Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Meet the Warriors: Stefan Jovanovic

Stefan Jovanovic considers himself lucky to be in Hawai’i. Only three years ago, he was attending high school and learning basketball in Serbia.

At the age of 16, he moved to Southern California to attend Bishop Montgomery High School and learn the American style of basketball. After two years at Bishop Montgomery, he is now a true freshman center with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.


“I’m still not sure how,” Jovanovic replied when asked how he ended up at UH. “Probably just a lot of luck and my hard work … I guess Coach Arnold saw something in me.”

At 6 feet 10 and 235 pounds, Jovanovic already has the size to play in the post at the NCAA Division I level. However, he understands that he is a true freshman and has four seasons to work on his game.

“As Coach Gib says, rebound and block, set screens – that’s my role,” he said. “When you’re a freshman, you can’t really be the leader of the team … I can not just move into the program and be like, ‘I want every ball.’ I have to go through the process where I am just a role player, and hopefully become something else.”

Although he has been living in America for three years now, Jovanovic has not abandoned his roots. He said he still listens to Serbian music, and misses his mother’s Serbian cooking more than anything.

At the same time, he realizes the advantages of living in Hawai’i. “A lot of going to the beach before practices started,” he said. “But right now I am pretty much practicing, going to school and sleeping.”

As for the pronunciation of his last name, it definitely has a European sound. See the video above to hear Jovanovic say his last name.


  1. Welcome, Stefan; and Mahalo, Dayton,

    Another Nice Guy, Hard Worker who has height, physicality and moves & finishes well;
    Great choice of teams and role models — That Team style and teamwork will serve UH and your career well…
    and Youʻre doing your family proud…hope you find and develop a taste for the varied and great (as the world-class cuisinists note) food of Hawaiʻi over your years here…

  2. Great interviews Dayton, Mahalo Plenty!

    Aloha , welcome and Mahalo to Jovanovich family for allowing Stefan to play BB for University of Hawaii.

    Eagle, if you notice, and you are “sharp eye…as an eagle!”, in my opinion, Gib is outlining role for Freshmen, be it, preferred or LOI, before, or during recruiting trips. Plus, after summer , and into preseason, Stefan, Nikola, Mike T., Jack H., RS Fr: AV, CD, DE, all, to our knowledge, know already, what is expected before season starts, and into perhaps post season.

    Pretty sure, if a RS or True Freshman, just explodes, goes off, for points, blockshots, rebounds, i.e. turns out to be another co-freshman of the year type, they would contribute more or in different ways.

    That is a learning curve for young HC Gib, and it is paying off so far this year. The young men, know, as I stated before, what their roles will be GOING INTO SEASON. That is a good way to do it.

    Love the attitudes of all the young guys, They can be cornerstone of great UH MBB teams in next 3 years.
    This year, the Senior and Jr, and Soph, year, plus the ONE OHANA freshmen, NCAA, I know to a man, that is their goal.

    Well, Eagle, it all begins, in a few weeks!! Wow. It seems like only a few months ago, we were posting comments about other things MBB related.! I am excited to follow Stefan’s development, as well as how team does. I think they can have a good season. Keep on working hard guys.

    Also: Stefan is 6’9 and something, in shoes, 6’10”, might explain, his being very, very agile, shoot either hand, block shots, go up for shot(that is coach Fish training)without putting ball on floor, when under basket, and running as well as Davis. Stefan, great and needed addtion to front line . We also, need, hope he is okay and getting better , Caleb Dressler, highly skilled and smart BBIQ center, very good one too!


    Eagle, very soon, rock that Stan Sheriff Center. A few hundred, and possible few thousand, hard core MBB fans, and hopefully growing, getting anxious for season to start!!

  3. Hey Jovan,

    Welcome again to the Aloha State.
    We are flattered that you’re enjoying your stay!

    You are a very fortunate young man, who is in the right place at the right time >>
    Hawaii has an excellent & complete program to develop all-in talented athletes exactly like you; You can be as good & accomplished as much as you allow yourself to.

    Future is bright; Opportunities abound.

    Make your parents, love-ones and Hawaii proud!?

