Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Meet the Warriors: Michael Harper


Michael Harper is looking at his time with the University of Hawai’i basketball team as a four-year plan. Last year – his freshman season – was all about learning.

He is hoping that his current sophomore season will create more opportunities for playing time.

“The (freshman) year definitely helped,” said Harper, a 6-foot-4 guard. “Playing with such good caliber players definitely improves your game, no matter what. I think I came back a very improved player. I think I learned a lot of lessons last year and I’m just planning to use that for this year and improve some more.”

Harper received limited action as a true freshman last season, and will still have to work his way up the depth chart this season. It is a task he is willing to accept.

“Whatever the coach needs, whatever the team needs,” Harper said of his role. “I’m ready to play when ever he needs me. Support the teammates as well – be loud on the bench, be ready to go off the bench as well.”

The left-hander is one of the team’s options as a 3-point shooting threat, and he went 2-for-3 from beyond the arc in his limited game time last season.

Harper is the program’s first player from Australia, and he is not afraid to admit that his favorite NBA players are his countrymen.

“Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut,” he replied when asked about his favorite players. “Got to go with the Aussies there.”

He also wanted to clarify that some of the food served in Australian-themed restaurants may not actually be Australian. “Definitely not the blooming onion … never heard of that in my life,” he said.


  1. Aussie Mum and Dad and Harper Ohana. Aloha!
    Finally, the interview we have been waiting for, from the “Thunder From Down Under” that Austrlian super young man, student, fan favorite, and great hustling 3 ball shooting UH MBB athlete, Michael Harper!

    Our family really likes Mike! He is a team player, and great for other guys to be around . A true warrior!The Harpers did a good job in raising Michael. He will help team, with defense, and his tenacity, and of course that deeeep rainbow arc 3 from the corner!

    Take care Aussie Mum and Ohana, this year 2 of Michael Harper, we hope he can bring “Thunder” from the land down “under” at the Stan Sheriff Center. Wish , I could see in person, however, homebound. hoopsa, goes when he can to SSC. He is impressed with the whole team circa 2013-14. You all enjoy your annual visit to Hawaii, and hopefully can see team win the Diamond Head Classic!

    Mahalo and Aloha, to the Harper Ohana.
    Uhfanzonly1. and boy wonder Hoopsa!

  2. Mahalo Michael, Aussie Mum, Dad and ʻOhana,

    Michaelʻs hard work and readiness to help and contribute are apparent. Heʻs lookinʻ much more ready at all times, knows what he ought to be doing in each moment; under control, looking for his teammates and opportunities to make the pass, drive or take the shot — lookinʻ ready to shoot quicker, more in the flow and natural; weʻre lookinʻ forward to the instant offense and solid defense off the bench, and iʻm wonderinʻ from the testing/team metrics IF Michael is still The Fastest or among the Quickest; definitely looking forward to his increased firepower and effectiveness In the Game!

    Glad you all get to visit @ The SSCenter and share a bit of Hawaiʻi!

  3. Hey Mike H:

    What a difference a year made.
    Really showing your Aussie toughness!

    Found the need; Satisfied that need >>
    You be career successful; TEAM goal also continuously successful!

  4. Dayton, mahalo plenty for the profiles of each athlete. Very special. You have been doing it from first year of Gib. Thank you. We get to know the guys individually, their goals, likes, hobbies, major, what they have to work on, and if they like being in Hawaii. As a true media guy, and the best online, with video site with forum , you have All Things Covered concerning the Men’s Basketball Program. And, as Valerie Schmidt pointed out, you do this after your full time job, and on your spare time. Incredible job. You have a core, of a dozen or more contibutors to this forum, who always say thanks, look for the good in people, and we say mahalo to you Dayton, and WI, its great sponsors, for doing the great service for UH Men’s Basketball. I am sure that Gib , his staff, the University and the athletes and their families appreciate you so much.

