Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Catching up with Michael Thomas


It has been a summer of learning for Michael Thomas. The freshman forward from Los Angeles has spent the past six weeks adjusting to his newfound status as a NCAA Division I basketball player at the University of Hawai’i.

“Obviously I need more adjusting,” said Thomas, who graduated from El Camino Real High School in June. “I need to get in better shape, I need to get my shot better and everything, my handle better, but yeah, I think the adjustment is getting better.”

Thomas got a bit of a late start this summer, as he needed to wait an extra week for medical clearance before he could participate in workouts with his teammates. The issue was eventually resolved, but Thomas had to play catch up for the rest of the summer.

He’s going to make up for it this week, as he will remain in Hawai’i for the 10-day break before the start of fall classes at UH.

“Workout every day, run, get in better shape, get stronger, stay in the gym,” he replied when asked what his plans are.

In the Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League, Thomas’ playing time was limited on a Clark Hatch Fitness team that had several veteran players on its roster, and he finished with averages of 8.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

“It was different because I had to jump in and fight for minutes,” he said. “But it was a good experience; good players on my team.”

The summer arrival is also about adjusting to college courses for the UH players, and Thomas has fared well in that facet. He took two summer courses and received an A in both.


  1. I am a fan of MT, Michael Thomas. Good parents, good student and young man. Bright. He knows, he has to get better, physically stronger, and adjusted to NCAA D1 ball, and similar to Garrett Nevels, Quincy Smith, Caleb Dressler, and Stefan Jovanovich, I love their attitude, They All desire to get better, to help UH MBB team go to next level. Great bunch of young men!

    Good job in Summer school Michael T. , that is the point of being a Student, Athlete!

    Keep working hard. It is up to you, with help of coaches, strength coordinator, and just being a gym rat, working to get better, helping UH team get better!

    Thankyou to the Michael Thomas family for letting MT become a Rainbow Warrior. A real gem, awaiting to shine!


  2. I agree Uhfanzonly1, ditto what you said from down under.

    He speaks very well – his parents should be very proud of him.

    I am sure he will take his own good advice and get stronger, get in better shape and adjust well.

    Good luck for the season Michael

  3. Good Start, Michael
    Welcome to Hawai’i and UHMBB…
    Good Perspective and Focus to Work on what matters…

    I’m thinking Aaron Valdes provides a good template or starting point for what can be accomplished in a few weeks, or a First Year…with the good athleticism and work ethic you have and your body type even Michael Jordan is an example within your reach depending on your own goals ans choices…

    …and Hawai’i is a National Leader in start-up businesses as well…

    Great Starting Place for someone Wise Enough to realize The World Is Your Oyster…

  4. Hey Michael T,

    Heard that you aced both academically & athletically in HS.
    As a fan, everyone expectant for you to do the same at UH.
    Where expert mentors of all fields are always available to you to take advantage of.
    With your natural talents, total successes will be achievable with 100% dedications!

    Your parents, loved-ones & Hawaii will be counting the milestone you reached proudly one by one!?

    As for now >> You’re using your available time wisely, after scored A-A for Summer.

  5. Hi Dayton,

    Thanks for another Catching Up.

    Antsy for answers:
    ~ 1. Will Christian S be made it back within the next ten days?
    ~ 2. What & why concerning the Visa Issue(s)?
    ~ 3. Any difference for Fotu & Harper regarding the ~2. .. above?


  6. Mr. Thomas is an “A” in my book. Very good start. I’m sure he’ll be very coachable.

  7. not a lot of weight training in high school which is common but the good thing is college training programs will transform kids into men and since he hasn’t lifted much once he starts he could gain choke strength….still hasn’t showcased much so im worried

  8. hawaiifan09:

    The above writeup by Dayton, might explain, the “not showing” too much ability. Michael had to await medical clearance, before coming aboard to UH and participation in workouts and summer league. I think Michael will do well. Number one, hawaiifan09, Michael is very good academic wise.

    Michael Thomas, has that body type, he still could grow, maybe another inch or so. 6’7 1/2 inch ?

    I appreciated, coming from the source, Michael himself, why he saw limited time in summer league. Clark Hatch had their set guys, even Shamburger had to wait, Michael had to do whatever he could, albeit rushed, when , coach sent him in for a few minutes or more.

    We shall, see, hawaiifan09, the glass half empty or full, I say, Michael, is one of those potentially very good gets for Gib!

    We are cheeing you on Michael!

    Go Rainbowarriors!


  9. 4.0 gpa , articulate , athletic .. a good start, Michael . Listen to coach Heffernan, strength conditioning coordinator for UH seek him out , he’s da man to you , get your body strong and quick.

  10. Kia Ora UHMBB fans, g’day Aussie mum. Haven’t post for a while, but with beginning of another exciting ride, I am lock in ready to rock.

    Welcome aboad MT, you are bright, awesome young man, well spoken and articulate. Looking forward to watching you develop, and I am sure Coach Fish is quietly excited about shaping you up into a scoring machine.

