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Rozitis wins 2014 Bonham Award

Davis Rozitis’ place among the greats in University of Hawai’i basketball history is now secure. It has nothing to do with an abundance of points and rebounds.

Rozitis, who just completed his senior season with the Warriors, was named the male recipient of the 2014 Jack Bonham Award at the “H Awards” banquet on Tuesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Bonham Award is considered the most prestigious award in UH athletics, in part because it honors the top male and female senior student-athlete who “best exemplifies the ideals for which Jack Bonham stood for in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, public service, leadership and character.”

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The award was started in 1974, and Rozitis is just the fifth UH men’s basketball player to win it. The others are Jarinn Akana (1994), Nerijus Puida (2001), Predrag Savovic (2002) and Michael Kuebler (2004).

Current UH forward Isaac Fotu joined Rozitis as the scholar-athlete honorees from the basketball team at the banquet. Here is the official release from the University of Hawai’i:

HONOLULU – University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball player Emily Hartong and men’s basketball player Davis Rozitis were the recipients of the 2014 Jack Bonham Award in recognition of their outstanding performances on and off the playing field. The announcement was made Tuesday night at ‘Ahahui Koa ‘Anuenue’s H Awards at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The award is given annually to the top male and female senior student-athlete who “best exemplifies the ideals for which Jack Bonham stood for in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, public service, leadership and character.”

Hartong was a three-time All-American and three-time first team all-conference honoree, and will go down as one of the finest players to don a Rainbow Wahine uniform. The Los Alamitos, Calif. native was also twice named Big West Player of the Year and leaves UH ranked eighth all-time with 1,494 kills, a remarkable statistic considering she spent her first two seasons as a middle hitter. Her impact also extends beyond the court. She is an active participant in numerous community service projects including speaking to children and sharing her volleyball knowledge with club coaching and youth clinics. Hartong was a three-time academic all-conference selection and will graduate in the spring with a degree in communications.

“Emily was a team captain her last two seasons and it was her tremendous work ethic that inspired her teammates throughout her four-year career,” head coach Dave Shoji said. “She was never late to or missed a practice and when asked to change positions after her first two years, she did so for the good of the team. She was a leader off the court as well, encouraging her teammates to be better and organizing team activities. She’s committed to doing her best in everything that she does.”

Rozitis lettered three seasons for the Rainbow Warriors. He was a member of head coach Gib Arnold’s first recruiting class and part of a team that won 20 games for the first time in a decade. The Cesis, Latvia native was as a tri-captain for this past year’s squad and, as a junior, was named UH’s Best Defensive Player. Rozitis is a three-time academic all-conference selection and has also been an integral member of the Student Advisory Athletic Committee (SAAC). Rozitis earned his undergraduate degree last spring in political science and is currently pursuing his master’s in conflict resolution.

“Davis is much deserving of the Jack Bonham Award,” said Arnold. “On the court, he has been a big part of our success the last four years. His numbers don’t jump out at you, but his abilities, particularly on defense, have been a huge asset for our team. Off the court, Davis has made it a point to make a difference. He’s a very intelligent and engaging person and it’s shown through his academic accomplishments and his commitment to SAAC.”

Considered the most prestigious award in UH athletics, the Jack Bonham Award is named for the late assistant athletics director who was killed in 1974 in a plane crash in America Samoa. Bonham was returning to the islands from New Zealand where he was on a recruiting trip at the British Commonwealth Games.

19 Comments

  1. Congratulations to Emily and Davis well dserved..both first class young people!!

  2. Congratulations Emily Hartong and Davis Rozitis !

    Total Class Acts!

    Leaders By Example….

  3. Eagle I am with you, following on SA, both side blogs…what is the deal with no mention of Nevels, Jawato, in BM writeup..
    With this visit by Frenchwood, and the preferred walkon of Harville and Stepteau, are our current top 2 guards in place? Nevels and Smith, or is there movement again…Think that at awards banquet, would have to address, who is and who is not with team.
    To have ELEVEN guards, walkon and scholarship is a LOT..where are the Bigs!

    Gib has to get Bigs, …
    Or as Eagle says, is it a changing of the guard?