    Once again Mahalo!
    And Aussie Mum and Dad, I echo n2joy and Eagle, Michael Harper’s game, has improved over one year. He is just so much more in system, knows what to do, where to be strong with the ball, make the pass, when open, he will shoot it, that is his role. And he plays, Defense, like a true Aussie, defending the goal!
    Go Bows

  5. Hey coach Fish:

    Never too late to help TEAM recruit.
    Harper mentioned that the now famous powerful center Andrew Bogut.
    If memory served me right: UH had heavily recruited him when he is still available!

    Our TEAM as good as they are, realistically has a NEED for that type of Aussie center!?
    Forming an all-Aussie one-two-punch to knockout those Anteaters, etc..

    SSC expansion or LEH (Larry Ellison Hale), HB5C (HI Big-5 Centerium), CBBA Ching’s Basketball Arena) all big & new basketball facilities couldn’t come fast enough!!!

  6. Aussie Mum and Dad: How do you like the new UH Basketball Uniforms? The front of the pants looks a little different. I don’t know if different sport apparel company. Know that this year, Michale will proudly wear “Harper” on the back of his jersey, earned it. If I had 5 sons, I would like them to be like Mike. There should be a fan section in the SSC stands with signs, “thunder from down under” and “We Like Michael Harper”, if opponents, or hope not, our own fans, are booing, hold up sign, his fans, “Don’t Harp On Harper!…Aussie Mum, I don’t know what happened to Jamie Smith, maybe he is still stuck in Great Britain, great promoter of UH BB with Gib’s backing!

    Go Aussie Lad, Go, “Man at Work”…Who could it be now?….Michael Harper draining 3’s!!

    Go Bows!

  7. n2 –HOPE The ORACLE TEAM Leader catches Wind of Your Naming Cotest — OF COURSE He’d Also Want to Increase Hawai’i’s Count of National Sailing Championships, too

    ORACLE — i use their Products @ Work and they Work Fine! –would be a Fine SSC Court/Arena LOGO…


    WORD’s Getting Around !

    The Esteemed Postal Service Employee who handed me my UHMBB Tickets this morning, says,
    “I hear, ‘They’re Supposed to be Pretty Good this year…'”

    RE: “Glad you’re hearing ’bout it…
    Come Out to the Games !”

    For those who can’t i’m glad All Home Games are Televised!

    Tomorrow, Thanks to BYUH.
    we’ll have a Better Indication of how well this Team Functions, Executes…


    People fly all the way over here from Australia to (visit their son and ) see this team!

  8. Does anyone know how the closed scrimmage with BYU-UH at BYU went

  9. Borrowing This Space from The Harpers…

    HOOPS TALK Radio ESPN AM 1420 HNL Weds 7pm with Coach Jackson Wheeler, Radio Color Man Jeff Portnoy (JP) and Guest, COACH GIB ARNOLD, Also Second Guest UC-Santa Barbara Head Coach Bob Williams (who says UC Irvine is “Loaded”) and Open their season at home against Hawaii Pacific University…

    Some Notes:

    GIB: Overall Team: We have Concerns with Post Defense and Depth [especially with Dressler sidelined for the season]; we expect to be Better on Pace and Tempo although we were already one of the Faster and Higher Scoring teams in previous years; our style goal has been more towards a Solid Defensive, guard-oriented team, and we’re closer to that style this year… we’ll play a Quicker Tempo and I think be more Efficient at it; any one can play Fast; Can you also Play it Efficiently/Effectively?…We’re not as Big on the perimeter; we’re smaller but quicker but still need to cover better; in scrimmage, a Big Guard, like Negus dropped seven threes on us…in the past, we were a Step Slow…

    We don’t have a lot of Big Men, we emphasized recruiting of guards/wings, even BYUH, you’ll see, is Bigger than us; but Speed killed us in the past…we needed defensive schemes to mask or cover for our slower players.

    NEW RULES: In our (earlier) scrimmage with BYUH, The referees applying the New Rules triggered 47 free throws for BYUH; and the game was a lot slower (because of the free throw stoppages). The new rules will not allow Physical hands, No Arm Bar on the backs of Post Players, No Arm/Forearm on hips; there’s pretty much No Charge-Blocking — you can only hit someone with your chest; No Taking of a Charge except by the Primary (Defensive) guy; no step-up secondary defender; once offensive player picks up the ball he can run into the defense.

