Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Farewell from the Harpers


News surfaced last week that Michael Harper will be transferring out of the University of Hawai’i basketball program to play at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

Harper, a 6-foot-4 guard from Australia, saw limited game minutes during his two seasons with the Warriors, and his primary role was as a member of the scout team in practices.

He will be missed in a lot of other ways. Harper was a solid student-athlete, one of the hardest workers on the team, and a popular teammate.

Those who have been following WarriorInsider.com closely for the past few years are also aware that Harper is well-spoken and engaging, and comes from a quality family. His mother, Margaret, made a few cameo appearances on video, and was a positive presence in the comments section.

Below are a couple of personal notes sent from Michael and his parents:

It’s true I will be transferring to Simon Fraser University next year situated in Vancouver, Canada. I’d just like to thank everyone at Warrior Insider for their support and well wishes over the past two years!

It’s reassuring to know that there are very solid and true hearted fans out there. To Dayton, because without you we would not have this great medium with which all my friends and family back home were able to use to keep up to date with all things Warrior related and I’m truly thankful they were able to see my progression.

I’d also like to thank all the coaching staff for their guidance and knowledge that has lead me to become a better basketball player as well as the athletic trainers and staff behind the scenes!

Lastly I’d like to thank my parents Aussie Mum and vicariously through her, Aussie Dad, because without them I would not have had this wonderful opportunity of a lifetime, their support over the two years cannot be put into words! Needless to say I will still be an avid fan and supporter of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior basketball team for years to come!

Thank you,

— — —

To all associated with UH basketball and especially WI fans – it has been a real privilege to be part of the journey with you all. To the Schmidts – what special, special people you are and to Dayton for all your hard work and commitment a ‘big’ kiss and thank you. Michael was taken into your hearts and souls and treated like family during his time at UH. As his mother who is half a world away I will be forever grateful for your support for him. He has thoroughly enjoyed his time in the special state of Hawaii. Special memories and special people are never forgotten. Thank you all so much.

Aussie Mum and Aussie Dad


  1. so much respect, aloha and love for the Harper Ohana. Aussie Mum, you truly love your great son Michael. He is a fun guy, a handsome guy, and a hard working student and basketball player. Wish him well in Canada at Simon Frasier, so he can pursue his degree, and if his desire pro basketball.

    Form playhoopsa, winbow, and UHF, who are dad and two sons, same computer, take turns, and similar thoughts, no, we were never the same person,…our family says, Aloha to the Harpers, always welcome back to Hawaii. …we, the fans and people, and the gals of Hawaii say Aloha to Michael, Mick Harper, The Original Thunder From Down Under. A great High Character person. wish you well Michael!

    Aloha. the UHF family represented by playhoopsa exclusively now!
    Thunder From Down Under going to rock the Great White North, Canada!

  2. Dear Michael, Aussie Mum and Aussie Dad,
    We will truly miss Michael’s big smile and great laugh! Although he did not get many minutes in the game, when he did we were jumping out of our seats shouting for him and cheering him on especially when he hit his famous 3 point shot to get the team to their 100 point game! I know the team will miss him, he was a solid student athlete and promoter of all things basketball!

    My son enjoyed many after game moments when he got a high 5 from Michael during the post-game autograph sessions. Thank you Michael for doing videos promoting “every game’s a party!”, and always having a great smile. We will miss Aussie Mum’s commenting on the break downs of the games and cheering on the team.

    You will always be in the hearts of the WI and UH bball family! Take care and good luck to you all.
    The Schmidt Family

  3. Michael now I am crying. wish you were my son or grandson. Truly wonderful family, and Aussie Mum, we loved your posts and Ozi mum’s too. Your appearance at DH classic last couple of years special. And Aussie dad, it is a huge vestment, that Mick will always treasure. We love the Harpers so much, now even our mate, the matriarch is crying, we will sincerely miss you Mike. Never, complained, great sense of Aussie humor, great academic and athletic person. You will do very well after graduation. We will cheer for Simon Fraser too. we hope you win the National title!

    Aloha once again. Gib, and I think it was Akana or Fish who spotted Mike, or Mike sent in his video, and Michael was invited as preferred walkon, who helped one semester as a half time scholarship player to help UH get over the APR hump, he and Ozren, stuck it out last year ..and helped UH MBB be in good stead. Great job guys.

