Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Catching up with Garrett Nevels

After a summer of playing alongside star players and in front of standing-room-only crowds in the Drew League in Los Angeles, Garrett Nevels now feels ready to step in and help the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

“You definitely feel some butterflies getting out there,” he said of the Drew League. “It’s a packed crowd, it’s sponsored by Nike, so everybody’s there watching … I feel like it really pushed me to another level, made me want to get better.”


Nevels played alongside and against several NBA players in the Drew League, such as Brandon Jennings, Amir Johnson and Dorell Wright. ESPN SportsCenter showed highlights from the Drew League when NBA all-star Kevin Durant showed up to play.

Nevels, a 6-foot-2 guard who played last season at Mount San Antonio College (Calif.), was not just a bit player amongst all those stars in the Drew League. He was named the Player of the Week for the league on June 19, and also created a social media buzz when he returned in August for the playoffs. He scored 25 points and grabbed six rebounds in a semifinal loss.

“It made me feel like all this work I’m putting in is for a reason,” he said. “It’s paying off.”

He also spent six weeks in Hawai’i this summer, attending summer classes and participating in the Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League. He led all current UH players in scoring in that league with 26.2 points per game.

Nevels will be a junior this season, and is expected to contend for major minutes in the backcourt. Although this is his first season with the Warriors, he is already displaying some leadership abilities. During open court sessions, he is not afraid to instruct – or scold – teammates.

“I am quiet off the court, but when I’m on the court, it’s a whole different person,” he said. “That’s my comfort zone.”


  1. Welcome, Garrett

    Thanks for joining us here,
    and working so hard for something Bigger and Better!

    ..Look forward to seeing your and the teamʻs efforts and success …
    Big Time…

  2. Hey Garrett N,

    Welcome, welcome, welcome..
    You glad that you came here in paradise;
    Paradise loves to have you here with us for every minutes of your D1 career –
    The respect is mutual and perpetual for as long as you allow us to!

    You certainly represented yourself well in every phases of your youthful life –
    Even your voice sound pleasant!
    You pass for NWC’s twins (can’t hardly wait to see you performing in games next year!).

    For this season’s starting five: Brandon S, Christian S, Garrett N, Isaac F, Keith S (alphabetical order only), what I’ll call a “Five-guards O”!?
    Let these guys play for as long as it take to build a comfortable lead so, others may share some PT or, when a game-win is in jeopardy (let Lady Luck picks who prevailed!).

    Therefor, everyone works harder: stay healthy, ability to run, maintain stamina/endurance, don’t take yourself out of any contest; Your Destiny is in your hands.

    Congratulations to all parents, you’ve raised such a group of wonderful young MEN!

  3. Garrett Nevels , thank you for becoming a Rainbow Warrior!
    Quite evident in video and watching you live and in person, you are adjusting to life in Hawaii and working with your teammates.
    Beautiful release and form on your layups, floaters, mid range and 3 ball jumpers. Great quicks , hops and athleticism. a big PLUS I noticed, in Open gym videos, your head is up and looking for open teammates, that is a very, very good part of your game.

    Your scoring and helping with ball handling will be key this year!

    Have a great year helping UH MBB try to reach the NCAA’s!!


  4. Garrett Nevels will make me forget Manroop Clair. Hehe!

  5. you look all swole!!!

  6. I believe the way the guards style is this season, gib just has to let them play

  7. Aloha Garrett Nevels! Mahalo for being a UH MBB team member!

    I like your scoring ability and leadership qualities, lead by example, in the classroom, weight room, getting nutrition, working on strength, cardio and BB IQ. Dive after every loose ball, involve whole team on offense and most importantly lock down on D.

    With Quincy Smith, and Garrett Nevels, what an upgrade from two guards who moved on last year.
    Athletic and quick. Figure, Gib will let them, if they stay out of major foul trouble, go after steals, and a lot of traps, doubles.

