Two more for the ‘Ohana in 2013
The current Hawai’i basketball team will be introduced at tonight’s ‘Ohana Hoopfest, but the Warriors can also welcome two additions for next season.
Stefan Jovanovic and Niko Filipovich – teammates at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif. – have already made verbal commitments to join the Warriors for the 2013-14 season. They are both expected to be in attendance at the ‘Ohana Hoopfest.
Jovanovic is a 6-foot-10, 235-pound post player originally from Serbia; Filipovich is a 6-foot point guard who also has Serbian roots, but was raised in California.
“The main reason I picked Hawai’i is because it has a really good business (program) and because they have a really good basketball program and I saw so many international players over there already,” Jovanovic said. “I think we can do something really big.”
Both players are currently seniors at Bishop Montgomery. They were both starters on a team that went 25-4 last season.
Bishop Montgomery coach Doug Mitchell said both players have displayed significant improvement since the start of last season.
“Stefan is a legit 6-10 with a big frame,” Mitchell said. “He has a very high skill level offensively. He catches it well and shoots with a soft touch. He can actually step out to the 3-point line and knock it down.”
Mitchell said of Filipovich: “This is my 25th year of coaching and he’s one of the best defensive players I’ve ever coached. He just turned 17 years old, so you’re still seeing his body change and mature. If he were a junior, he’d be a big-time prospect.”
Jovanovic averaged around 10 points and eight rebounds per game last season, and was a second-team all-league selection. Filipovich averaged around seven points and five assists per game, although Mitchell said the statistics are deceiving for his program.
“We have seven guys who are probably going to play (NCAA) Division I, so I don’t care about stats,” Mitchell said. “The numbers might not be overwhelming, but trust me, both of these kids can play.”
Both players also played for the Pump-n-Run Elite team during the summer AAU circuit. Jovanovic was a standout this past summer, averaging close to a double-double at the Fab 48 Tournament in Las Vegas.
The early signing period for basketball recruits starts on November 14. Per NCAA rules, the Hawai’i coaches cannot comment on recruits until a National Letter of Intent is signed.