Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Joaquim is one of the all-time greats


The list of all-time great players in the history of the Hawai’i basketball program is one of endless debate.

Vander Joaquim certainly belongs in the discussion.

Based on statistics alone, the 6-foot-10 senior center has had one of the greatest three-year careers of any player in UH basketball history. And it’s not over.

Joaquim and fellow seniors Hauns Brereton and Jace Tavita will play their final two regular-season home games this week, when the Warriors host UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, then Cal Poly on Saturday. The three will be honored during a “White-Out” Senior Night on Saturday.

“This is my last two home games, just trying to go out there and play my heart out,” he said. “I’m going to miss it, the University of Hawai’i. I’m just trying to go out there and play as hard as I can.”

That attitude has transformed Joaquim into arguably the best post player to wear a Hawai’i uniform since the 1970s. His numbers tell the story.

Scoring: Joaquim currently ranks 10th on UH’s career list with 1,138 points, and is one of only 15 players in program history to score 1,000 or more points. The only forwards/centers ranked ahead of him are John Penebacker, Melton Werts, Phil Martin and Julian Sensley.

Penebacker, Werts and Martin were all four-year players; Sensley played three seasons, and Joaquim is 92 points behind him with at least four games remaining.

Rebounding: Joaquim currently ranks third on UH’s career list with 782 rebounds. The only two ahead of him are Werts (1,098) and Penebacker (870), and they were both four-year starters in the 1970s.

Joaquim has reached double-figure rebounds in 36 of his career games, and has a career average of 8.6 boards per game.

Field goal percentage: Joaquim currently ranks sixth on UH’s career list with a .526 shooting percentage from the field. At his current pace (or better), Joaquim would have the highest field goal percentage among the players on the top 10 career scoring list.

Especially notable this year is Joaquim’s team-leading .481 percentage from 3-point range.

Blocked shots: Joaquim currently ranks sixth on UH’s career list with 121 rejections. He is 10 blocks away from breaking into the top five in this category.

In short, Joaquim is the only big man in the program’s history to rank in the career top 10 in the categories most affiliated with post players – scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots.


What makes the accomplishment even more remarkable is the journey Joaquim took to get there. He was born and raised in Angola, and did not learn English until he came to America to attend high school and play basketball six years ago.

“I learned a lot, developed my game a lot in terms of basketball,” he said. “Just grew a lot as a person, too.”

He attended College of Eastern Utah for one year – averaging just 8.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game – before transferring to Hawai’i. Joaquim and junior forward Davis Rozitis are the only players remaining from 2010-11 team – Gib Arnold’s first at Hawai’i.

Joaquim noted that three years in Hawai’i have created much more than just basketball memories for him.

“I went to the North Shore and I went snorkeling … things I never dreamed of doing in my life,” he said.

He is on target to graduate this summer with a degree in sociology. He is still a member of Angola’s national team, and plans to pursue a professional basketball career after this season.

“All these three years I’ve been here, I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun playing basketball out here and going to school out here,” he said. “I’m so thankful for everything.”

GAME INFORMATION: Hawai’i (16-11, 9-6 Big West) vs. UC Santa Barbara (8-18, 4-10 Big West)
When: Thursday, Feb. 28, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Live statewide on OCSports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video: Live video streaming is available on ocsports.tv.
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM will carry the game live. Neighbor islands can listen live on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona, and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming on espn1420am.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: $26 (lower); $18 (upper-adult); $16 (upper-sr. citizen); $5 (upper-youth, ages 4-HS); UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking $6.
Promotions: The California Hotel & Casino is the sponsor and will award a Vacations Hawaii trip for two (2) to Las Vegas at halftime. The student theme is Olympic Night with fans encouraged to dress in togas and bring flags or signs representing their favorite UH international player.


