Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors add excitement to Summer League


The addition of players from the current University of Hawai’i team was expected to add excitement to the Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League, and it did just that.

Eight players from the 2013-14 roster participated in the two games of the Summer League on Tuesday night at the Manoa Valley District Park Gym.

Negus Webster-Chan – a touted transfer from Missouri – scored 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, and added five rebounds and three assists to help lead Solar Universe to a 97-84 victory over Wealth Strategy Partners in the first game.

Webster-Chan, a 6-foot-7 guard, scored in a variety of ways – three 3-pointers, drives to the basket, and mid-range jumpers.

“It was a good experience to go against bigger guys, stronger guys, it was fun,” he said.

Webster-Chan was one of four Warriors on the Solar Universe team. Senior guard Brandon Spearman contributed 17 points; freshman guard Niko Filipovich scored two points and grabbed five rebounds; redshirt freshman Dyrbe Enos did not score, but saw action in the backcourt.


“It made me feel more comfortable,” Webster-Chan said of playing with other Warriors. “I was with Brandon and Zane (Johnson) and Dyrbe.”

Johnson, who last played at UH in 2012 and played professionally in Italy last season, led Solar Universe with 33 points.

The game was called with about one minute remaining in the second half after Wealth Strategy’s Julian Sensley and Spearman got into an altercation and needed to be physically separated by the other players. Both players will likely have to sit out one game, per league rules.

In the second game, Warrior freshmen Caleb Dressler and Aaron Valdes played key roles in leading Grantco Pacific to a 102-101 win over Clark Hatch Fitness.

Dressler, a 6-10 center, scored 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and grabbed four rebounds. Valdes finished with 10 points and six rebounds, and his tip-in putback of a missed free throw by teammate Geremy Robinson with 11 seconds remaining proved to be the difference at the end. Dressler and Valdes were both redshirts for UH last season.

Two Warriors played for Clark Hatch Fitness: Brandon Jawato hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, and Keith Shamburger contributed 11 points and five rebounds.

A third Warrior, incoming freshman Michael Thomas, did not suit up for Clark Hatch Fitness because he is still awaiting clearance on his physical examination.


Jawato banked in a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining to cut Grantco Pacific’s lead to 99-98. Robinson was then fouled with 11 seconds left, and he made the first one and missed the second. Valdes jumped above the crowd near the rim for the tip-in that gave Grantco Pacific a 102-98 advantage. Scott Kato of Clark Hatch Fitness hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a 102-101 final.

Brandon Matano – a former walk-on with both the UH basketball and football teams – made seven 3-pointers and finished with 30 points for Clark Hatch Fitness.

Two other UH recruits – point guard Quincy Smith and center Stefan Jovanovic – are expected to play on Saturday. Their teams did not play on Tuesday.

Two other UH returnees – forward Isaac Fotu from New Zealand and guard Michael Harper from Australia – are in the process of clearing visa issues and are hoping to be in Hawaii by the end of the week.

The Summer League will continue with two games on Saturday: National Fire Protection Co. vs. Grantco Pacific at 6 p.m., and Central Medical Clinic vs. Solar Universe at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)



  1. Supremo Coverage Dayton, Brandon & WI.com Team & Sponsors
    For the Rest of Us who try to get ʻsome sleepʻ…
    This is Virtually “Real-Time” Coverage, at the very least, real timely
    That is to say, “MAHALO!”

    (maybe iʻll go outside now and look for the daily rag;
    which iʻd give props to for helping wake up and alert the rest of Hawaiʻi with a front sports page article
    on the Summer League and Infusion of BB Talent…Hint Hawaiʻi: Plan on a Team-to-Watch for 2013-14)

    You only get One Chance to make a First Impression?
    Welcome Back to the Islands, 2013-14-ers
    Lookinʻ Maybe Like The Team that could Break Through to D-1 Respectability
    Top 100? Top 50 ? Better … ?
    Good to see the display of Offensive/Basketball skills
    That bb quickness needs to be coached into improved all-court defense and 50-50 ball Wins

    Dresslerʻs shot still quick and smooth, in his career probably surpass Bill Amis for shooting touch;
    IF he can also prove his tenacity inside and on the boards against D-1-ers…

    Brandon Spearman looking smoother, healed and likely quicker and with better body control…
    Negus looking like this yearʻs Gib Lament: “Too Bad we got to wait” like Keith Shamburger last year…

    Second Impressions Can Build on The First…

  2. Negus looks like the real deal…what a shame, a tease to have to wait another year for him to take the court! Either way, the players look on point, a good sign at this time of year. I see the team doing well this year, but may not be a legitimate tourney threat until the year after when Negus is finally eligible.