    Starting Line-Up versus BYUH: Christian & Isaac @4/5, Keith Shamburger @ pg(1), Garrett Nevels and Brandon Spearman @2/3 which are pretty much interchangeable. Quincy Smith is a little banged up with a sore back, but when he’s in as a slashing pg and defender, may slide Keith over to two as he’s better cutting and shooting off of screens.

    We can go real small with Mike Thomas and Aaron Valdes and three guards …

    Jeff: Is 4-5-6 in Big West reasonable? Do you see us in the Middle of the Pack?

    GIB: I Never see us in the middle of the pack; always see us at the top; MOP could be reasonable based on the past, but it will be shown on the floor….

    ———– After Gib left…

    Jackson noted Shamburger’s playing better; Garrett Nevels currently struggling with his shot, but he will be solid; Quincy, solid; Fotu should have a Break-Out year.

    UCSB Coach Bob Williams noted that UC Irvine is loaded, with 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye [ a four-star Top 100 recruit] and many other Bigs, and good guards…Long Beach will be better than people seem to think — they’re looking at what LBSU lost instead of what they still have; Cal Poly is for real…

    JPortnoy listed the Pomeroy Pre-Season RPI Predictions:
    1- Cal-Poly 152
    2 – CSU-Northridge 164
    3 – LBSU 169
    4 – UC-Santa Barbara 172
    5 – UC-Irvine 193
    6 – Hawai’i 207
    7 – UC-Davis 231
    8 – CSU Fullerton 266
    9 – UC-Riverside ~277

    NEXT WEEK: 1) UHMBB Season Preview (expect Coach Gib again), including detailed Preview of Rainbow Classic (Tennessee State, W.Michigan & NMSU); 2) Guest UN.Carolina Coach Roy Williams.

  10. ROB T: That was a closed scrimmage, probably stop and go deal. If Coach Gib sees things need correction, he stops play, changes players or teaches. They have referees, and shot clock, however, like in football, they call it controlled scrimmage, not a real game.

    As Eagle alludede to, the real pre season test, with BYU-Hawaii at SSC 700pm admission free with canned good food for Hawaii food bank. That exhibition game, the real deal, Gib can run his first 10, and run guys in and out, try his different Defenses, see how the guys can run, shoot, when lights are on. Should be smallish crowd, however, always gracious of BYU-Hawaii, probably through the Brandyn Akana connection to have this game, important prep for both Hawaii and the Seasiders!

    Hey, Eagle, after tomorrow’s exhibition, only about a week till ..BOOM…Rainbow Classic, and we can see, and you will be there hopefully front and center, to watch the new edition of 2013-14 Rainbow Warriors. Should be good matchup. BYUH has some size, and always has shooters.

    Go Bows!

  11. Thanks Eagle, UH has to make sure they understand new rules as ROB T. always alludes to. And their defense has to be fundamental, move with the feet, don’t guard with the hands. Plus that Block /Charge, and who takes charge should be interesting. Guy once picks up the ball, and can go right into defense, interesting, whoever can go to the rim, without traveling double dribbling could have advantage. UH seems, has to really have solid quick defense, maybe that trap, full court , go after clean steals. These new rules, seems to slow down, overall pace and increase real time clock of the game, games, end later. We shall see. Good teams and coaches will adjust. Time for UH to get to work, see how much better they do in Exhibition against BYUH tomorrow!

    Enjoy Eagle, the Rainbow Warriors, I hope you can relate to us how they have improved since last Green White scrimmage, or what they still need to work on!

    Thanks for report Eagle!
    Another Rainbow Warrior Insider, All things UH MBB!
    Go Bows!

  12. I guess Aussie Mum, you have to text, Michael Harper, and have him ready with his defense when he goes in, seems, with rule changes the guys that adapt will do well. Mike is a smart BB athlete, he will do well, hard working Aussie Lad!

    Go Bows!

  13. Hi everyone – thanks for all your support for Michael – we really appreciate you all looking out for him.

    Go Bows

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