Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

‘Iolani’s Buscher will walk on at UH

‘Iolani School senior Zach Buscher, who was ranked No. 3 on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Fab 15” boys basketball team this past season after helping the Raiders win the state championship, said he will accept an invitation to walk on at the University of Hawai’i this fall.

Buscher is a 6-foot-3 guard who was recognized as one of the state’s premier defenders.


“He has good length and he is a really smart defender,” said ‘Iolani coach Dean Shimamoto. “If he sets his mind to it, puts on some weight and gets stronger, and makes the same kind of jumps in improvement he made from his junior to senior year for us, I think he can compete at that (NCAA Division I) level. He can be a guy who comes in to play solid defense for a few minutes when you need it, and maybe even contribute some on offense.”

Buscher said other options included Chaminade, Hawai’i Pacific and La Verne, but he wanted to take his shot at Division I UH due in large part to a longtime association with the program.

“I was a (UH) ball boy for about five or six years when I was younger,” Buscher said. “My family had season tickets, and one of the kids I knew from elementary school was a ball boy. One night somebody didn’t show up and he needed help, so they grabbed me and tossed me a shirt.”

That was the start of a “job” Buscher held until becoming a teenager.

“I would rebound for the players when they were shooting (in pre-game warm-ups), and then during the game I would wipe the sweat off the floor,” Buscher said.

The job did not pay any wages, but came with some pretty cool perks, as Buscher became friends with Rainbow stars like Julian Sensley, Bobby Nash and Matt Gibson.

“Julian came to watch my KBA (Kailua Basketball Association) games,” Buscher said. “I looked up to all of those guys.”

Buscher earned a starting role on the ‘Iolani varsity as a sophomore and played a key role for three seasons. This past year, Buscher averaged 11.4 points per game during the highly competitive Interscholastic League of Honolulu season, including 63 of 79 free throws (79.7 percent). With non-league games and the state tournament included, Buscher also finished the season with 19 baskets from 3-point range, and in the state title victory over Farrington, he played all 32 minutes and finished with 11 points and two assists.

He was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Buscher said he is “excited” to receive an opportunity to walk on at UH, and will begin official preparation by playing in the Collegiate Summer League at Manoa Recreation Center next month.

“I know I’m going to have to work hard,” Buscher said, “but I’m looking forward to it.”

Buscher said ‘Iolani’s disciplined system was good preparation, and Shimamoto said Buscher adapted well to the Raiders’ “team first” philosophy.

“He’s familiar with finding a role and fitting into it, and he will benefit from that,” Shimamoto said. “He has the opportunity to live his dream, and I think he has the desire and the smarts to make it happen. Assuming the athleticism will also be there, he should be fine.”

Below is a highlight video of Buscher during his senior season at ‘Iolani:


  1. GREAT NEWS: Local HS elite talent wants to walkon with TEAM UH MBB!!
    AWESOME!! Zach Buscher! 6’3″ guard. We can use you Zach! and another represent the 808 product..

    Heck with the doomers, whateve, local young guy, from local, family and Gib’s Alma Mater chooses to latch on to UH MBB team!

    Unreal, Mahalo to Zach his family and Punahou!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!


  2. Very, Very sorry WI nation and Zach! I meant to say, you are from Iolani!
    Derrick Low alma mater, not Punahou. Although would be nice if supporters from Iolani and Punahou help team!

  3. Good for the kid but don’t think he’ll make the team. I think we have something like 4 walk-ons. Filipovich, Stepteau, Enos, not sure if Hackman is returning, Harville, now Buscher. Gonna be a fight for those last spots.

  4. ‘Iolani AND Kamehameha Walk-Ons who CAN Contribute is Great!

    PLUS That with a Punahou Head Coach …

    …UH “Should” Be Getting Some (Or Most) of The Best the State has to Offer…

    Along with Cali, East Coast, Toronto and Countries Every Where …

  5. nice Zach, seek out Tommy Heffernan ,strength and conditioning head man for UH and work,work ,eat, lift, eat , lift, eat , eat, lift . Put on 20 pds of muscle in the off season. No problem, yourre young , great metabolism!