  1. Thanks, Dayton

    Whether Due to a Slow Start recovering from a year and a half ʻoffʻ redshirting, or recovering from pre-season injury, or an early mid-season shooting slump, this yearʻs seniors have ALL been up against it…

    And All have grown, improved and matured to re-hone their physicality or game approach, skills & maturity to become solid positive factors on the floor… and i hope the crowds swell to their highest in honoring all that…

    Vanderʻs Growth from his sophomore year when the crowd used to moan & fluster when the ball was passed to him and he struggled or travelled with double-teams, then sighed in relief as he scored (again & again) … to becoming the high percentage shooter — even out to threes — as now All Hawaiʻi Bigs can do, but no one to greater eficiency than Vander — is testament to hard work and good coaching… so that Hawaiʻi fans can Trust that this staff can pick up a potential project Big and work him to pretty high skill levels, as long as they show the propensity and willingness to work … and Vander did…

    Vanderʻs Climb up the Top Ten Career Charts ensures heʻll always be compared to the UH Greatest and No Doubt Vander has been a Key Factor in Three Straight Winning Years (Or .500 and Better, if you count yourself among the 50-50 ainʻt winning crowd)…

    i Personally Enjoyed — NOT the Drama — But The Annual Silencing of the Doubters who kept trying to decide that Vander coming from a ʻThird Worldʻ of Limited Opportunities, would Not Recognize the Value of a UH Degree — the ʻcollege marketersʻ claim/estimate worth a Million in Income over Career — But coming from a place, Angola where itʻs much more than a senior high schoolerʻs second or late thought, because wanting to doesnʻt mean you necessarily can —
    And Vander, sincere always, has been good to his word… “iʻll be back, coach…”

    To Graduate This Summer (First in His Family?), i AM Certain will Do His Mum, Proud…

    In a Time where the media speculates daily, because so many come up short, recruits, players, coaches, NCAA Administrators, Potential Hall of Famers….
    Vander is a reminder of a time when In Measure, A Man is only as good as His Word …

    In the Near Future, as the Program moves forward, Iʻm Sure Coach Gib will always remember and appreciate that his start and early successes were linked to this young manʻs word and efforts … The Early Years … The Vander Years…

    Thank You, Vander
    Thank You, Seniors Hauns & Jace

    Good Luck & Well-Earned Memories Always

  2. Vander, you are a great leader and you have archieve greatness through hard work and determination. You make your mum and family proud back home. You are a good role model for the rest of your sibblings and cousins. Enjoy your last few games for UH and I am sure you will be more than ready to face the next challenges that life will throw at you. All the very best Vander. Also wishing the other seniors, Hauns and Jace, all the success in future endevours. Your family will be proud of you two.

    Looking forward to Thursday and Saturday’s home games.


  3. Great video. Mahalo Vander for playing at the University of Hawaii. You are certainly one of the greatest players that have worn a Rainbow Warrior jersey here in Hawaii. It warms our hearts to see so much personal growth from your very first video on Warrior Insider three years ago. Best of luck in your academic and professional career. Hawaii fans will always be following your career where ever you go.

  4. Great video, indeed. Vander has certainly come a long way in three years, and hopefully his best basketball is still ahead of him. It’s nice to see Vander so relaxed and happy during this interview. Mahalo, big guy, and best of luck to you as you pursue your life-long dream.

  5. Mahalo Dayton and Warrior Insider. Nice and well deserved write up and feature on Vander! Interesting route he took to get to Hawaii. When he still remained after Walter Roese left, I thought, he is a very mature young man. Look at him now. Very team oriented. Good student. He likes his team. His coaches. He is recognized wherever he goes in Hawaii.

    Now, Vander, most importantly will get his degree this May( I believe!), a promise that he kept to his family, and with some good offers, a personal trainer, and the right situation, Vander will be making good money playing Professional Basketball somewhere in the world agains the best!

    Aloha, and much thanks to Vander Joaquim from Luanda, Angola! We love your effort and personality and hear Vander! Much success down the road in your life and career, post UH. Come back anytime and visit. You are one of the greatest Big Men, and best three point shooting(!) Big Men in University of Hawaii Basketball history. Wish you and Hauns and Jace , two good wins against UCSB and Poly, and a great road win against Cal Northridge next week. Of course , hope you have a great run in the Big West Tournament and Beyond!

    Mahalo again Vander, as well as all the great, young men and athletes that came from New Zealand, Latvia, Croatia, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Gib, good job coaching and mentoring outstanding Basketball players and people from around the globe!