    Come back Michael Harper, you could be movie star, teacher, pro basketball player or even a UH coach some day!
    Best Wishes Michael Harper, going to really miss you…that is the type of athletes Gib should always try to recruit!

  4. Aussie Mum:
    Thanks for entrusting your son to our ohana in Hawaii. I know it was not easy to let him travel so far. You can be proud of your son. He represented your ohana to the highest degree. It doesn’t matter if young men are starters or reserves, we here in Hawaii are appreciative of all who come here to be away from their families.

    We will be keeping tabs on Michael and his continuing journey and hope he drops us a line from time to time.

    Much mahalo to the Harper Ohana!

  5. Michael Harper, Jack Hackman, Isaac Fotu, Aaron Valdes , Mike Thomas, the list goes on and on, great young men. Very high character. A very tight knit group of friends. That is why they won 20 games this year. They were Team cheering whomever on court. Michael with the NCAA D1 experience and maturity will be one of better basketball players and students for Simon Frasier.

    By the way warriorhaw , you mentioned you would be away for awhile, the hardest working on his own time, since he has a regular full time job, Dayton Morinaga will have updates of Summer league, interviews with new and returnees. Plus, google Manoa Summer College League, that webmaster has archives of summer league games. You, and Eagle, servante, Derek, jjay, al, several others, real time fans of UH MBB, of which Michael Harper big part, a nice, nice young man.

    Aussie Mum, give you and Aussie Dad a pat on the back , you raised a very good son!

  6. playhoopsa:
    That was anderpops that will be gone in a little while.

    But I love this site and Dayton and all UHMBB fandom.

  7. Wishing you the Best Mr. Harper. Thank you for being a Rainbow Warrior. Once a Rainbow Warrior always a Rainbow Warrior

  8. warriorhaw:

    My apologies! Anderpops, if you have internet access, Dayton will keep you up to date with interview videos of new guys, returnees, coaches, Summer League hilites if he can…You can also check Manoa College Summer League online, the webmaster does good job archiving whole summer league games. Have a good trip,and we shall hear from you when you come back.

    Mahalo for the correction warriorhaw! I guess so much starting to happen with UH MBB, next few weeks will be interesting and fun!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!

  9. Yes, I still remember Michael, right off of the plane from Australia, and also enjoyed a local style barbecue with team, went into a summer league game, and put up 26 pts. or something like that, he had that smooth left handed shot, high arc shot! Canada look out, you have a Hawaii home boy coming up to burn the nets!

    The excitement begins this Sat. June 28 2014 Manoa Recreational Gym: Manoa College Summer League 2014-

    Saturday 6:00 PM Wealth Strategy Partners vs Clark Hatch Fitness (Isaac Fleming 6’4″ fr UH)

    June 28, 2014 7:30 PM Grantco Pacific(Roderick Bobbitt-6’3″ jr. UH) vs National Fire Protection Co. (Michael Thomas 6’8″ so. -UH)

    That is the league where Mike Harper got his start….and when he hit those high arc 3 pointers, we went wow!

  10. Good luck Michael. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Hawaii. One of my big dreams is to visit Australia one day. You are a great representative of your country. Mahalo

  11. Kiaora, and G’Day Mate, Michael Harper. All the best at the next stage of your wonderful journey. Aussie mum we will miss out chats at DHC but an opportunity for you to visit Canada. We will certainly follow The Thunder from Down Under in his journey.

    Take care and all the best.

  12. Kiaora Tonganator and Ohana!

    Isaac must be in training getting ready for World University Games Basketball Tournament. That is a huge thing. The international teams, Serbia,Croatia, Spain , France can beat the USA squad, I hope New Zealand with Isaac Fotu, just going off, scoring, rebounding, and dunking the ball, plus shooting the 3 ball, will have chance to advance, great experience for Isaac!

    Isaac Fotu, a real Kiwi representative of New Zealand! Such a nice son you have Tonganator, a real chill, laid back, yet very competitive athlete, and did well in school…Like Michael Thomas , who is good friend of Isaac, we wish Isaac the Fro, will have great run in the World University Games agaist the best teams and countries in the world in basketball!

