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Recruit on the Radar: Joshua Ajayi

Joshua Ajayi understands he still has a lot to learn in the game of basketball. It is why he plans to attend a prep school next season rather than sign with an NCAA Division I program.

He said several NCAA programs – including the University of Hawai’i – have expressed interest. If potential is based on raw strength and athleticism, Ajayi is worth tracking until he is D-1 ready in 2015.

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The 6-foot-6, 250-pound forward is a 2014 graduate of San Gabriel Academy (Calif.) who has been impressive during the recent summer AAU circuit. He averaged a double-double as a senior at San Gabriel last season, and has put up similar numbers this summer. He was a first-team All-California Interscholastic Federation selection in the 5AA Division.

“Raw,” he said of his game. “I have to polish my skills. Most of my career I played post, so I’m trying to make the transition to guard play.”

Ajayi is a solid 250 pounds, though it appears even his physical training is raw — he said he rarely spends time in the weight room. “Genetics,” he said with a smile when asked about his build.

Ajayi is originally from Nigeria, but has been living in the United States for the past eight years. He started playing basketball just five years ago (he was also a volleyball standout at San Gabriel High).

Although he is qualified to play college basketball during the upcoming 2014-15 season, he said another year on the prep circuit could create more opportunities. “I’m going to do my prep year and then I’m going to decide,” he said. “Hopefully I get more (offers) after that.”

He said that Hawai’i was one of the schools looking at him “early” (along with UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge and Idaho).

“They came to one of my games during my high school season when I was playing at the Staples Center,” Ajayi said. “I was real excited about that.”

He added that he has already done some research on Hawai’i, and is hopeful that the Warriors remain on his list.

“It’s a beautiful place,” he said. “That would be exciting if I was able to get an offer. Hopefully I can step up my game and hopefully they like me and decide to make me an offer.”

— — — — — — —

SUMMER LEAGUE UPDATE

The standings for the Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League got a lot more interesting after Thursday’s results at Manoa Valley Recreation Center gym.

Wealth Strategy Partners upset first place Chosen Few, 103-93, and Solar Universe remained in contention for a coveted top two spot with a 95-81 win over Grantco Pacific.

With just two more dates in the regular season remaining, Chosen Few remains in first place at 6-2, but is followed closely by Clark Hatch Fitness (6-3), Wealth Strategy (5-4) and Solar Universe (4-4). The top two teams from the regular season will receive byes into the semifinals of the playoffs.

Former Mililani High player William Broadus scored 31 points to lead Wealth Strategy to the victory over Chosen Few. Former UH forward Bill Amis led Chosen Few with 30 points, while former UH point guard Jace Tavita added 19.

In the second game, former ‘Iolani School and Washington State standout Derrick Low scored 26 to lead Solar Universe. Former UH forward Christian Standhardinger led Grantco Pacific with 20.

The Summer League will continue with two games on Saturday at Manoa Valley. Please visit http://basketballsummerleague.blogspot.com/ to view complete game videos.

33 Comments

  1. Dayton…do you know if Gib and staff are not going to recruit anymore players for this upcoming 2014-15 season..
    Seems like they are targeting for future years..

    Mahalo.
    And thankyou for all the videos!! First rate!!
    🙂

  2. Mahalo Plenty to Schmidt Ohana and Pacific Risk Solutions! Thankyou for sponsorship!
    🙂

  3. Just my guess unless Gib and staff pull rabbit out of the hat, late good get PF or SF athletic.

    This would be roster for this coming season 2014-15 which would be very good.

    PG: Quincy Smith , Roderick Bobbitt
    SG: Garrett Nevels, Isaac Fleming
    SF/Wing: Negus Webster-Chan, Aaron Valdes, Brandon Jawato
    PF: Isaac Fotu, Michael Thomas, Sammis Reyes(hope he gets in to UH!)
    C: Stefan Jovanovich , Stefan Janks Jankovich

    Preferred walkons: Dyrbe Enos, Nikola Filipovich, Brocke Stepteau
    walkon: Zach Buscher

    Total available guys, active roster and scout, 16.

    12 scholarships used. With one to keep handy, for mid term transfer or late get.
    IF recruiting that LAST scholarship for 2014-15 is not used, no one available, the right fit.
    That is JMO… I think, that is what Gib and staff are doing now, projecting, making offers, contacts, for 2015, 2016 and 2017.. have to keep recruiting, keep up the talent pipeline.

    Eagle we still could be surprised, however, more important probably that Sammis gets ncaa waiver!

  4. I can read and it’s right there in black and white that he wants to hone his game and gain more offers.

    Doesn’t sound good to me at all, yes, you want to keep contact but… . And if that is his goal, I would no wonder why, if he ends up coming to UH instead of the Bigger name schools.

    He’s a big body and I like his honesty though

  5. Joshua Ajayi looks like he would be a natural as offensive tackle. Maybe a recruiting call or two from a football coach could open up a world for him. Don’t know if he could make it in the NBA, but he looks like serious NFL material.
    Sammis plays like Charles Barkley and shows an all around game, inside, outside, and a lot of dunking. All signs show he may work out very well. No waiting. Maybe Joshua grows a few inches, like Mike Thomas, and then work on his ‘in the paint’ game. But he is good to go for some lucky football team now. Maybe he just likes basketball.