  6. Vander, great job, and great career! We haven’t seen a 6’10” 245 lb center/PF with skills like you in the history of UH MBB DI athletes. Have a great final games, and go get that BWC crown and go NCAA danicing. Either way, the Seniors, great effort, will lead to an extended Post Season Run.

    Thank you for choosing to come to UH and to return, after sophomore and junior years! Take care, and Toga! White Out and Wipe out Cal Poly!

    Go get em Vander!

    Have fun and great pro career!

  7. Hey Eagle, UHF here(yes I am posting again, it is March!). You are correct, love your analysis as always. Vander, you remember, and both of us commented on, if Vander said he was coming back to UH after soph. and Junior seasons, and especially to please folks , to get his Degree, A MAN, a REAL MAN of his word! The exodus guys that left program, where are they NOW?

    Vander still here, Davis, another great young guy. Jace, stuck it out, and Hauns is leading. Christian said bring effort, and he did and is doing it! Isaac and Caleb early signees, did not decommit. Brandown Spearman, warrior personified!. Jefferson, bring the D, stuck with team, Jawato, stayed , RS year great, J is ready to burn the nets! Roop will be ready! Ozi, great young guy and fantastic Mum! Michael Harper, great, staunch support from his biggest fan, Aussie Mum!

    Eagle , just my two cents, or perspective. When Vander returned for senior season, it boosted the morale of the whole team , including Gib and staff and the true loyal hard core MBB fans, of which you and I and now thousands more around the globe felt too. Vander, a great story, they could have an ESPN story, video piece or write up on him, if UH makes it to NCAA March Madness. Darth Vander, a great young man, and Gib, did well by standing by his Center, and paying an oh so important visit to Vander, to talk to him, about returning for Senior season, And , and unsung hero, and mentor to Vander? Without question , one of the best assistant MBB coaches in the nation, Scott Fisher! Great job Fish! Vander, learned a lot from you, not only about Basketball, also about life.

    The Vander story, the feel good(and the story is not over yet!)story, and hopefully a nice March Madness parcipation for Vander and UH Basketball, for 2012-13.

    Dayton, it is such a great story! Dayton , you da Man! Where else but Warrior Insider, and apologies to Beeman and Wahine Basketball, this site, for now, is for ALL things Warrior Men’s Basketball! Good success, to both teams. Would that not be the icing on the cake,if on selection Sunday, UH Women and Men team are sent to NCAA regionals! Great year.

    Dayton Mahalo again, always checked your site, the best UH MBB forum and informational outlet on the planet earth!

    Shout our to Aussie Mum, Ozi Mum, Tonganator, Memphis, Chicago Ohana, Haunsy follower, and all families and friends of UH team members! It has been a feel good year for UH BB so far. Once again, UH, bring it, full effort, and get into that Madness that is NCAA , NIT or CIT post season!

    UHF. Love this site and contributors. And much Aloha to the Schmidt family and sponsors. You, know Dayton, one time you have to let us know, a ball park figure, how many views, or visits to this site are there, daily, weekly and monthly, when is the peak. Must be in the hundreds. Great recruiting tool, and a site, I am pretty sure, like no other in Men’s NCAA MBB!

    Mahalo Dayton, Eagle, Clyde, n2joy, DK, servante, jjay, xer21, Former UHA, the Valdes, Shamburger, Enos, and Dressler Ohanas, who await their young guys setting the BB world on fire next year.

    UH MBB, team and WBB , try your best, and hopefully , you all can win the Big West Tournament!

    Aloha. Uhfanzonly1. D:

  8. Apologize for typo errors, I should write in a Word program, copy and paste, with spell check, wireless keyboard, and software OS problem, I will type, however, letters do not appear! That is okay, UHF, will be posting up, and our young Maniac, Playhoopsa will too!

    Uhfanzonly1 and Playhoopsa!

  9. Always appreciate Derek’s comments as well(sorry , so may fine comments from a lot of people , can’t list all the names, or I forget too!). The contributors have grown Dayton. The Warrior Insider site has taken on a life of its own! You are the best in the business with Hi Tech, IT, site! Great moderator Too!