  3. Thanks Dayton, good write up and representative video coverage of both games. There was lots of folks in attendance. These are my observations as a novice observer:

    Niko and Keith showed promise as PGs, both are quick, have good court vision and look to make “good passing decisions”; translates to less turnovers in a game. Both play with the eye of the tiger.

    Looks like Brandon S worked hard in the off season to improve his game. He does look quicker. His ball handling skills look sharper, especially that attacking cross over dribble.

    Lots and lots of potential, that’s Negus, whether that translates to high level play on the court; that’s the big question. Without a doubt, he’s a baller and may leave U of H as one of the best. He’s very smooth with the ball and able to create space off the dribble, and “no scared” to shoot.

    Wanted to see more from Caleb and Aaron, just my observation but they don’t seem “aggressive” enough; could be first game jitters. Would like to see Caleb put on another 15 pounds of muscle and attend speed and quickness clinics to further develop and display his soft touch around the basket.

    Brandon J looks more confident in his game but did not notice growth in his ball skills, if that makes sense.

    Although his playing days are over at U of H, Zane J has taken his game to another level, he is very much improved and could serve as a good role model.

    Anyway, come check out the games and form your own opinion and stir the pot for the upcoming season. U of H will definitely be better…..

  4. Dayton Mahalo Plenty for the great video and reports. The new and returning UH athletes, look better, more confident. What NWC will bring next year is great, and all around and probably stronger physically SF/SG with athleticism. Jawato will shoot it, Keith S will run the show. AV will sky and get those 50/50 putbacks to win games, Caleb Dressler, will be a banger with a soft shooting touch, Niko can, yes can play quality PG time.

    Look Forward to Spearman, controlling emotions, and leading team as a returning senior alongside, Davis and Christian. Also can’t wait, for Q Smith, Isaac Fotu and Michael Harper,

    Summer is for Fun, so UH MBB team, play for fun, shoot the ball well, practices your handles and rebounding, get into great conditioning, then come fall camp, get ready to play D, then look out UH has a really upgraded and stronger and more expericed team going into 2013-14.

    Exciting stuff!
    Mahalo UH MBB team.

  5. Of course cannot wait for SF Michael Thomas, who in physique, sort of reminds me of Dillon Biggs, perhaps stronger and a little bigger!

    Throw some down, AV,MT, NWC, QS, IF, CD, ..have fun. And coaches, let the guys from UH play at least half or more of the game, since they are active UH student athletes, maybe Gib has to talk to Pat Tanibe again.


  6. Overall probably “better” for the (U.H.) players to UP their games, “Earn” Respect and PT…
    The Sulking, Fussing and Fuming looked a lot like the immaturity of the First Three Teams….
    This Team might be good enough to earn the respect of Many or Most of their Opponents…
    maybe even ʻTheir Fansʻ…(like some of Rileyʻs Better Teams)

    JMO, but i thought Last Year they were still filling pukas “Stop-Gap” as with best available player(s), and making them fit (to some degree there will always be some of that, especially bringing in freshmen); but this yearʻs experience and talent level look like a much better D-1/Big West Fit from the Get-Go….

  7. Hopefully Heffernan in the weight room can get on our team to get bigger and stronger before season starts, and take strength and cond seriously. Go Warriors!

  8. Eagle:

    I sort of see where you are coming from, you must be posting from a tiny smart device, however I understand. Even for the old and new UH athletes, since they just started to play, the should kokua and let the other guys play first, then let the coaches see how the UH guys attitude is, is it team first..or I AM THE STAR FROM THE BIG ISLAND AND I AM BETTER THAN THE OTHERS…I don’t know what the coaches see. The NCAA sanctioned summer league, started over 30 years ago, always featured the best that UH HILO, HPU, Hawaii Loa, Chaminade, UH, Army, Navy, Marines, AFA, HS elite, a few NBA pros as the featured attraction. I like to see how the NEW and RETURNING UH guys are doing this year, I don’t what happened with Jace last year to happen again, he wanted to quit his summer league team, because his coach would not play him.

