Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Meet the Warriors: Aaron Valdes

First off, his name is Aaron Valdes, with an s and not a z. He is hoping to become a recognized name with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

Valdes, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, will finally be eligible to play in games this season after sitting out last season as a redshirt freshman. He gave fans a glimpse of his high-flying skills when he placed a close second at the slam-dunk contest prior to the start of last season.


Valdes has a 41-inch vertical jump, and will be looking to put it to good use this season.

“I think my role this year is going to be mostly defense for us,” he said. “We have a lot of good scorers on the team and they’re going to get their shots. I’ll just be there to pick up the trash, play defense and get the rebounds.”

One of Valdes’ advantages is his versatility. His size and skills are suited to playing the shooting guard or small forward positions; however, due to recent injuries to other post players, Valdes has been seeing practice time at power forward.

“What ever helps the team out the most,” he said. “I feel comfortable at the (power forward). I know Coach is giving me a lot of reps at it, in case Fotu or Christian get tired. I also have to start learning the wing … so probably mid-season I’ll probably start playing little more at the wing.”

Valdes will be wearing jersey number 23 this season, but he hopes to change it next season. His first choice was 32, but it was already taken by senior Brandon Spearman.

Valdes will be the favorite at this year’s slam-dunk contest, which will take place this Saturday, October 19. The Warriors will participate in a Green & White scrimmage, and the slam-dunk contest will take place during the event as well. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and admission is free.


  1. Aloha and welcome finally Airon Valdes. Ready to rock and roll the Stan Sheriff Arena, along with Mike T. the A & M Aerial Show! Hi flying slamming dunking, doo wah diddy, mighty mights!

    Look forward to Tribe V.’s son, to soar and soar!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!


  2. Mahalo to the Valdes Ohana for letting your son be a part of a growing and potentially great UH MBB team for years to come! Appreciate Aaron’s hard RS year, and summer time working on game and physical build. Great shape! Must be that water polo All Star cardio background! water polo, one of the most rigorous sports in the world!

    Look forward to your, 3 point shooting, rebounding, help with steals, weakside blocked shots, and guarding the rim. Running with the guards on the wings, and going in for the slam or pull up J!
    Same with Mike Thomas, you guys bring a lot to that 3/4 spot, that was missing last year. And, by all reports, Aaron and your buddy Mike Thomas, are getting better, battling every week! Great , news, hope to see you all in March Madness!

    Have a great year Aaron, and thanks to Tribe V. family!


  3. Hey Ozi Mum! A shout out or hello from Aaron Valdes! Wear number 23, I believe was Ozi’s number last year.

    Hope Ozi is doing well as well as yourself . Take care, I am sure same feelings from all the WI ohana family!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

    Aaron Valdes, very nice young man, as are all the 17 guys on team!

  4. Aaron
    It was great to see you at summer league. You played with so much confidence. You have presence on the court.

    Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday at Green and White.

  5. Aaron! Congrats on Summer MOP…
    More Important is just that it ought to let you know
    You Are Capable of even more than you might think is possible, much less probable…

    So, good reasonable goals and expectations are fine to ensure your success…
    as long as it doesnʻt keep you from shooting for the sky and flyinʻ high!

    Thanks also for the reminder shout out to Ozi & family (Please give us Ozren updates, Ozi Mum!)

    Good to Win the SD Contest… weʻll mostly be counting the in-game Posterizations!
    Can you and MT slam more than rest of the team combined?

    Have a Great Season and Famous Career…
    In Advance, Mahalo for All ʻDat…

    Fan and Student Stand-Up Favorites…

  6. Hey Valdes,

    Last year, your elbow-to-rim dunkunstein captivated fans & earned the name ‘Airon’.
    Then, unexpected NCAA clearinghouse holdup.. agonized them & keep them praying.
    Late admission might be cause for RS.. further disappointment for the concerned-ones.

    One full year of improvement opportunity translates to muscles, BBIQ, role assignment, etc..