  6. Funny, about a little over week ago, possibility that NO ONE, from Hawaii, or Florida would want to be part of UH MBB team. Good job Gib and staff.

    Have a 808 represent preferred walkon, don’ t know if he will have major PT , however Lee, he and Enos are representing US, Hawaii. so that is a good thing.

    Preferred walkons, non binding so they can come and go, however, to keep consistent towards a degree, they usually concentrate on studies, which as Eagle alluded to, is very, very hard to do!

    Welcome Zach , to the Rainbow Warrior MBB ohana, we will be pulling for you. Looks like young guy, his reach is soooo long, he could grow a few more inches, what if he reaches 6’6″ in a year or so, wow, that would help UH a lot. Iolani product, same school as Derrick Low, Zach, from local HS video, very, very well coached, and smart!

    jjay, Eagle, and Lee, we late night followers of WI nation,….good news, is Good news!

  7. As a walk on I’d give him a chance. Why? Because he can play defense, he’s 6’3 and still growing, and just like baseball you don’t really know what you got until he matures. Sure he’s a long shot but he’s got roots not only in Hawaii but with UH MBB. He’s probably had only 1 year of hard training and according to his coach improved considerably. These are the kind of players that could be a diamond in the rough. And I think the passion is there to wear the color green. You gotta follow your dream. Nobody ever thought that John Stockton coming out of little Gonzaga would become a fab 50 player. You never know.

  8. Mmmmh, Hackman had much better credentials but didn’t get much playing time at all and consequently left the program. This Iolani kid really needs to put on some weight if he thinks he can ply D1. Ranked 3rd in Hawaii (or is it ILH) isn’t very impressive at all. Not trying to be a downer, just being realistic.

  9. Congrats Mr. Buscher and welcome aboard the Warrior train. Keep a good attitude and work ethic and be a part of the team.

  10. tavs, did not know Hackman left the team. Is that confirmed or where did the info come from?

  11. Walk ons will start to leave the program as it will all shake out on its own. Having this many walk ons is just not feasible. The best will stay and the rest will move on. Esp since they are all small guards. Where are the big men walk ons?

    Valdes (possibly getting a scholie)

  12. Glad to see he’s going to give D1 a shot. If he can bust his rear defensively, he’s going to get some minutes. If things don’t work out for him and wants to get more playing time, I’m sure Chaminade, Hawai’i Pacific and La Verne will take him in a year or two.

  13. I think every UH coach that has been at Hawaii also holds tryouts for regular University students, trying to latch onto walkon spot. If there was a 6’9″ athlete, raw, but could swat..wow!

    Good news, Sammis Reyes signing, and for a young man to have blessing of parents, and from a fantastic school such as Iolani, to be offered preferred walkon on spot, Fantastic.

    Dayton: know how many signed up for Summer Camp in June?

  14. BigFan, I read it in several of the comments here on Warrior Insider. Thinking about it now, I guess that doesn’t mean it’s official.

    Nevertheless, Hackman had only 11 minutes of playing time this year (tied with an injured Jawato for the least amount of playing time on the team) despite a pretty decent resume – a much better resume than Buscher’s. I hope it’s okay – here’s Hackman’s bio from the UH athletics website.

    A 2012 graduate of Jesuit High School in Beaverton, Ore…starter on 2012 Jesuit squad that captured the state 6A championship and finished 17th nationally in the final USA Today rankings…part of squad that went 26-2 overall and undefeated in league play…one of two setbacks was a narrow loss to No. 1 Oak Hill (Va.) Academy…a four-year honor roll student and Ignatian Scholar at Jesuit…following high school, played one season of basketball in Göttingen, Germany…played for BBT Göttingen, an amateur U19 squad…finished second in the league in three-point percentage and fourth in three-pointers made…second in the division in three-pointers made…also served as practice player for Göttingen Veilchen of Germany’s second division…played four years of club basketball for Elite 24….averaged close to 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists during the 2013 AAU season.