    Aloha Tonganator! Great to hear from you!

  13. Despite limited playing time, Harper was a favorite among Warrior basketball regulars. He was and will remain somewhat of a cult figure, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible.

    Michael, your appearances in Warrior Insider videos will be missed A LOT!

    Thank you to Aussie Mom and Dad for allowing your son the opportunity be part of the Warrior basketball team. I can only imagine the sacrifices you made, but I have a feeling they were well worth it!

    Best of luck in Canada! Will be sure to follow your progress at Simon Fraser.


    p.s.- AUSTRALIA>HONOLULU>VANCOUVER. Three fantastic places! So blessed!

  14. Actually correction Tonganator, I meant Michael Thunder from Down Under, Harper, good friends with Dyrbe Enos, Stefan Jovanovich, Isaac Fotu, real chill, good friends! This team so unique, guys from Canada-Negus, Jankovich,….originally from Bali, Indonesia-Brandon Jawato, Australia-Michael Harper, New Zealand-Isaac Fotu, Serbia-California…Stefan Jovanovich, Nikola Filopovich, and USA mainland, and of course, Enos and Zach Buscher from 808 state of Hawaii, USA.

    Real melting pot of cultures, that won 20 games, and could have been more..pretty soone the summer league here, we get to see Roderick Bobbitt, Isaac Fleming, Sammis Reyes, Tyler Harville, Brocke Stepteau, Zach Buscher(Iolani School, Honolulu, Hi…walkon), Dyrbe Enos, and Mike Thomas,..in summer league Manoa gym…they can practice getting ball to Isaac, plus we can see if these new and returning guys, can hit the 3 point shots with consistency…

    Get ready to rock and roll that Stan Sheriff Center Tonganator, I know season, is less than 5 months away, however time flies, and it , the season opener, will be here before you know it..

    Best wishes to Michael Harper, always a friendly guy and loved by team and fans!

  15. Whenever Michael entered the Game, WE Would Yell,

    “GO Michael Harper ! Shoot Lights Out!”

    o that we know All the Fans in Our Section (And the Next Two) KNOW who he is AND Encourage Team Player Michael to TAKE His Shots — he IS a Great Shooter, Defender, Ball Mover and Team Player …

    WILL MISS Aussie Mum, Dearly

    Harper ‘Ohana News Always Welcome and a Legacy, Part of WI.com…

  16. Thanks everyone for your kind words – we are all overwhelmed by your responses down here. (PS a big kiss to UHFanzonly!)

  17. Aussie mum, much aloha, a great hug and kiss right back at ya. Michael better really appreciate what his mum and dad did for him. A real honor and privilege to play at UH, and do well in school. You have a great son, and man oh man, the ladies, know he is a good looking guy..Hugh Jackman can take a back seat!

    Sorry, because of disability and chair bound , never could meet you and family, however, your posts, fun spirit, and Positive attitude, made this forum wonderful. Son playhoopsa, take over, for my other son and I, same positive attitude for UH MBB.

    The Thunder From Down Under has the best Aussie Mum and Dad in the land of Oz! Oi!!!

    Mahalo Mum..hope the best for Ozi Mum too..she loves Ozren very much as well.

    Aloha, and come back visit when Michael graduates, and perhaps is successful in business or pro basketball!

    Love the Harpers …Aloha and Mahalo!

    Uhfanzonly1. The dad of playhoopsa.

  18. as dad says, cannot think of any reason why, Michael Harper will not do very, very well in Canada. Mike was going up against some of the best talent on West Coast everyday. Mike will be a star on that Simon Fraser team, no doubt.

    Go Mike go and burn down those nets, in Canada, actually Vancouver ,British Columbia, very beautiful place, nice people too. Mike made great choice!

    Side note, on verbal commits,I sill see Riak Bol not committed, wonder if he had to finish that late May to end of June 2014, summer session JC, to qualify for UH? or is Keondre Dew still in the mix..Dew a 3 star, would be huge late get..

    Michael, launch the Thunder,,and now, UH team will be down under, on globe from you!

  19. Good luck to Harper… I think he can play, but the UH roster just hasn’t shaped up in his favor.

    I thought he could get some playing time this past season, but just didn’t work out, and next year there’s more guards coming in.