    The ball handling, going upcourt, in half court sets, will be critical, however with Keith S, who is a beast, strong and wiry, Garrett, and Quincy handling the ball, as well as Spearman, who I hope improved his ball handling in traffic and against quick handed defenders, Backcourt, light years ahead of last 3 years.

    Hope Quincy, Keith, Garrett, Brandon Spearman, stay healthy, as well as wing/SG’s Harper, Enos, Hackman, and Jawato(still wonder if he might petition NCAA for medical waiver RS year?).

    Guards look so much better, and all go to the rim, shoot, mid to 3 line jumpers, quick, seem like team players. NOW, important all the guards and wings, shoot FT’s, have to hit 75% or better from 1 through 15 on possible active roster, critical, all the athleticism, if going to rim, or close game getting fouled, have to knock down probably close to 90% or FT’s to win games, in last 5 minutes!

    Once again, fans, HUGE UPGRADE in potential athletic, and true guards from last year!

    Hope they win a lot of games.

    Welcome Garrett, hope you and team have a great two year run, wish we had after one year of JC ball, would be awesome!

    Go Rainbow Warriors

  8. Can’t wait until Fotu and Davis ready to join Open gym workouts.

    This team THIS YEAR, although with NWC next year will be awesome, will be super competitive.

    1)Standhardinger-3 yrs in the system. Last year All BWC first team. Germany youth national team leading scorer this summer.

    2)Isaac Fotu-co freshman of the year All BWC. MVY of New Zealand 23U tournament before coming back to fall classes.

    3)Brandon Spearman. Tough as hell dude. Could be a great defensive back .Or running back. If ball handling improved and mid to 3 line shot money. with his leadership and intensity, he is like two guards out there in ONE body.

    4)Davis Rozitis: Key -How much improvement has Davis made from last season, over summer till this fall. If he is the rebounder, dunker, and shot blocker supreme, who can run the floor. Would be one of the best agile big men in the western USA.

    5)Keith Shamburger: All WAC performer at SJSU as a soph. Tough wiry dude, strong handles, and LEADER. Keith wants nothing less than going to NCAA tourney THIS YEAR: that is the consensus of every single guy on team. Win, go to NCAA’s or bust(heck if the won regular season crown and auto NIT bid great too!)

    6)This is the sad part: Brandon Jawato, athletic, hops, streaky shooter, good player, however that dang cartlidge damage in ankles,hope he is okay, or gets treatment, or waiver medical.

    7)Michael “thunder from down under” , in open gym and summer league, whatever you say about him, he is not scared, will rebound, dive to floor, make pass, get steal, block shot, hit nice release 3 pointers from anywhere on the court. He almost helped UH win the AFA CIT game after ole Vander split on team. You have to like a kid like that, pure heart., will help the team when Gib calls on him.

    Quincy Smith, Garrett Nevels -athletic guards

    Michael Thomas-Potential, needs to get stronger and more agressive, surprised he can consistently hit wide open 3 pointer, that is a bonus, needs to be rebounder, shot blocker and D trap man on doubles and pressure.

    Aaron Valdes, : probably should not handle ball too much, unless he is super good, has the super athlete tag, if he scores, 8 pts 4 rebounds 1 blocked shot, 2 steals, 2 – 3 pointers a game, he will be money.

    Stefan Jovanovich, I think he shows so much natural skill as a true post, rebounding, shot blocking, excellent, passing, and shoot with either hand, and defender, Gib should play him

    Dressler, still doesn’t have hops of Rozitis or Jovanovich, still has that nice euro 17 ft elbow shot, which is money, Caleb, should work hard with coach Fish, and learn to use his feet and body, to get rebounds, and take up space.


    Dyrbe Enos, can shoot it,

    Jack Hackman is as advertised, hustler, needs to get stronger, and with wide open shot, he can hit
    Zane Johnson range 3 pointers, nice form.

    Negus will be coach, and running scout, so Negus will help UH active players this year get much better and perhaps start a 2 year run in NCAA’s!!