    I’m all about positive vibes on this site, but I’m very skeptical if Buscher can contribute to the team. Saying he was scouted by Chaminade, HPU and La Verne just confirms that he’s not Div.1 material. I don’t see him taking any playing time away from any of our other walk-ons. He looks like a toothpick and quite frankly, his highlight reel wasn’t very impressive, especially considering the mediocre talent level of Hawaii’s high school basketball. They say he can develop into a good defensive player? I only saw a handful of defensive plays on his part and they were all the result of opponent’s mistakes and mediocrity.

    Buscher, if you’re reading this, I’m not trying to put you down. I’m just trying to level with you. I hope you work hard over the summer – especially in gaining significant muscle mass. The difference between ILH and NCAA Div.I is night and day. No one is gonna care that you went to Iolani or that you were ranked 3rd (by none other than the Star Advertiser) in the state. You’re gonna be at the bottom of the totem pole when you’re at UH. This is just a wake up call to hopefully make you work hard and stay humble.

  15. BM just made it official that Hackman is leaving.

  16. Tavs I agree that Hackman had a much better resume than Buscher. He played at an elite HS program by national standards, a very competitive AAU team and played with a European club team. The only other walk on who has similar credentials is Harville. Buscher can be the next albeit taller Lance Takaki type of player.

  17. Dang. I was a fan of Hackman and thought he might get a little more PT this year. Anyhow good luck Jack, hope you find a new team that’s a good fit for your talents.

  18. For walkons very rare get to be star…point being even Hackman want PT and eventually a free scholarship..
    Jack you will do well next stop such great dad and regimen..

    That is why AV take very seriously value of scholarship if you earned it..I kind think he did..

    all guys cherish free education ..rooming ..medical care injuries.

    any 6’7″-6’9″ Hawaii HS BIG OUT THERE? to be invited to walkon would be awesome

    Wishful thinking

  19. News on Buscher and Hackman was on warrior insider first.

  20. Knowing there’s only one scholarship left – I’d give it to Aaron Valdes. Very exciting player to watch when he’s on the court. Very intense, unpredictable, all guts, and by far the best jumper on the team.

  21. I think people making too much out of the walk-on situation. They are what they say they are: walk-ons. They are brought in to be practice players and to help the starters get better with their hustle and desire (which almost all walk-ons have).

    Basketball is not like football and I think that’s what a lot of people here have in mind. In football, walk-ons like Rich Miano, Chad Owens, Bryant Moniz, etc., they can become not just starters, but stars. Off the top of my head, I can’t even think of one walk-on guy in UH basketball history who became a regular starter/star.I also can’t recall any tall walk-ons.

    One walk-on who opened my eyes last year is Dyrbe Enos. He actually got some legit game minutes (not just end of blowout games like most walk-ons in past years) and might have future potential because he can shoot. On the other hand we have to be realistic and if Gib keep recruiting guards like Bobbitt and Fleming, that pushes Dyrbe back down the depth chart. We also have to ask ourselves: if we really want to get to the next level (NCAAs?), should we really be worried about our walk-ons being ready to start?

    With that said, best of luck to Zach and Dyrbe and all the other walk-ons.

  22. Dayton, could you get a interview with Hackman to hear his reasons for leaving the team? Could lead to something interesting

    Mr. Hackman thank you for being a Rainbow Warrior and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

  23. Tabs, thx for the info. Didn’t hear from Hackman too much but was well spoken with a pretty good rĂ©sumĂ© plus only a freshman going on to his sophomore year. Too bad but I guess it was getting crowded.

  24. How about Jawato and Valdes, “tweeners,” not regulars nor just practice players. Believe they started as walk-ons or something like that.

    However, believe our situation is more like feast or famine, we have limited scholarships and need bigs. We are fortunate to have a feasts on “talented” guards. Believe preferred walk-ons have the potential to play D1 and in their cases prove their worth as tweeners and make believers to become regulars. If not, on their own accord they’ll find a better fit.