    I have no issues with this transfer.

  20. Michael, Aussie mum, Aussie dad,
    Good luck and thank you for adding character to the rainbow warrior team which only makes them better. It also makes it more rewarding for the fans to follow the team.

  21. Mahalo Playhoopsa. I didn’t know I could check Manoa Summer League on-line. Will do! Can’t get enough of our 2201-15 team (Actually all UH BBall. Will be in Munich for a week and will try to find some schoolyard pick up games. See if the Germans all play like Stanhardinger (diving on the asphalt and all that). Can’t wait to get back for the playoffs.

  22. Aussie Dad and Mom. Send us a post this season to let us know how Michael is doing. Once a warrior, always a warrior.

  23. Apologize to fotu ohana and wi uh mbb fandom..isaac fotu on new zealand tall blacks senior national basketball team not headed for world university games rather the FIBA basketball world championships which includes a lot of international nba stars!!..
    Huge showcase for isaac fotu..
    Michael Harper good buddy of Michael Harper..

  24. Sorry..must be summer league and uh mbb going strong best wishes to fan favorite Michael Harper..good buddy of New Zealand’s Isaac Fotu!

  25. Verbal Commits is reporting that Riak Bol has committed to Northern Colorado.

  26. Aloha Playhoopsa and all UHMBB fans and supporters. It has been good to have Isaac home, but he is eating us out of house and home!!!! Good to see him and his sibblings going at each other playing ball. He is training hard ready for the international window and for next season. Can’t wait for the starting of the season, but in the mean time busy with the rest of the ohana as their BBall season still in full flight.

    Anyway, keep up the good work DM, I always check in daily.


  27. well…Riak Bol, and Cousins were bigs Gib was keying on. Bol for long time. Keondre Dew 6’9″ 230 lb SF/PF out of Cali, Gib had in home visit back in April.

    I wouldn’t worry. Gib still went to France, and Paris several times, that is where those tall Sudanese bigs are. Have to remember, I never forgot, Bill Amis was spotted in one of those showcase tournaments, he was initially a SG or Wing, until he grew about 3 inches. He turned out to be one of the better self made, hard working bigs, a good one, for Nash and then Gib.

    Remember in last video update about going after athlete who would have to be right fit for UH MBB team, they would not offer to anyone…Gib said they had several guys they were recruiting, one was trying to finalize grades..Know that Gib can sign non binding scholarship agreements up till start of fall semester school.

    Might as well wait for the right fit, whether scoring athletic SF or a PF..maybe even a guy one might consider, a work in progress however is ready to play , maybe JC or international transfer, to help frontcourt…if such a late date, can always hold on to scholarship…maybe Cousins and Bol, that, thing with the policing enitity, going on, JMO, coaches use that against UH…However , UH could use a good defensive big, however, team will still be good with what they have..Who knows, Gib might just surprise us with a under the radar, Vander type, good athlete, however better attitude.

    Until then, we welcome summer league start this Sat. June 28 2014…don’t know if UH guys new will be in town yet, they might be in here for summer second session UH school by first week of July.
    Still business to take care of..1)Thomas, Bobbitt, Stepteau, Harville, Fleming, and Buscher in school and summer league games 2) that ncaa thing pau and good..3)Gib gets a good late get, still can land one up until august fall semester begins..4)finalize that very good SOS 2014-15 schedule with the likes of Pitt, BYU…maybe MIzzou later, and some Pac 12 teams home and home..

    A lot of things going to happen over next month.
    Would be total surprise if Gib locked in a good athlete soon…would be fantastic, or he will let us know , he holding on to scholarship..pretty sure, Akana, Benjy and Gib working really hard 24/7 to lock down, that final piece of the puzzle for next year, if can…JMO …would be real surprise, however that is what Gib does, HE RECRUITS..and has to be a good high chararter, fit UH MBB team and Hawaii, athlete!

  28. Kiaora Tonganator and Ohana! Glad to see Isaac working out with good position and trainer coach in NZ, polishing his game for pro career. I believe your son, will have monster year, great year for Hawaii this year.
    The FIBA Basketball championships, Isaac will be going against NBA talent. it will only make Isaac that much better and a great commodity , when ready to chase NBA or other pro BB dream.