    Niko, heady player, not scared of anyone, walkon,

    ALL the walkons, Harper, Hackman, Enos, Filipovich and Valdes, I give credit to their families for helping them come to UH, thank you to all your ohanas, and if you guys have success and are honored with help, thank your mom’s and dads awesome support!

    Go Rainbow Warriors.

    Now…big question, has Ben Jay at least got Gib a 2 yr extenstion, so he can complete his recruiting 2 years out? Either way, Gib, and he knows it has to win big and go NIT , NCAA, and draw the fans. It will be a good year, by sheer strength of numbers and guards that have speed.


  9. 2015 Big West Champions ! Boom!

  10. jjay: If UH MBB team is as committed, and bonds, one goal win championships, they will be BWC regular season champs for 2014,2015 ,2016 and 2017. The guys, and recruits, athletic and academic guys still showing interest in coming to Hawaii, the place to be to play right away ,and go to NIT or NCAA.

    I like the committment of the seniors, the Jr.s Soph, and freshmen, scholie or walkon, they work as hard off season as WVB and UH FB defense, UH MBB will win a bunch of championships this year, Rainbow Classic, Diamond Head Classic, BWC regular season crown, and BWC tournament crown for NCAA’s.

    Key, jjay, all 15 active roster guys, if that is what Gib has, 1 through 15 have to buy into roles, support each other, and play 100 per cent to win, whether 3 min or 33 min a game.

    This bunch, with Shamburger, Spearman, and maybe Nevels and Smith being vocal leaders, and by example, will be a good team. They have the offensive tools, the athleticism, perimeter players, and advantage. HUGE advantage in BWC, their Bigs, Fotu and Standhardinger are first team BWC athletes, if Davis, Stefan, and Caleb provide the bodies, and guard the rim, as well as MT, AV and JH, running the winds, spot up 3’s , UH has good chance to finish first or second.

    Just watching them in person, open gym, or talking to them,. they are on a mission, forget the melodrama of VJ and JT, and SS, and move on to win and go NCAA’s.

    They will!

    Go Rainbow Warriors. Stay together, work hard, play smart, and stay united, you guys will go to big Dance March 2014!!


  11. i hope this team went to the volleyball game last night and realized how good a atmosphere it was in the stan and want the same…I really think we can average 5000+ and 8 against better comp

  12. Yes, may be ‘Better Be’, They already averaged more than 6,200+ last year @ The SSC and had more than 9,000 at one game with a team that honestly had MEDIOCRE Results…but was still ‘watchable’… Winning is Much More Watchable…and athleticism and offense draws the younger crowd…defense draws the older crowd…

    And We ALL Know, Hawai’i Fans ARE ‘Fair Weather Fans’ who eventually, maybe slowly, but IF the Team Wins Often Enough, for Long Enough, they will come, whether it’s basketball (#1 in Big West with the #5 Team), football, volleyball (even men’s, women #1 in Country), baseball (#1 in The West) or softball…

    CAN They WIN ? WHY SHOULD they WIN?

    Just “Guessing”, Prognosticating …
    But How ‘Bout 4 + 4 and 13 Deep and ALL CAN Score…

    1) The Pre-Season Analysts (fairly) Give More Weight to Proven/’Returning’ Players. FOUR ‘Double-Digit’ Returning Starters — counting Keith Shamburger (13 pts/5.5 assists for a weak, no-front-line team), Spearman (until after he got hurt) Fotu and Standhardinger, Four of the Five positions on the court are already ‘certified’ 10ppg or better players…. That Fact Alone is usually enough to Win A Lot of Games (Three of them were not verifiable/available 10 ppg one season earlier).