    Still recall the days when the team struggled with recruiting. Anyways, isn’t participation in sports, also about players maturing into “men.” The work ethic and values learned translate into valuable life lessons. Scholarships are limited, for the non-scholarship players, sometimes it’s the Rudy experience and that’s not too shabby either. As Mayor Kapoi said (grad commencement speech), no such thing as no can do, it’s can do and how to do.

  25. I think the term preferred walkon refers to fact they were on someone’s radar..maybe Gib..or for a couple coach fish…
    Filopovich, another guy working hard to become that winner of scholie , I.e. AV this year..

    true dat…no bigs are floating around unless super well off family in asia to send sons here to chase dream of pursuing ncaa DI ball dream..kudos appreciation to aussie mum boy Mike Harper who is approaching junior year eligibility..

    maybe..another good question for Gib ..why invite Niko..Dyrbe..Mike H…Brocke,..Zach..and Tyler Harville to walkon when that scout team has about 6 guards so far. I think..jmo…for the love of the game..

    maybe a gem in this group..excellent students no problem kids at all

  26. Tako..good points..interesting with the udder thing going WI fan nation having ball talking up hoops!!
    keep it going!!

    Still would think ..one local big would want to chance walkon..say 6’7″ guy.just for one year..would sharpen skills going against Two Stefans, Fotu..Thomas and Sammis..

    Just fantast mbb talk. Great!!

  27. I’d have to check my notes… But i KNOW we have the UHMBB MUSCLE MEMORY Right Here at this site … there were a couple 6-6 to 6-8 prospects from last Summer’s League — guess they talked themselves out of challenging for PT or couldn’t get the paperwork lined up — similar to Benji’s son… those coulda been the BIG Walk-Ons … Sooner or Later there will be a 6-10 Brad Pineau or 6- 8 Chris Walz type who will realize that between coach Fish’s successor and the great talent on this team, he can Earn and Learn his way UP to D-1 Ballin’ Here …

    OR How ‘Bout a 6-7 to 6-9 Aaron Athletic Type,
    able to develop textbook shooting and rebounding skills …

  28. I know Ikaika alama-francis eventually ended up with football..cannot remember if he walked on with Riley old team..
    this year…probably committed to university on mainland.volleyball??

    Daniel Andrews 6’8″ big out of punahou..
    I still think on campus are even intamural guys 6’6″…only thing takes lot of work..the lane takaki rudy model

  29. that Burnett guy, looks like he can play some at guard.

    Past bigs from Hawaii who played college ball

    Red Rocha 6’9″ Hilo High-Oregon St.
    Mufi Hanneman 6’7″ Iolani -Harvard
    Craig Bell 6’11” University High-Utah
    Brad Pineau 6’10” St Louis School-University of Hawaii

    anyone else? James Williams 6’9″ don’t know where he played sometimes see him in Manoa league.

  30. Just read BM’s Court Sense article. Good article. He spoke with Hackman on his reason for leaving, great response from a great kid.

    In retrospect, really like what the MBB is offering. For some players, ‘a chance to challenge their abilities and chase their dreams.’ So much in step with the “American Dream.”

    Kudos to Coach Gib and Staff….

  31. bm, had an interview with Hackman. He wants to go somewhere where there may be more playing time and maybe hope of a scholarship I thinks. Nice kid. Nothin about his leaving because of the NCAA investigations

  32. The import thing for these young men is will Gib give them a chance at playing time and to develop their skills. In the past we had many teams that never got past the seventh man. I think Riley couldn’t count past that number. I think GIb is looking to take advantage of the depth he is developing with quality walk-ons and he will give them the opportunity to play and development. I realize the important role these guys in challenging our starting team in practice but it is important that they know the coach is always measuring them against his starters and/or creating more depth and playing time with them. If he didn’t hold these things out, I don’t think he would be attracting such a quality group of players.