  10. O.K., UHF kicking off Our Own Little (maybe Big) Version of March Madness!
    Hope the Wrists/Carpel(?) are better…

    Got a Feelinʻ ʻBout Both these teams?
    Iʻm nominating Coach Laura Beeman for her First (of many) Awards …
    Na Wahine WarriorInsider Coach of the Year !

    History Repeating? ADD Years & Raise to her contract, too …
    NOT having been Born & Raised here, Look forward to Insights on her Long-Term Goals
    Ben Jay Do the Smart-Right Things!
    (i think we can count on Gib wanting to Live & Be Max. Successful HERE…)

    Go ʻBows!
    Win ʻEm “All” Warriors!

    Can the Students/Fans find a Way to Match/Beat The Light Sabre Party?

  11. Yes Eagle, carpel better. Younger ohana guy playhoopsa, Maniac, posted away too.

    Yes, I remember, al, Clyde, n2joy, jjay, Derek, DK, Valerie Schmidt, and Pocho, from the beginning, last year when the EXODUS happened, things were grim, now, starting to kick into March Madness. Either way, a core group of us, kept the fire burning for interest in MBB. Sure, we were critical, of coach, staff and players if something awry, however we kept the faith.

    I wish, and my whole Ohana hope for a good run for UH in March. It has been awhile, actually 2 years ago with Amis/Hiram, freshman Vander team with Zane and Miah, when we were getting a little excited about UH Hoops,. UH team, and I am sure Gib is reminding them every day, don’t let up, 100% effort, or else BWC teams, getting hot from the three point line, and getting loose rebounds, long rebounds and offensive putbacks, could still beat UH.

    So, like you have alluded too, and DK, Derek, jjay, xer21, Former UHA, for Hawaii to go all out, complete effort, yes, like controlled mania(!) on court, then UH has a chance, a minimum to get 2 out of next 3. Or if firing on all cylinders, 3 for 3, and a huge push towards BWC tournament crown. I think, Davis, Vander, Gee Jefferson, Hauns, Spearman, don’t know for sure, even the coaches, peak at our posts, so they know we support their effort.

    Go Warriors( I am still a little old school, so Go Bows), whatever we remember them as, Go UH Men’s Basketball team, and Laura Beeman, was Donovan’s best WBB hire before his departure.!

    Eagle, keep soaring into the bright sky of UH MBB hoops fever, now and into the future. Could be awesome year , next with the RS’s and who knows , maybe a PG, definitely a few athletic wings in Michael Thomas and Airon Valdes, a good PG (and Jace Tavita, is a very, very good Point guard general out there, he is super strong with the ball now, and UH has won 6 out of the last 8 games!). Caleb Dressler, is a very smart BBIQ Big, he will contribute well next year, when he has that conditioning and experience banging against Vander every day. Keith Shamburger, should help steady and match quickness of BWC guards. Gib still on the recruiting trail, never know, even if preferred walkons, a solid JC or euro back up PG, a developing Big in Stefan J., maybe Niko F., Dyrbe Enos to represent Kamehameha schools Kapalama, would be nice if another one or two preferred walkons from local HS or JC transfer joined UH next year as well.

    And, Eagle, Jamie Smith is my MVP for marketing, generating, and directing interest in Manoa Maniacs, I tell you with 500-700 UH students coordinated to cheer team on, and cause clamor for opponents, the SSC atmosphere is rocking. UH has a nice run in Post Season this year, hope Jamie is still with UH, hopefully 1000 students will be at SSC supporting the games. Seems like a lot of fun.

    Kudos, props to Isaac, MIchael , and Aaron, for being good sports as freshman, and helping, promote, going door to door in dorms, drumming up support for game attendance,. Never happened before, even back in the day when Fab Five and Henderson, AC teams had a good year or two. Gib, being creative in helping out promotion of MBB as well. A win, win situation . Well eagle, fly like an eagle!

    Now , my wrist are sore, that is okay, will post in a few days, hopefully after, a UH final home victory against Poly on Saturday. !!