    We will find out, or maybe Dayton, can have an update of the updates…who is currently , the guards preferred walkons and scholarship athletes coming back. or have some left, or going to leave after this spring semester?
    Well glad that Fotu is coming back, ….could be a WHOLE different looking team next year, Fotu, Negus, Jankovich, Jovanovich,
    Valdes, Thomas, Bobbitt, Fleming, etc..

  4. Not to worry Eagle and fans, BM did not have enough space to include all of the guards returning, definitely Garrett Nevels is coming back, looks like next season will have a lot of guard help..a lot of quickness, with young guns, Harville, Stepteau, Frenchwood(if he commits), and Filopovich, look for a higher pace, with pressure, and guys that can dish, defend and shoot the rock!

    Awesome..UH MBB team going for the Gold! NCAA run,…win several games!!

  5. Hiya, playhoopsa, lots of fans are concerned and would like to see another big. The writing is on the wall. Have the two Stefans, Issac and Mike T; spells depth if we play with two bigs. I see our team similar to the Sidney Moncrief and company era when they played w/ three guards and were a top 10 team. Need to turn our numbers into strengths. Also, won’t we have only one senior player next year? May not want to mortgage the future by being able to recruit only one player for next year.

  6. tako: really interesting the dynamic of Gib’s recruiting. ..Nevels, Smith, Bobbitt, Fleming, very good athletic, guards. Bobbitt and Fleming , the bigger type guards with all around game.
    The Filopovich, from all accounts, he has that DAWG as Artie likes to say in him. he will be good PG and defender. Harville the deep ball. Stepteau, the all around super quick PG and penetrator.
    The preferred walkons, tako, you probably go waaay back, remember the Fab Five, Henderson Teams, etc, I cannot remember UH MBB team having possibly 6 preferred walkons with the program, that is a good thing. Remember a few years ago, that was the shortcoming of UH team Gib era, the lack of great guard play, now, that issue is being resolved.

    The important 3 point shooting cold blooded, with Negus, Jankovich(remember , he will be eligible mid December), Bobbitt, Fleming, Harville, Nevels, UH MBB should have more than one 3 point threat, if Fotu can step out and hit a couple 3’s per game, UH will score as much as or even more ppg than last season.

    The Two Stefans, could handle the 5 spot, Thomas and Fotu the 4. I still think Gib has a good athletic big close to signing. He gets that 6’9″ athletic, rim protector, with the pressure out front from the athletic quick UH guards, look for UH to be better defensively.

    tako…this 2014-15 season, will be a Huge One. The season we have hopefully been waiting for, by year 5, UH will have a lot of depth at guard, wing, SF’s , better shooting and defending..
    If UH plays, with two bigs and 3 really great guards….UH can go NCAA and win some! That would be HISTORIC..will await the announcement of hopefully, for depth sake of a good athletic rim protecting big.. That would seal the deal for this season tako!

  7. if Jankovich were ready for NCAA big boy defense and were eligible first game of season..tako, check out this starting lineup, just the experience and ability alone..

    PG: Quincy Smith(with a better outside and FT shooting ability)
    SG: Garrett Nevels(with more strength, better defensively and ability to finish and one at the rim)
    C(hybrid): Stefan Jankovich,(with the better defense, and ability to go outside and in)
    PF: Isaac Fotu(with ability to breakdown defender, pass out of double teams quicker and shoot the 3 ball)
    SF: Negus Webster-Chan(the beast to unleash, all around game and 20 pounds stronger, unlimited 3 ball range.

    That starting 5 could have 4 or even 5 guys able to hit 3 pointers, and finish at the rim. With solid Defense, It definitely, if they are altogether as ONE OHANA, team and win first, before stats, that team with great solid depth, could be top 40 team or better..
    No wonder, Christian states, and Gib and staff are excited, even with the exit of Shamburger for next season., ..The team will be very athletic, potentially better defenders and shooters.. 20 games, how about 26 or 27 wins and BWC tourney title? NCAA and win 2 or 3 games..as Negus says, shoot for higher goals, don’t settle for less. why not, challenge for NCAA D1 title…this past March Madness, showed that any team in country that got hot in March, can win a championship!

  8. Whew that was some long commentary hoopsa,yes any team can win, we hope no more one and done next season, we gotta get betta so we can move up to the Mountain West Conf, the Big West sucks, we need to get back to playing our old rivals like Unlv, Utah St, Boise ! Gotta win conference title next year!

