Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

“Aaron’s dunk”

Among witnesses, it has become known simply as “Aaron’s dunk.”

As in, did you see Aaron’s dunk? Did you hear about Aaron’s dunk? Or, that’s nothing compared to Aaron’s dunk.

Aaron is Aaron Valdes, a late addition to the 2012-13 Hawaii basketball team who redshirted for the season, and thus did not appear in any games.

In essence, not much is known about the 6-foot-5 wing player from Whittier, Calif. However, he was able to practice with the Warriors during the season, and teammates have seen his prolific jumping ability up close.


“People often ask how high is his vertical, but no one really knows,” teammate Davis Rozitis said. “Pretty much the rim is the only measurement. If his head goes over it, we consider it high.”

Valdes supposedly went way above the rim to throw down a dunk during a shooting session late in the season. Not all of the players were there to witness the dunk, so it has gained legendary status.

“I did actually see it; it was pretty incredible,” freshman Michael Harper said. “It’s like seeing the Loch Ness monster, you only see it once in a blue moon.”

Fellow freshman Isaac Fotu added: “Of course it’s true … I can’t describe it. It was like something out of a movie.”

Valdes himself was humble about it. “We were just messing around and I went down the lane and just got up and got above the rim,” he said. “I don’t know how it happened.”

The team of DaBeast Froductions – namely, Rozitis and Fotu – provided only a brief video clip of the dunk (which can be seen at the end of the above video), and Valdes appears to actually be looking down at the rim as he throws down the dunk.


  1. Airon V. Flyin High!

    Thank you Aaron for being patient and working hard on scout and in school. Mahalo to TribeV for your support of Aaron!

    Looks like Michael Thomas, Garrett Jefferson and Aaron will be battling for the dunk champion come October Ohana night!

    Some atheticism coming to the Stan Sheriif center this Nov 2013-14!

    Keep on working it Aaron, pretty exciting things for UH MBB future!

    Go Warriors!

  2. Props to DaBeast Froductions. Great comments by the guys; bunch of comedians. Now is that doctored, or did Aaron really get his head above the rim as shown?

    I hope Aaron has the shooting range to help fill the void left by Hauns, but if not, it’ll still be fun watching him throw one down. Besides, a dunk can energize the team and the crowd, and demoralize the opposition.

  3. I remember a video youtube clip of Aaron throwing one down in HS. His head was pretty much near the rim. He is long, with length. Yep Clyde, made me think if Da Beast and Frotu “ehanced” the video, since you can’t see Aaron’s leg takeoff from the court. However Aaron, definitely has vertical of 38″+, maybe with running start he can get up to 40+”. It is a comedic video, funny stuff!

    And yes, UH does have the device to measure vertical jumps up to 50″. The late Dennis Johnson of the Seattle Supersonics and the Boston Celtics had a vertical somewhere near Aaron’s when in college and early NBA days. DJ also had younger brother who was measured at nearly 50″ vertical. I saw his brother, who played in an earlier Rainbow Classic, jump and touch the bottom of the exit roof as his team, I think Arizona State, left the arena. That was near 12 feet I think. Nowadays, NBA and NCAA, has a lot of lengthy, bouncy athletes, whose heads are rim, and little above rim level on their dunks. Some players are legitimate 45-48″ standing vertical jumpers. Incredible athletes!

    Either way, if Aaron has jump shot, at least 18 feet, plays D and rebounds out of 3 spot, gets out and fills lanes, and gets backdoor cut lobs, Dunk City Honolulu! Michael Thomas, from standing jump, gets up pretty high too. Incredible.

    Da Beast films, brought some humor and “believe it or not” to UH MBB Warrior nation!

    Go Warriors!

  4. Hope Corey Allen and Garrett Nevels have a good recruiting visit tomorrow April 2 2013! We shall see. Maybe they can add to the team’s athleticism of Spearman, Jefferson, Valdes, Thomas, Shamburger and company!

    Aaron Valdes, maybe those guards if the become Warriors can throw you a couple of lobs for super dunks. Dunkensteins!

    Aloha to Corey and Allen!

  5. My Bad!!!! Apologies!

    Aloha to Corey Allen and Garrett Nevels! Have a great Hawaii recruiting visit starting Tuesday April 2nd 2013!

    C & G, to Aaron V. for the slam!

  6. well aaron I hope you’re athletic enough to actually do it consistently in games either by lob or creating your own

  7. Shucks! USC hired Florida Gulf Coach Head Coach Andy Enfield. I guess Gib Arnold will not get promoted to that job. He was at one time an assistant to Tim Floyd.

  8. UH is going to put on a show next season. It’s coming a year later than some expected, but I think UH and Gib Arnold make their statement next season.

    UH or the WarriorInsider need to “leak” some of Valdes’ dunks to help build some buzz to get the can base excited.