  33. agreed with your above posts. Program seems in good hands. The young guys , everything as preferred and even scholarship athletes are outlined for them, the vision, the goals, etc, before and in between seasons. Then staff , athlete , maybe their folks sit down and make best choice for young lad. That is a lot of good stuff there. Well look and look, a lot of Good things in the program for sure, the staff cares!

    Dayton, we have to see how many sign up for the UH MBB youth camps. that would be good indicator of support, I bet it will be huge turnout, well if economy did not hit the parents.

    Go Bows!

  34. another item. Zach from good family. Support him going to Iolani. A school rich in academics, so we know they are all intelligent. For Zach to make such an honest, intelligent, yet knowing the demands of trying to walkon to DI program, that speaks very well for the young man, the local family and the UH MBB program.

    secondly. Jack Hackman. Willing to go to Germany, mature, sharpen skills etc, before walkon at UH.I think , I am not sure, if Jack was a preferred late get walkon by coach Fish last season. Jack always displayed maturity. For one thing, he is at least 20 years old, so very adult thinking. He expresses his love for Hawaii, same with Shamburger, etc. Another, preferred walkon story, that touches the heart. I still will say, Gib and staff, have a good gauge on the walkons that are invited for spot on the roster. They want good young men, and That is Exactly what they are.
    I look, and look, and look, see a lot of good things about Gib, his staff, and MBB program!

    Getting ready for all to rock that SSC next season!

  35. Check out Brian M.’s latest about movement of Chris and Fish..

    I still looking, looking, looking for that exploding, imploding of MBB, maybe errors, however any movement out from athletes to staff. All had valid reason. And I just like the way that Gib, staff, UH handle each exit, very classy , no negative things, NOT A BAD word either way.

    wish the best to Chris McMillan and Coach Scott Fisher, great guys., and much success, they were instrumental in helping UH MBB to the 20 win season too.

    How BM, and his breaking story , a snippet:
    “Both Fisher and McMillian said their moves were unrelated to the ongoing NCAA investigation of the UH men’s hoops program.”

    that says it all. now search for new Big Man assistant, or movement. Think that Jamie Smith even has coaching experience international and USA.

  36. more positive note: both Fish and McMillan to coach in JC ranks. Chris at Southern Idaho JC, isn’t that where Gib coached , and where Emmanuel Malou went?
    JC rank coaches with HBB connections, sound good, who knows, pipeline?

  37. we better hope it’s connections and not them telling their players not to play for gib

  38. hawaiifan09: I really appreciate your right to the point comments. sure I hope they steer kids here not away.
    Only, thing…think about it WI fans…

    1)Would on last day May 21 2014, despite knowing of ncaa thing, Sammis Reyes with parents support signed with Hawaii?
    2)Would Zach Bausch knowing of ncaa thing, have even discussed with Gib possibility of walking on., he could always go to Chaminade, etc.
    3)Dressler leaving. Rozitis probably gone already. Spearman, Shamburger, Hackman they all expressed thanks for opportunity of coach to play for UH and Hawaii fans, great attitude all.
    4)If anyone has that dagger, that bit of evidence to Kill , death penalty UH , basically for lifetime, I mean interest in MBB , would be zilch…WHY has no former coach, athlete, student , secretary come forth.
    5)Why would Gib still promote and actively recruit? Why not just give up?

    YOU know what it is, mistakes by coaches, staff, athletes, fans, whatever, however NOT criminal, or something so SCANDALOUS..More ridiculous.

    That is why, ncaa investigation, I wish Pau..do what they have to do…however all the guys having left this year, not one word, unless anyone else knows, anything bad to say about Gib, the program, UH or the fans, and Hawaii..All Good..

    When the investigation is done, then we can move on..
    However, UH MBB is not dead, …very, very much alive…Gib has to look for a good Bigs coach..

  39. Sorry to Zach! I meant Zach Buscher! He can be the next great guard from Hawaii HS ranks!

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