    I never knew Isaac had that many brothers! Wow, a lot of work for Mrs Fotu, I am sure that Isaac enjoys being home, and you and your ohana love having him at home, Isaac hits the weights, he might come back to UH at 245 of solid muscle, would help his 3/4 position game. Wish Isaac has A great FIBA tournament, we will follow all of the scores, and see if local Hawaii cable or internet has games one very soon!

    Mahalo, Tonganator…now Isaac is our Tall Black Warrior! Hawaii fans will be backing him up to a good showing in the FIBA for sure. A wonderful Kiwi, …noticed on YouTube, Ella, really has hi motor game, very good for USA college ball if her desire, you have a lot of athletic talent in your family..Ella, Isaac, and the younger boys, if they grew to 6’9″ with the Fotu talent, the sky is the limit for college and future pro ball!

    Go Warriors, Warrior time..Tall Blacks!

  29. Jake:

    any work in progress. grinder, defensive minded 6’9″ to 6’1″ northeast bigs, not committed, still finishing summer school to qualify for college….definitely Hawaii could use one…if they want to escape the cold of the east coast..

    Makes me think of the San Antonio bigs, including Tim Duncan, not the high flying bigs or super athletic, or monster Shaq, Chamberlain type, just guys with length, who could rebound and guard rim..

    anyway..Hawaii, always been smaller, with some bigs, could always use those 6’9″ + guys..


  30. Jake: would not be surpised if Gib scouring Toronto, northeast prep school late qualifiers for that last bit, 6’9″ to 6’11’.. those videos of Vermont Academy and the Isaac Fleming all star game in Delaware, wow, there is a lot of talent, and those guys are 19 and 20 years old!

  31. sorry WI UH MBB fans, I always forget one of the newbies, that being Sammis of the rocking the rims with power dunks, he might just break a rim!

    So new guys we await, and Key they arrive by next week or enroll, Sammis Reyes, Isaac Fleming, Roderick Bobbitt, Tyler Harville, Brocke Stepteau, and Zach Buscher..get ready to rock that Manoa College summer league.. run and gun have fun!

  32. Isn’t the NCAA should be informing UH about their findings by now? Arnold still have to hire an assistant coach and a DBO. With the investigation hovering over the team, no potential assistant will accept a position until this thing is over.

  33. Derek.

    ..it is like ncaa investigators get paid by the hour or on hawaiian time..ncaa told ben jay findings released within 2 weeks..that is probably most important thing looks like minor correction not huge sanction..it might have affected recruiting of 2 bigs,, plus new oba and assitant might not get hired till september!! Maybe before end of june everything finalized..that iswhy JMO..when 5 new guys here and enrolled in summer school so important..ncaa so darn slow..like servante says ncaa does complete interviews and audit..somehow uh ncaa compliance person should get reprimanded too..should alert mbb as soon as problem..jmo..I hope everything resolved byjune 30 2014..

  34. Obviously there are a few fans in Hawaii that truly appreciate Michael Harper for any number of reasons. I can’t help but notice that Simon Fraser is about a 2 hour drive from the Whistler-Blackcomb ski area. If one has the chance, it would be very cool to catch a game and then catch the slopes on the same trip. Much as catching Hawaii at Davis or Reno and then driving up to Tahoe. Something to keep in mind over the next three years – if the opportunity arises. Could be cool !

  35. Just know that Michael made a wise choice. Opportunity to play, and perhaps be a real leader of Simon Fraser BB squad. He has 2 years, of really tough NCAA D1 experience against great guards and forwards. He will be physically and athletically ready for that level of play. Michael, strong guy, good defender, tough, with that nice leftie 3 point shot.

    You are right Vancouver , British Columbia, Canada, is a very beautiful area..and true for those that ski, or want to take a beautiful trip to Canada during Michael’s season, would be great to catch glimpse of Michael in a game. Who knows, probably clips of his games might be posted on YouTube. Michael as preferred and part time scholarship player, is a real gem, High Character, and loved by team, coaches, fans and his family. Mike we wish you the best, and always. Hawaii will be your second home. Much Aloha and success!

Leave a Response

Login or fill in the fields below to comment. (New user? Register)