  9. hey Poorboy, from poorboy too(!), have to keep flame of UH MBB interest high.
    Poorboy, I just hope that Gib signs a big or two to help defend the paint, that is the weak area, depth at the 4/5 spot on defense, a couple of rim protectors!

    From one poorboy to another Poorboy!

  10. Hope you all have great time at Awards Banquet. If could go, we would go.

    Only Real Concern, the expanded investigation by NCAA, what is going on?

    Will it put damper on ceremony and any recruiting?

    Seen this before, in the seventies, hope for the best for UH MBB program!

  11. maybe the holdup on contract signing? what a downer this is. Still hoping best for Gib and UH BB program. No one knows details. So we just let it play out. Hope for the best UH BB fans!!

    This should be the most interesting Awards Banquet in decades!

  12. KEY for tonite: Will Ben Jay be there at the MBB awards banquet, and be supportive of Gib and MBB program. If he is there, that is total commitment, we shall see..

  13. Congrats to Davis. Optimistic that he has a good speech ready.

  14. Horsssse: Very telling if Ben Jay is there, and Shamburger. Will Davis, Christian and Spearman address the state of UH MBB ..they all say it is in good hands, and look forward to UH doing well.

    Like last year, when UH had everyone there, except, Vander…even Garrett Jefferson, and Manroop Clair were there, showed solidarity, plus Ozi …

    Darn..I hope UH awards banquet, Gib will say they are on the verge of signing a good big or bigs, pretty, soon. if UH is ongoing recruiting, then hopefully the NCAA thing is good…if not, it reminds me of the letting go of Red Rocha, Larry Little, etc, at awards banquet, and the sad past of UH MBB.

    In behalf of hundreds of followers of WI UH MBB, we all hope the best with results of NCAA probe. whenever they are in town, they look for anything..hope UH just made mistake, the thing will be corrected and any sanction discipline will not exclude UH from post season, ..maybe scholies.

  15. Agree — Lookin’ For GOOD News out of Awards Banquet…

    The Bad, The Junk WILL Still be Waiting Tomorrow And The Day After Until they are Resolved….

    Tonight IS To Count The Blessings, Express Appreciation

    Spiritual Law: What You Appreciate, Appreciates… Increases, and is More Likely to Repeat…
    Another Way – Where the Attention Goes, The Energy Flows…
    So All of Gib & Staff’s Massive Efforts — despite the Boo Birds —
    Attracts and Results in Our Improving Players…etc…

    And Sometimes Bad Things Happen Anyway
    But The Good to Great Press On…

    Mahalo to Dayton, Schmidts, Gib, Players and Staff
    For an Improving, Growing Program…

    [FTR, However it All Turns Out
    Looking For An NCAA Endorsement of Sorts

    Even IF Only because they Quietly Go Away….

  16. Eagle:

    looks like all the team that could be there was there at the awards banquet. Pretty upbeat ceremony and nice way to end season.
    Hoping for the best, very positive comments by coach.

    What is your take Mr. Eagle of UH MBB? Good Awards banquet..think so..

  17. Gib: “we are building this program the right way. We are cutting no corners…”
    In other words. Gib running good clean program. Maybe mistake made, however hope NCAA resolves quickly, and UH MBB off and running for title chase 2014-15!

    Good Positive Banquet!

  18. +-Tive…

    Great that even Shamburger respected and honored The Season and The Seniors…

    JMHO… I would Challenge The Tip of The Senior Spear…
    JMHO… WHY NOT “Struggle” through a SECOND WINNING College BB Season (Next Year)?
    YOU Never had one before…
    SO What if there are 25 or Five other Guards…
    You’re the Returning Starter, TOP Conference Assists Man on the Top Scoring Team…

    Either Way, Get Your Degree…

    Gotta Love the Teammates?

    +-Tive

  19. Playhoopsa. Help us east coast followers out. When u referred to SA and BM in an earlier post what do those stand for? Also, I know it would be very expensive for Hawaii to recruit on the east coast but I think a good salesman good get some great talent if they went to some NEPSAC tournaments in Dec, January and February. Those kids travel 2 hours on bases to play when it is 5 degrees with a foot of snow outside….perfect time to sell Hawaii….In my opinion.

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