  4. i also think it is Really Smart for Gib to lay out a Few, Well-Defined Objectives and Goals, especially for young, start-up players … Focus on Defense, Rebounding, Setting good picks and screens, Challenging/Blocking shots, handling the ball with minimum turnovers, running the offense, getting to the right spots, finding your teammates…

    (i think) he knows that good to great College Teams are generally Two, or better Three, All-Around Go-To Stars, surrounded by Good, Effective Role Players — The Clearer the Role(s), the better the focus – less confusion, distraction and overwhelm — or worse, trying to do too much (NOT Criticism, but as an example, maybe Quincy in the Summer League Championship Game, trying to do too much — but in large part because ʻthat teamʻ had not practiced enough together, didnʻt know each otherʻs strengths nor how to mesh…)

    SO (i think) more important to their Overall, Long-Term Career is to Learn to do Each of The Skills Really Well — at a High Level of Excellence, as opposed to being a ʻdistractedʻ jack-of-all-trades (master of none) — EX: Josten “could” rebound or even play defense well, when he remembered to do it….instead of All the Time…

    it probably also makes for clearer “accountability” — here were your goals for this year; youʻre tracking along a too-slow or good, or better, etc., learning curve … at that rate, youʻre more/less valuable than a new recruit…

  5. Good comments Eagle and n2joy. Stefan is going to be a good Big!

    Eagle, you make valid points. Me , personally, that huge roster of 17 including RS in waiting Negus, definite reason. Preferred walkons, are told the deal, you can have spot on roster, this what is expected, possibly earn a future,full MBB deal,etc, also, I like what you stated about Quincy.

    He does not have to do it all, although was noted, that Gib likes his desire to be assertive, agressive errors in practice scrimmages, rather, than omission , lack of trying to make something happen. I think Q is a smart one, he of the, really qualifier out of HS, yet went one year JC. And now full ride sophomore. Pretty sure, Gib spells out role, and vision for Entire Squad, you are right from Seniors to Frosh!

    And , there goes the reason, why all NCAA MBB programs, staff and players sit down after the season, to see if goals were attained, met, or regression. I think , and hope, this group of 17 takes the higher road. As long as with UH Manoa, and part of program, they are ALL IN.!

    Great bunch of student athletes. As for Quincy, just handle ball, run sets, play solid D, get ball to shooters, hustle plays, rebound out of guard spot, and just get settled in, remember FIRST year for him NCAA D1, I think Q will be alright.

    Another, writer, had interesting, statements about AV and MT, and their sky high flying dunks, exciting stuff, too. Pretty sure Dayton will have video, when Aaron and Michael, come out of their shell, NO SCARED of upper classmen, just be a Baller, and they will shock and excite the SSC!

    Have fun this season Eagle, our family will, Cannot wait till start, and hopefully see UH MBB string together a good pre BWC record, then go to war for The BWC tourney crown!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors: P.S. Eagle, I think a lot of other viewers, read our posts and feel similar, they are really looking forward to UH MBB and see what they can do!!


  6. So far, so good, thanks Dayton for the player profile videos. After watching the videos multiple times would like to see cleaner passes, what do you all think? Henderson and AC are good examples of the type of passes I am talking about. Still concerned about turnovers. Believe the guards have good handles so don’t think they’ll get their pockets picked. They definitely look and act like one strong Ohana. -Go Warriors

  7. playhoopsa, Eagle, n2o4joy, Uhfanzonly1, FUHA and die hard supporters of UHMBB.. Man you guys are starting to beat the war drums harder and it’s getting louder as we get close to the begining of the season.

    I feel good and excited about this season. I can’t wait to bring the Kiwi supporters over for the DHC in December (there will be a few of us). I think there will be shortage of Poke when we leave the Island… lol

    Great students athletes coming on board. Welcome Stefan, Jack, M.T and others, no doubt D.M will post interviews.


  8. tako: As always good observations. Yes, if could have Tom Henderson, AC Carter type PG passes, clean, right on the money, with Fotu, and bigs, wings able to handle and receive, would be awesome!

    I think with Shamburger, Nevels, Smith, Enos, Spearman, even Jawato and Harper, the guards, and even possibly 3/4 guys hybrid Aaron V and Mike T, will clean up the on court passes. Remember, Gib did stop practice or scrimmage if guys, were, jumping up and not on level ground to make good pass, cause turnovers. With the extra 2 weeks of practice, and a host of NEW GUARDS, believe it or not tako, finally, and with due respect to the past guards, a handful of guards, who have better handle.

    With repetition and being in tune with other guys on court, team still working on being ONE, that is where the lower turnovers come in. However, if Gib gives green light for guards to push after made and missed baskets, sometimes, more turnovers. Well, Gib can pick up some pointers, from Pitino, he had one of the better PG’s in the nation in Siva!

