Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors teaching and learning at youth camp

The Hawai’i Basketball Camp is all about learning … for the youth participants as well as the players on the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

“Patience,” is what redshirt freshman Aaron Valdes replied, when asked what the key was to working with the youngest players in the camp. “Patience and trying to get them to focus.”

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This August session of the camp was a late addition to the schedule because many of the UH players on the 2013-14 roster were out of town during the first camp sessions in July.

Michael Thomas might be a true freshman with the Warriors, but he is smart enough to realize the importance of the team’s presence at such camps.

“I think one, they get familiarized with the university, which is a big deal,” Thomas said. “Two, they get to hang out with athletes that they look up to and see how they act and see how they are, and we get to set a good example. Three, they get to learn how to play basketball, and how to be focused and attentive.”

For redshirt freshman Valdes and true freshman Stefan Jovanovic, it was quite the challenge, because they were assigned to the youngest participants in the camp – some as young as 5.

“It’s pretty interesting to work with kids,” Jovanovic said with a smile.

All of the youth participants work on specific basketball drills during the morning hours of the camp, and then they get to sue those skills in scrimmages later in the day.

“It’s really cool to help out the community as well as the kids,” Thomas said.


  1. Michael Thomas presents himself very well in front of the camera. He speaks very well, is engaging and has a lovely smile. His family should be very proud of him!!!

  2. Thanks, Dayton

    Good Grounding for the guys; theyʻll all be better role models (despite what Sir Charles Barkley might say), better attractors for the program, eventually, even better dads….

    Good on you, Coach…

    Good Comments as usual, Aussie Mum
    i think Aaron Valdes and Stefan Jovanovich (and Dyrbe Enos anchoring previous camps)…
    All carried themselves well, displayed intelligence, balance and perspective, which along with hard work and high goals & expectations portend long and successful UH Careers and really good lives…Winners, All…

  3. Agreed Aussie Mum, I was surprised at how well Michael Thomas carried himself, especially for being a true freshman. Very engaging, articulate, and well-spoken.

  4. Aussie Mum, Eagle and warriors1, nice comments and wholeheartedly agree, Michael Thomas, very well spoken, and thoughtful. He is one of many UH MBB student athletes who are, just that, good students and good young persons!

    Aussie Mum, same can be said about another Michael, one from down under: Mr Harper, nice young lad as well.

    Aaron , Michael, Stefan, young MBB guys helping Hawaii’s youth, and agree with you Eagle, a THIRD BB camp, I haven’t seen this type of participation by youth with UH MBB in decades. Kudos to Coach Gib Arnold , staff and team members.

    A really good interaction with parents and youth, maybe futhere UH BB athletes!


    And P.S. Aussie Mum, We UH MBB fans are very happy to see Michael Harper, your son, back with his mates at UH! Fantastic!!

  5. Apologies: Edit to above post. My Bad grammar, and typo error rushed! Should read-

    “A really good interaction with parents and youth, maybe FUTURE UH BB athletes!”

  6. that’s what I said about Michael when he interviewed with his dad in a earlier post

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