and all Warrior fans, awesome to see regular posters on this site.

    I was please to know that Isaac taking Maori language and Hawaiian studies which will add great value to his Tongan and English heritage. Hawaii (which similar to Tonga) would be like the natural habitat for Isaac, which I believe can only enhance all aspects of his life. No doubt, when he graduate from UH, he will be ready to face challenges that will come his way.
    But for now, looking forward to see more updates and progress reports. G’Day Aussie mum from Aotearoa, and I don’t know about mum’s cooking, but seems to “hit the spot” with these young athletes….


  13. Fotu may end up being the best HS recruit ever when it’s all said and done. That’s the type of impact he can make over the next 4 years. Amazing IQ and footwork for someone who has picked up the game late. Can’t wait to see him in action this year.


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