    2) FOUR MORE Capable of such firepower — IF we had a recruit or two of Sensley or Bill Amis calibre, that would be impressive — BUT FOUR NEWCOMERS (three available this season) Outscored Both Sensley and Amis in the Summer League on their First Try: Nevels, Webster-Chan, Valdes & Smith ALL averaged 24.5 to 26 ppg (while JS and BA averaged 24.1 and 21.8) and we “know” Nevels and GWC ARE ‘For Real’…

    3) BUT FULLY TEN Players averaged more than 15 ppg; TWELVE more than 8 ppg, ALL more than five not even counting Rozitis and Standhardinger, basically meaning that when a pass comes to them in a position they know what to do, they ALL Know how to put it in the hole and THAT is Basketball: Passing the Ball until you find a player in a position where he knows how to put it in …[as defined by some guy named John Wooden]….and playing defense to stop the other team from doing that … They ‘Should’ Win ….

  13. Rivals.com Three-Star 6-3 point guard Isaac Fleming in town….?

    ? SAW Roaring Stan Sheriff Center as Na Wahine ROCKED #1 Texas 3 Games to One…

  14. i believe the 6,200+ is just ticket sales and not actual attendance

  15. Hope this team will have good team chemistry. Judging from Summer League they appear better on paper. But you never know what kind of team you got until the real games start. We had teams in the past that were good on paper (Remember Tommy Barker?). When I think about team chemistry you need to look at the Fabulous Five. They had one bona fide star in Bob Nash. The other players fed off the tenacity of Nash, elevated their game, and complemented each other so well. I think people could sense that they would become a great team and that’s why the entire town was electrified from the get go. Those that lived to experience that era know what electrified is all about. It was so crazy I remember at 16 bringing my radio to listen to the game in the restaurant. One friend said I had no class. I rarely see that friend anymore but I’ve followed UH basketball with a passion ever since. This years team got all the tools to be something special. I’d sure like to hear that buzz again.

  16. Dayton thanks again for constant update interviews, open gym videos and writeups. We UH fans love it!

    Attitude and Ability: The guards for UH. Keith Shamburger, Brandon Spearman, Quincy Smith, Garrett Nevels, want to win, and bring some game. What a contrast from last year’s guards. PG and SG inparticular. Spearman was a warrior last year, until got that unfortunate injury, probably cost UH 2 or 3 wins.

    The SG/Wings: Brandon Jawato(the wildcard, wonder how is ankles?), MIchael Harper, Dyrbe Enos, Niko Filipovich , Jack Hackman, Aaron Valdes, Michael Thomas, at least in open gym, without super intense D1 defenders going up against, all the aforementioned can , or try to, go to rim, mid range, and 3 point range. Probably the most offensive minded group that Gib has had at PG and Wing.

    Down low, and hybrid, Davis Rozitis , another X factor, how much better is he this year, key. Fotu and Standhardinger, might be the best forward tandem in the BWC!

    Thanks again Garrett, and your family for joining the UH Rainbow Warriors!

    Something to keep an eye on this year, the guards/wings: Good Attitude, and on court Successful Ability on Offense and Defense, could be an exciting year!

    Hope guys stay healthy, though Gib has a huge roster!

  17. servante:

    I remember!
    Yes, Tommy Barker, he of the HS Texas All American, 6’10 1/2″ 230 lbs, played freshman year at Minnesota, then transferred to the College of Southern Idaho, became JC All American. Remember when UH had JV games before, the Varsity games.

    UH JV would play military teams or JC teams. One nite UH JV played College of Southeren Idaho, I think Tommy Barker had 30 pts, 18 rebounds 4 blocked shots, or some kind of dominant nite against UH JV team. Tommy really was sold on Hawaii, and signed his LOI to come to Hawaii as a Jr. servante, that first year with Tommy Barker ,

    they also had 6’9″ 230 lb returning center Melton Werts and UNLV transfer, and Philadelphia HS All American Jimmie Baker 6’9″, great turnaround jumper, I think PG was Victor Tiny Kelly, out of NYC, a HS All American, Jr. transfer,5’6″ dynamo, who might have been drafted by ABA or NBA late rounds after his one senior season at UH. That team, just could not play together, too big, and step too slow, huge team, except for Tiny Kelly who was a flash.