    I don’t know the mindset of the coaches and commisioner of the league, turnouts are pretty good, primarily, I would say 70% or more in attendance are their to see the UH athletes new and older ones.
    Or local familes, checking out their kin that have gone away to school, or are still in HS.

    I DO HOPE GIB, by year four, if he has an extra extened to year 5 contract in hand, explains to his team, there is NO ‘I” in TEAM, play your role, rebounders, rebound, defenders defend, and shooters shoot, PG’s run team on O and D, the whole team play more athletically, more depth, and plays smart with Christian Standhardinger, Brandon Spearman, and Davis Rozitis leading the way.

    Hey Keity Shamburger, Brandon Jawato, don’t quit the league, that is like quitting a UIH class and not getting dipoloma, or quitting a job when you just got hired, talk to the coachs and commisioner in a nice way, and see how , as EAGLE, spot on put it, buy into your role, then, when playoff times, the coaches will let the best players play, usually, it is Sensley, Geremy Robinson, Bill Amis, Zane Johnson, and the rest of the NEW and Returning UH players any way..Don’t mope Keith Sham. This can be a big year , not just for you, rather for the entire UH MBB program, the state, your family, Cali, and fans locally and around the globe.

    So, on befalf of eagle, playhoopsa, and many others watching games live at Manoa, Keith ,Jawato, listen to coaches and play hard and smart when you are in there. Am sure Gib peeks in to see if you all have good Attitudes!! YOU guys do, UH MBB can win the BWC…if not, look out for same , same..I hope not, hope you guys are best friends, get stronger , bigger faster, BBIQ smart, and can shoot lights out, rebound on both O and D glass, and defend all over the court, nothing easy for the opposition.

    Hey UH members of Manoa League, man up, if you don’t mature and bond now, you could be in for a losing season, a better athletic team, however, no heart and soul;

    YOur fans are backing you guys. stick it out, don’t quit and perhaps join another team, then play hard Keith, Jawato, and whole team

    Nice to see Negus Webster-Chan has a great feel for the game, if only Gib with one more scholarship can find a clone of Negus and sign him for this year. It would cap an awesome athletic recruiting season!!

  9. Summer League is to sharpen the fundamentals and work on your game besides keep in good shape for the fall. Yeah, you want to win games, but that’s not too important at this point. For the UH players, what you don’t want is to get hurt. The most important things is to stay healthy and keep doing well in the classroom. I know Shamburger is going to be a good one and he’ll step it up when the time comes.

  10. Hey, Sham & Jaw,

    Impressed with your showings, save yourselves for the better ones in the real season!

    Guys out-dirty-played the NBA pros all night.
    Since when hitting someone on the chest repeatedly time after time are not fouls?

    Is that why they they are volunteering the job?

    No place for anyone to getting hurt!!!

  11. Dayton,enjoy your hard work with WI and helping the fanbase get the inside scoop on all things UH MBB. Laura B. would have to have another media IT type set up for Rainbow Wahine BB for sure.

    Question Datyon, since probability all of the guys will be back in town by this Sat July 13 2013, and onwards to playoffs, Are the UH coaches still working out with groups of MBB team per position.

    Secondly, would you show some of the OPEN GYM run by the 16 RS and active athtletese in the SSC practive gyms . Would be nice if you had interview of all the new guys, Niko, Michael Thomas, Negus, Quincy, Garrett Nevels, and Stefan Jovanovich. Also if any Walkon like Malik Fields will be invited to UH MBB team as a walkon.

    Thank you Dayton!


  12. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the 2014-15 Big West Champions.

    NWC makes it look so easy and he’s only going half speed. Dressler has a nice short-mid range game. Shamburger knows how to draw contact and score. Valdes looks good. We know Jawato can bomb from deep and will continue to do so. UH really has a nice collection of scorers in 2014-15.

    UH will contend for the BW title this season. Just a matter of Shamburger taking control amd cutting down careless turnovers. Fotu, Standhardinger, Spearman are solid. Hopefully Jawato added to his defensive game to earn more minutes. Hopefully Dressler gets more physical on the block. All his highlights are finess moves. He’s already more refined offensively than Vander but he hasn’t shown an aggressive side yet.

  13. I totally understand that Summer league has little defense being played but talent always can be spotted easily. NWC has it and then some.

    We will see about Dressler once its against a real defense bodying him up.

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