    Hey, tako, remember Mark Campbell? He was a solid PG, reluctant shooter, rarely turned over ball, very quick with good hops, made very smart passes. As well as out of the 3 spot, Nerijus Puida, who was a great passer. Tom and AC , once, every 10 or 15 years come around, however, pretty sure, Sham, Nevels, Smith, Enos, Spearman, etc, will take care of ball, however the receivers of passes have to have good anticipation hands too, otherwise, like Tom and AC, some of their assists were misses.

    At Green White Scrimmage and BYU-Hawaii exhibition, especially, we shall see the difference from the past 3 years of backcout play. I think there will be a marked improvement. Only can get better since the guard line, is much more athletic, and Nevels, actually can play the Point too. pretty good handles. We shall see. Look forward to a great year tako, hopefully. I think the guys are ready to go get the BWC crown!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  9. Let’s get the season started already, Basketball is our only hope for salvation.Football’s been a disaster so far.

  10. Look back in history of UH MBB, back in the day, long time ago, Football, even though NCAA small college division was tying to be the driving force behind UH athletics. UH MBB pre Fab Five was an afterthought.

    Yes. Sad, Football, those guys work as hard, as MBB athletes, just sad situation.

    A good showing by MBB can help all us UH athletic supporters, get out of doldrums!
    Actually I wish all of the UH althetic teams success. However, this year 4 of Gib, he has some athletes, let’s get some Wins!! 😀

    You are right, GAME ON!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    Jump ball!
    Tip off!

  11. Greetings, Ella, Tonganator:

    Went to Sat’s Black & Green teams scrimmage – Big Isaac was the most outstanding player (dialing long-distance 3’s)..

    Even more significant is the fact that my man has completely recovered from his knee misfortune; He will be performing better and stronger throughout his career with the TEAM!

    Followed your lead; Watched Ella’s online video numerous times. Overwhelmingly enjoyable –
    ~1. Exceptional ‘Basketball Sense’ in shooting touch.
    ~2. Excellent finesses.
    ~3. Total self-confidence in cut and slash (zig-zag’s like nobody is around).
    ~4. Relentlessly competitive for rebounds or loose-balls.
    ~5. A Rolls-Royce motor.
    ~6. Unstoppable run-n-gun all over the offensive court.
    ~7. Fan drawing power of 1,000(+) extra per game averagely.

    Would this be a good time for both Isaac and you to establish contact with the Wahine Basketball Coach Beeman?

  12. n2joy: glad we can talk about Gabriella. She is definite basketball talent reminds me of Shawna lei Kuehu,who was one of the best talent out of Hawaii in past decade despite injuries..

    Tonganator has talented children!!

    Brother Isaac is ready to take his game to next level! !

    Game On Fotu Ohana!!

    Go Rainbow Warriors! !


  13. Thanks, hoopsa:

    Surely love to see Coach Beeman grant her an offer, invite to visit, liable for an early 2014-15 signee.
    Ella should be a sensational UHWBB player for next season, duplicating the style of Standhardinger,
    who greatly impacted the successes of theTEAM, be the unique brother-sister basketball attraction,
    boosting the much needed fan support for both; Reminds the winning Coach to exclaim “This is exactly
    how I used to play!”.

    re: ~7. of my last comment should be realisticly stated as “Fan drawing power possibly can be 100’s more each game”.

    Shawna Lei’s achievement was phenominal considering her two time knee operations & self-denied
    ‘non-starter’ minutes (I shook my head many times watching her)!
    More of the same all season long and hope NCAA grant her another for next year.

    Ella and Shawna, the two ladies epitimized ‘DEDICATIONS’.

  14. The new rule changes are here and I think that we are in a great position for them! We have a lot of players who can play, they are faster, and free throws have been an emphasis. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9830285/rick-pitino-john-calipari-bill-self-coaches-torn-rule-changes-2013-14-season
    I had brought this up during the summer league play that the referees did not seem to know that these changes were coming and did not implement these rules. We may not have the liberty to redshirt anyone other than transfer sit outs. Free throws will be extremely important! Will the referees in the green white game be versed in these new rules?

  15. ROB T: Seems to force defender to play fundamentally sound defense, UH quick guards and going to rim guys benefit. Always said team has to be excellent free throw shooters. ..UH MBB and having potentially 15 man active roster makes a lot of sense now.

    Go Rainbow Warriors! !

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