    However, UH BB and O’Neil’s super recruiting of athletes, the Blaisdell Arena, or the old HIC, was practically full every nite, that arena for Basketball, I believe could seat near 8000+, remember, let’s go bows!

    Really, the turning point, you are right, and the newer generation, if look back into archives, when, Bob Nash, signed to come to UH, followed by Al Davis, Jerome Freeman, Dwight Holiday, returning guard Tom Newell, and returning 6’3″ center John Pennebacker, that first year of the Fab Five was with Tom Newell, initially the starting shooting or combo guard, a lot of excitement, when they won the 1970 Rainbow Classic.

    Yes, this year’s team , and hopefully next 3 or 4 years, with the talent and students being brought in, could generate that similar excitement. However, key: WIN..if you WIN fans will come, at least those not too old or disabled now..Great times the Fab, and Henderson years, Gaines, Cross, Smalls, The Savo, English Years, AC, and Alika, SSC one of the best places in the Pacific to watch great NCAA D1 basketball!

    UH MBB team shout out to you!. Work hard, bond, and play as a team, like the Wahine VB team, you all can win a lot of games!


  18. Yes Garret Nevels, you and team can be part of resurgence of UH MBB!


    You remember battles between 7’1″(a shade under) 230 lb All American center Robert Parish of Larry Little’s Centenary team and Tommy Barker? That year 1974-75, In Honolulu,Centenary played UH on a Fri and Sat nite, first nite , Parish had something like 30 points 18 rebounds 5 blocked shots and Centenary won. Next nite, Tommy Barker had 32 pts, 18 rebounds a couple of blocked shots.

    The interesting part about that year, Centenary and UH played 3 times, 2 in Honolulu and 1 in Shreveport , La., I remember listening to the game on radio when UH was playing Centenary in La. Back and forth, however, Tommy had a good game, his strategy that helped UH win on the road against the best center in the land at that time(Bill Walton had graduated already),

    Tommy leaked out, and out ran Parish for layups, layins, he just out hustled Parish in that matchup, never forgot it. Huge upset by UH over a ranked highly favored Centenary team! Tommy Barker was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 4th round in 1976. Initially was the starting center along with Tom Henderson as the PG for Barker’s rookie season, had 22 rebound game, and had a stretch of

    averaging in the teens 12-19 pts per game. He also played with the Houston Rockets, and the Boston Celtics, (maybe NY Knicks too(few years in the NBA)…(interestingly, before Boston traded Tommy Barker away, player coach, Dave Cowens, really liked Tommy, could shoot 17-18 foot jumper, block some shots, and rebound, however not a true dominant center). Barker, one of the most highly touted big men to ever play, besides Bob Nash, for the Rainbows!


    Sorry , Garrett Nevels went way off topic.
    Garrett, keep on working hard, and be leader, or one of many mature leaders on the team, and one day, maybe several of you, can have your hoop dream come true!

  19. servante:

    Forgot, that 1974-75 year, when UH battled Parish and Centenary, 2 in Hawaii and road game in Shreveport, La. UH won 2 out of the 3, and one was one the road! Amazing.


  20. Probably True ‘Dat

    Maybe up to 1500 fans (or more? Season Ticket Holders/Corporate Sponsors?) not making it to game on any night, except the ‘Big Games’…so the 6200 reported might really be less than 5000 … maybe the exciting speed and athletic style of this team will get more ticket holders disguised as empty seats to show…And should get New Fans, too…

    so might not have 9000/9500 in house ’til start selling Standing Room Only Tickets like baseball,,,
    wanna start UH athletic department fund raising? selling seats Twice helps…

    IF you can get there, the Energy & Excitement in the Arena still trumps TV…

    (Blaisdell was officially 7500 for basketball,
    maybe 8000 for boxing and 8-8500 for concerts where they add seats to the floor…)

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