    ‘Can’t wait’ sentiment is obvious for everyone to see the start of the winning season>>
    ~1. Reality check.
    ~2. Success degree to be critical.
    ~3. Healthy concern justify.
    ~4. Management of the ‘sports psyched-out’.
    ~5. Adjustability to pressures from official, opponent, new rule, teammate/coach.
    ~6. Performance of coaching, playing.
    ~7. Relentlessness.

    Everybody-gave-his-best is something worthy of Hawaiian Pride!(?).

  7. Aaron you got the raw tools to take your game to the highest level. You just need to prioritize your life and put basketball ahead of girls, parties, beach, etc…Hard but can do. You have 4 glorious years ahead of you to develop your game physically, spiritually, and mentally. Just a steady focus of eating and sleeping basketball. You can get there but it takes discipline day in and day out. Devone Bess was a talented slotback for UH. But it was his unrelenting work ethic that gave him a home in the NFL. That guy warming up at 5am each morning was non other than probably the best player on the team—and we had some good ones on that Sugar Bowl bound team. I can see you in an NBA jersey one day. You just gotta want it more and focus more than anyone else. But dedication starts now not 2nd year or 3rd year or final year. Good luck.

  8. servante,

    Excellent words for Aaron, and all the guys. Up to them, to dedicate, time, in gym, weight room, class, running, diet, focus. I can think of three former UH MBB in last 19 years or so who were dedicated, maybe not first team all americans, however, very focused and they made the NBA as free agents.
    1)Trevor Ruffin
    2)AC Carter
    3)Predrag Savovic

    All 3 , focused and dedicated. Aaron could do the same, as well, as anyone of the UH MBB guys, if they want to make it to the highest level. The NBA has a lot of guys on roster, who were free agents, not drafted , however, were signed, and some major contributors through the years.

    Aaron, has the physical attributes, I guess what you allude to is the mental attributes. The one goal, get better, day by day, year by year, and Aaron can reach for the highest goal. NBA. Would take a lot of work, however, that is what it takes to make The Leauge! Hopefully, several freshman, sophomores, make it to Pros after their senior years!

    Go for it Aaron and Mike T. dedication and focus, as servante says! As well as all 17 or the UH MBB ohana!

  9. As Brandon pointed out…
    Can hardly wait…
    We all get to share in and see…
    Saturdayʻs G/W Scrimmage
    Exciting Times

    Hey Bigs! The Challenge, The Gauntlet is cast…
    Christian, Isaac and Davis provide the “Front Line”, The First Big Wave
    BUT New Rules Contact Fouls, Illness or Injury (pray & prefer not) But…
    Just a Matter of ʻWhenʻ, The Call is Coming
    So Get Healthy, Be Ready, to Give Your Best, to Answer the Challenge
    We Have Faith, in your abilities and Hard Work,
    Stefan and Caleb, AV & MT…
    Our Next Wave of Front Liners
    Your Time is Near, Your Growth and Challenge Converge Here and ʻNowʻ
    Youʻre On Your Way, Youʻre Making It…

  10. Eagle- Should be fun! Enjoy the scrimmage!

    I think Gib, is letting ALL the guys, from senior to frosh have shot at PT and contributing. With the change in NCAA rules on hand checking, block charge etc. UH could have advantage with skilled, guys that go to the hoop. Should be exciting,. The freshman have chance to play this year without RS year. Fantastic. If several play out their roles, and expand by February, March, lookout BWC tourney, hope the MBB team will be ready AS ONE OHANA to go dancing.

    As in years past, the first glimpse for public, was not Midnight Ohana / Madness, it was Green vs White Scrimmage, great games, a lot of scoring, and back in the day, a lot of dunking. Just hope the guys stay safe, and healthy, as you say Eagle, please NO major injuries or ailments, until the soph and frosh are ready to pitch in after half a season, or sooner.

    These guys are in great shape, very, very competitive and shout out to coach, have them disciplined and focused, however let them have FUN too Gib, shoot, slam, and run. Eagle, the real beginning of preseason, this Saturday 700pm, SSC Green/White Scrimmage!!