  12. Apologies, eagle, it is Carpal Tunnel, used to work on ancient PC’s years ago, affect wrist ligament, really sore. however much better, just have to limit. Since feel a little better can post away. Either myself UHF or playhoopsa, manaic UH family member, post, he more than me.

    Also correction, 2 years ago when UH was invited to CIT with Hiram and Bill, Vander was a super soph, kind of raw, however he finished strong. Vander learned a lot from going against and playing with Bill Amis. Now that is another, great UH former BB player. Came here as a soph. out of JC and Oklahoma, if he didn’t get hurt, wow, he would be a UH record setter too. Props to Bill and Hiram( an example for Jace, who is having a great final run towards March Madness)

  13. We all love you UHF – it is so great to hear from you again and all your thoughts. I am really glad that things are looking up for you.

    Congratualtions Vander – what a great career (and with a lovely smile).


  14. Here’s hoping the Warriors get on a roll through the regular season, BW tournament and any further postseason games. To get on the roll, and go far it will come down to the play of our guards. That means, the play of Jace Tavita, Brandon Jawato, Garrett Jefferson, and Manroop Clair, and also Brandon Spearman if he returns for any games. Our front line will do their part. If our guards can score enough points, defend, and keep the turnovers down Hawaii will have a good chance. If not, it’s going to be tough. The college game is for the most part is a guard oriented game because they control the ball and the tempo of the games. 3 point shooting is a lot easier than the NBA line which is 23′ 9″. If you want to pick who are going to make it to the final four, you can just look at the teams that have the best guards. Teams like Miami, Michigan, Louisville, Syracuse, Indiana, Michigan State, Butler, Gonzaga, Illinois, etc. It’s no coincidence. That said, I have a feeling that Cal State-Fullerton will be very dangerous in the Big West tournament. They have 3 great guards, who are both about 6’4″ who can light it up on any given night, Yeager, Vaughn, and Seeley. They don’t have much of a front line, but if they are hot, they can beat anyone. It will be very interesting to see what happens. I hope our guards are up to the task. Guys, work hard, practice hard, and be ready to play great basketball. Good luck.

  15. Derek, enjoy your comments and posts, Really informative, objective and motivating! I read a lot of the posts, great stuff. We all have our opinions, suggestions, and critiques, however, the underlying theme: We Want UH MBB to Be Successful. Here’s hoping they will have a good final 3 game stretch to finish BWC and get that first round win in tournament, then anything can happen!

    Go Warriors.! And best wishes Aussie Mum, you have a very nice son, great young student and athlete. Michael, Isaac, Aaron Valdes, Caleb Dressler, Dyrbe Enos, the Freshman on active roster and Red Shirting(sitting out this year) are such good sports. To go door to door, advertising and promoting their sport! Great stuff., Jamie Smith, he is worth a lot to Gib and MBB. Promoting UH BB and getting the students to come out! Hope, a lot of them show up for Thursday against UCSB and the final Pay Back game against Cal Poly. Aussie Mum and Dad, you have a good son. I am sure you enjoyed your stay in Hawaii back in December.! Great to know Aussie and Ozi Mum really have great love and support for their family members, who are very far away. Good thing for online stream of games via bigwest.tv!

    Now is the time, Starting March 1 2013, through March 31 2013, when conferences battle for post season NCAA bids, and other post season tournaments too. Thanks again to Tonganator, Aussie Mum and Ozi Mum and all the Mums of the guys for sharing their Basketball, and great personalities with the State of Hawaii. Much Mahalo(Thankyou)

    Aloha. Uhfanzonly1(and Maniac youngster playhoopsa, our younger fan!)

  16. Now is the time, Starting March 1 2013,(apologies, a correction) through first few weeks of March, when conferences battle for post season NCAA bids in their respective Conference Tournaments, to decide who would qualify for the NCAA DI championship tournament, and other post season(N.I.T. and C.I.T.) tournaments too. Thanks again to Tonganator, Aussie Mum and Ozi Mum and all the Mums of the guys for sharing their Basketball, and great personalities with the State of Hawaii. Much Mahalo(Thankyou)

    Aloha. Uhfanzonly1(and Maniac youngster playhoopsa, our younger fan!)

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