    I truly think the attendance will really jump once Valdes establishes himself. I feel there going to be a signature dunk by Valdes sometime early next season that really energizes the fan base. i think attendance will really grow with Fotu and Valdes imprinting their names in UH history.

    On a side note, although UH dropped to the middle of the pack this past season, the Big West teams have felt UH’s impact. Some knowledgable fans here have mentioned, and I’ve seen a few other blogs note the Big West coaches are more aggrissive in their recruitkng efforts of bigger sized players to be able to bang with UH’s bigs. Recruiting quality big men is the hardest thing to do for non-major conference coaches. Gib excels in recruiting and is building UH to out muscle Big West teams. The blueprint is there, but was not executed well this season as Vander was extremely inconsistent and UH didn’t appear quite prepared to handle the high volume of 3pt shot attempts and the resulting long rebounds in Big West style of play. UH, with as much size as they had, gave up way too many 2nd chance points.

    Hopefully the coaching staff puts a high priority in rebounding drills next training camp. Lots of 3pt shots = lots of Long rebounds, so its imperative that the guards block out their assignments.

  9. Derek,

    Gib doesn’t have a long enough track record as a head coach for the USC coaching job. USC would have contacted Dan Monson long before considering Gib had USC gone after a Big West coach. USC went after a splashy hire. I’m not convinced Enfield is the answer for USC. USC is far from being competitive in the PAC 12 and would need 2 really solid recruiting classes before they could contend.

  10. I know this is not warrior related but USC is not far off UCLA hire steve alford in 14 seasons has never been to the sweet 16 andy enfield in only his 2nd season got there.

    if USC returns nba prospect center Dedmon. They have a decent amount of players to work with Terrell, Wesley, and Oraby. Enfield just missing a point guard and maybe another player that can play right away. Enfield should have no problem recruiting with USC facilities and academics.

    That’s why I say extend Gib Arnold contract now why because if he does have a great year like june jones with the warriors he might leave.

  11. OK Big West title next season or bust! Let’s get out of this Little West Conference as Portnoy calls it and get into the Mountain West to face our old rivals , UNLV, Reno, Utah st , Fresno st, and our guys can play in real arenas not gyms and have decent TV coverage instead of awful streaming on Big West internet connection ,Go Warriors .

  12. Re: recruiting. Since his name has surfaced before thought some of you would like to know that Aaric Armstead apparently has made a verbal commitment to Northern Illinois. Older brother Aaron also committed. BTW: NIU competes in the MAC and finished 5-25 last season.

  13. Seriously Clyde? NIU? That sucks. I really thought Aaric could have had a great impact here in Hawaii. I wonder if his offer was pulled.

  14. kendall: Maybe Gib moved on after Armstead didn’t qualify last year. I thought he might still be on the radar since he went to the same prep school (La Jolla) as Aaron Valdes. Thought maybe Gib was creating a pipeline. The Armsteads are from Chicago so maybe that’s why NIU is a good fit. NIU had a very young team, but to finish 5-25 … coach must have done a good sell job. Plus, it probably was a package deal. It’s great for the family to have two sons on the same team. (I think there’s a younger brother, Austin; maybe he can be a UH target).

  15. Hey Gang,
    Any breaking news; updates; sighting of the MBB Warrior dual-offeree?
    Airon needs the assists to make magic!

  16. n2joy:

    They do tweet. It might be like last year, when UH MBB brought in a few this time of year. After the potential recruits, met coaches, players, saw facilities , sights, and ran a little open gym ball, Spearman was the one. Goin be a Warrior! Team decided with Gib’s input.

    With social media, could be in a few days after,during visit, CA and GN, Allen and Nevels, would tweet, they are going to be Warriors. if they say they are going on another visit, well, NEXT.

    Hopefully, they have a good visit, and UH and Hawaii is a good fit both ways. Seems like they could be good additons, to backup and push returnees. JC top school. They appear to have great family support and have Hawaii on their radar.

    All I can say, is , COME ON DOWN, Corey and Garrett, become Warriors, and help team to compete for BWC crown!
    We wait and SEE….!

  17. If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!!! If these 2 recruits really like the school, like Hawaii, feel like they want to be here for the next 2 years, like the people, can pursue a major that Hawaii offers them, like the coaches and the team then it appears it’s a good fit and they want to be Warriors. But, if they don’t like the islands, the school, the players, the coaches, don’t like the food and rather would stay on the mainland then it’s better that they find another school.

    Laura Beeman should help recruit these guys too. She got 3 recruits from Mt. SAC for her program for next year. It doesn’t hurt, does it!!! Sell opportunity, be part of something the program is trying to be special. Don’t make promises you can’t keep!

  18. One time possible UH recruit, Pierre Jackson, PG, 5’10” 180 scored 24 points and dished out 10 assists for the Baylor Bears in a NIT semi-final game as Baylor beat BYU 86-80. Too bad he didn’t choose us.

  19. hoopsa,

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