  11. Hope our young Big Caleb, who has been so patient, rehabbing, and healing back, is okay physically,. I really like Dressler. Very high BB IQ center PF big one. He can pass, go to rim, nice left handed baby hook, has that elbow jumper, rebound, smart center who can help body up to other teams’ Bigs.

    Get well Caleb, hope you can make it to Scrimmage, if not, just heal up well, back injuries take time!
    Very soon, when you are ready, look out the rage of the Pacific Northwest, CD is in the house!


  12. Letʻs Get it Started!

    CAN GIB PLUG IN Some of Wednesday and Thursdayʻs Louisville Lessons as soon as Friday or Saturday Morning?

    IF Not Yet, then surely the weeks to follow…

    Swarminʻ & Flyinʻ Around the Full Court…
    Forcinʻ Turnovers and Fast Breaks would be Fun And Devastating…

    They would seem to have the bodies, the numbers and the quickness
    more like what Gib says he wanted and prefers…

    With one or two Deep Bigs to Challenge @ The Rim…
    ALL, Christian, Isaac and Davis can Run and Challenge
    Among the Best in The BW…
    and Stefan, Caleb, AV & MT Learninʻ to be…

  13. Scrimmage fun introduction to the public, for the UH MBB with names on their jerseys! They have earned the respect of coach after 3 years. Fantastic honor! Represent, self and your ohana!

    Eagle: Key , the exhibition game against BYU-Hawaii, finally, before start of regular season, UH MBB team can go against, someone other than themselves! That should be a real indicator, on what to expect early season for the Rainbow Warriors.

    Thanks to Laie, and BYU-Hawaii Seasiders for agreeing to that pre season game. A benefit for UH and the Seasiders. You know it will be a battle, Manoa, vs the North Shore’s pride and joy!


  14. Gib oughta get HPU and make The Hawaiʻian Sweep (UN-) Official
    (assuming we have the team that can do that…)
    some years we woulda been swept away…


  15. …and AV Should Lobby Ben Jay for a Menʻs Water Polo Team while he still has eligibility …

    Na Wahine Water Polo is Also Top Ten/Top Five Most Years…

    Based on the crowds SSC had with Menʻs VB Stars (and a National Championship we should petition to Re-Claim)…
    Athletes without shirts should be able to charge admission/break even or better…

  16. Well, after this post, soon be Sat, October 19 2013, 7:00pm at SSC. Green White Scrimmage. Hope all of the 17 will be there, and maybe 16 or 17 can play
    . Caleb and Niko, hope you guys are on the mend!

    One thing, No UH Football tomorrow(probably a good thing, those poor guys, let them heal, and get ready to end last half of season on good note. football is crazy violent collisions!), and No UH Wahine Volleyball BWC match.

    So, a free admission for public and of course on campus and off UH students, would be great to see nice turnout there tomorrow nite! And better than midnight madness, it is not at Midnight! Really early time!

    At least 2500(?) hopefully will come out. Parking still have to pay, unless, park and walk in, should be fun!
    Finally, we get to see the guys, run some of their Offense and Defense, in a game situation.

    Have fun UH guys, should be entertaining glimpse to see Negus, Stefan, Keith, Garrett, Quincy, Jack, and Mike T., guys that we didn’t see last year on the Stan Sheriff Center court! Hopefully Caleb is well and can play too.!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    Nice to see, how many of the guys can stroke it from 3 point land. Christian, Isaac, Jawato, Spearman, Nevels, Enos, Hackman, Valdes, Thomas, Harper, and hopefully Quincy, who is working hard on getting his 3 point shot, working. He , Q, should actually, work on his floater, actually he has

    (obvious from videos that he is a set up guard rather than offensive threat, however, to keep defenses honest, fine tune his outside shot)that running, and hop to the rim, hook floater that is pretty effective. He should then, work on a 17-18 foot money shot, then..work out to 21 feet.

    Important Quincy and all the perimeter guys, shoot Free Throws well. I believe Quincy, Garrett Nevels, and Keith Shamburger all have pretty good Free Throw shooting form! So key this year, get fouled, and have to shoot the FT’s to win games!


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