    Aussie mum hope to see you again if you are going over again to watch DHC as I am bringing the whole family with a few of Isaac’s friends from the Land of the Long White cloud “Aotearoa” to experience the SSC rocking. Really looking forward.

    But until then, will start follow team pre-season training.

    It has been awesome to have Isaac home for this short break. He is working hard and can’t wait for season to start.

    Go the Warriors!!!!

  11. Tonganator: Welcome back and ALOHA!

    Yes been following social media with Isaac. He is a very joyful young guy. Always having good time with his crew in NZ!

    Tonganator, you…Aussie Mum, and before Ozi mum, and soon TribeV(the Valdes Ohana-family), as well as other family members chiming in, with your support, and being so loyal to what is known officially now as Rainbow Warrior Basketball. Or for short , warrior MBB, or whatever , Hawaii’s fans want to call them, ..it touches are hearts to hear how , from very, very far away, you follow Dayton’s awesome, best in the world site for all things UH MBB ! Fantastic, thankyou Dayton , WI and the Schmidts and donors!

    Isaac, and soon, Christian and Davis, will be back for fall semester. A lot of new young athletes, very exciting. Should be a great time to rock and roll for fans at Stan Sheriff , center, and for those of us who cannot make it, online and over the airwave radio broadcast, and online stream when available.

    Looks to be a very exciting year, with Spearman, Shamburger, Isaac, Christian, Davis and the whole team, having a great year.

    Mahalo, and Aloha to the Fotu’s in New Zealand, and your extended ohana here and globally.
    Tonganator get ready to rock, Frotu and company in the house!

    . (Man, I am getting excited , and pre season practices haven’t even started yet! Pretty soon, less than 2 months away)

    The die hard, young and older fans, looking with great anticipation to 2013-14 season!!


  12. Michael–
    You are a talented, articulate, and wise young man! We enjoyed catching you at a few summer league games and we know you’ll work hard and bring your gifts to the team and to your studies.

    Thanks for catching us up with these awesome young men, Dayton. Joining the rest of the gang and getting super excited for the upcoming season! Can’t wait but I guess we have to.

  13. Uhfanzonly greetings to you and to all the UH family. We are very excited about this coming season. Looking forward to seeing everyone play soon. Dayton keep up the good work.

  14. I am very excited for this young gentleman, his left eye looks like he has been working very hard with his fellow warriors. The number one thing he can do to get playing time is by being great at defense, blocking out, and rebounding. Hitting your shots sure can’t hurt either.

  15. I love this kid because he’s so mature for a freshman. Speaks very eloquently, which you can tell translates to his book smarts. His parents must be proud.
    This all means he will be very coachable and disciplined. Looking forward to his future.

  16. Great Point (recognized and noted by many)… Very Coachable and Disciplined, quickly or eventually provides another coach on the floor, means Not Repeating Mistakes over and over, means forcing the opposition into their reactive recognized or unrecognized habits, tendencies, errors or predictabilities, means being in the right place to prevent the opposition’s next best option even without hearing what a (sometimes frustrated) coach is trying to yell from the sidellines; means making the play with the game on the line, the stop, takeaway, rebound…means Winning the Close Ones, a few more in the ‘W’ Column, but also quite a few more in the 50-50-Ball Category, slightly lower FG percentages for the opposition ‘cos they couldn’t even get to the shot they wanted, couldn’t find that lane to drive or to pass, pivoted, turned and UH’s defense was already there… went up for the shot and some athletic player was there to force an altered lower percentage shot; understands why he’s sitting at the moment, actually is coaching/helping his teammates instead of thinking ’bout himself, sulking or even walking off the court, complimenting the (more likely losing) opponent, winning another UH Conference Best Sportsmanship Team Award along with their Championship…and inspiring a new generation of over-achieving kids…

    continuing that winning cycle in one of the greatest places on Earth….in advance, Thanks for All That

  17. 4.0 to start the school year… NICE JOB!!! THey still use the 4 pt system right? I know they changed the SAT format a while back.

    I like his work ethic. He knows what he needs to do to earn more playing time. He’s got some guys ahead of him on the depth chart, but he’s got time on his side.

  18. I Hope Michael can ‘save’ a year by learning from and leap-frogging Isaac’s experiences; no ‘need’ to defer to more senior players as he may have been doing in short-term summer league — with his permanent UH ohana, it’s o.k. to be a take-charge scorer, defender, rebounder and shot-blocker –there’s plenty of PT, stats and glory to go around — and the real glory is in Winning…

    Between Michael Thomas, Aaron Valdes and Jack Hackman, This Year, we need a strong good-scoring small forward / wing or three…although we may utilize a three guard offense in the Big West, the small forward/wing position is often among the highest scoring and biggest X-Factors between good and great teams…

    and the rotation for the ‘three’ is probably the most wide-open of the five positions…

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