  6. He’s got the power game down alright. Did not see any shooting though. I would assume that’s the area he needs to work on if he wants to play D1. Otherwise his game will be limited especially if he wants to play guard. If he goes to an academy does it mean he will give up 1 year of eligibility? That would be tough. It’s hard to work on guard skills in a game especially when coach wants you to stay in the box. Maybe the coach at academy is making an offer to him: play for me and you can focus on developing your ball handling and shooting skills.

  7. Too bad wasn’t. 6’9″ we need help frontcourt this year..one thing those aau and jc sowcasecjuly tournaments. Have a lot of bb players..even late get..we might be surprised by one more PF for this year..or Gib shut down for current season additions!!
    Should be exciting to the last second ..see if two key guys added this yesr?!
    🙂

  8. Sounds like UH hasn’t offered yet. Yeah, he looks like a tweeter and would make a great foot ball prospect.

  9. Another Tony Akpan?
    🙂

    Wonder, neat that WI went up to Las Vegas the huge AAU showcase for uncommitted, and future prospects.
    Still , as Eagle always posts, would be neat, if Senque, Benjy, and Gib have a guy in waiting, 6’8″ defensive athlete who they would sign to shore up front line, since Sammis coming down to wire.
    Sammis, Bro, we hoping for you!
    From Chile to Florida to Hawaii ! Beautiful spots in the world to play some hoops!

    I just think a lot of things could be coming to that last second 3 point shot for the win, hopefully..
    with this crazy, upper campus thing.. ties up,… who will sign off on Laura and Gib and all the other 10 coaches contracts…? Shoots!

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    And Tonganator, Go The Mighty Isaac Fotu, 42, Frotu, Mighty Warrior and Tall Blacks!
    🙂

  10. HEY FELLOW WI FANS.. we have to give great shout out to, DAYTON DA MAN MORINAGA.. Dayton, if you are in Vegas, doing the reporting, the video, the editing and interviews by yourself , you are a Super hero! Wow, great job.

    I speak in behalf of maybe, hundred, couple of hundreds that will even read my same old, Positive, cheer squad, go Bows, repetitive stuff about program… however, you have allowed me to do that for going on 5 years and I appreciate it. Ones, like, warriorhaw and Tonganator(huge supporter of hoopsa, I appreciate Isaac’s dad!), I am just trying to keep Flames burning until first game of season!

    Really look forward to updates with Gib, Que, and Benjy, how going with recruiting , going out to 2015-17, and IF they still looking for a PF for THIS YEAR.
    If anyone will have latest, real time, update, locked and uploaded here at WI, it is Dayton and his staff.
    Kudos to Schmidt Ohana, and private donors… we cherish the site.. I have time,so love to post anything positive, as tako says: KEEP it Good and Positive, I will!

    Go Rainbow Warriors, and Dayton look forward to the next video interview with coaches, and possible recruits, love it.. UH MBB, despite the other stuff upper campus affecting lower,… MBB still rock and rolling!

    Go Bows. Mighty Warriors, and Tall Blacks!
    🙂

  11. @ POCHO

    I saw the interview a little differently.

    When asked what schools were on his list, he said “USCB offered, University of Idaho, and Northridge. That’s about it.”

    When asked “Have you looked up what it’s like in Hawaii?”, he replied:
    “Oh yeah it’s a beautiful place. It would be real exciting if i could get an offer. Hopefully I can step up my game and hopefully they like me and decide to give me an offer.”

    Seems to me he’s on Gib’s radar, but I don’t think he was offered a scholarship. I guess Gib invited him to be a walk-on.

    If the three aforementioned schools and UH offer him a scholarship next year, I bet he’d choose Hawaii. I don’t think any big name schools are interested in him. And honestly, I didn’t see much in the video that would merit such interest.

    What’s incredible is that he said he doesn’t spend much time in the weight room! Damn, imagine if he spent just a couple hours a day lifting and doing leg presses,squats, etc. He’d probably be double Sammis’ size.

  12. Thank you Dayton, Schmidt family, and everyone else involved in making this site so successful. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s used as a recruiting tool.

  13. Servante. Kids that play prep ball is like being in 13th grade. Doesn’t use up any college eligibility.

  14. gibnogood:

    Yes, that is right. A lot, I think even Julian Sensley? went to one. Helps them academically, as well as physically and athletically, get better , skilled in their sport. A lot of good athletes have come out of prep school.

    In fact, I didn’t know until, we had a prep school guy here, that the prep schools, I don’t know if now.. used to play junior college teams. Maybe there are so many prep schools, they just play each other. That is why, a prep school guy like Isaac Fleming is 20 years old!. More mature, and gotten better after Gib/Benjy saw him as senior in HS. It is similar to playing one year of Junior College ball.

    Boy if Gib had a pipeline of SF’s and PF’s that would walkon, maybe one or so a year, that could work towards scholarship, that would be something.
    Still think the eternal recruiters, Gib, Que and Benjy are not giving up on that possible PF for this year. unless, Gib says, the recruiting for 2014-15 is Pau, done, finish, and they will save scholarship for next season or mid term transfer.

    WI fans, hard to believe August! However, soon, the returnees in mainland will be coming back to UH Manoa!
    Isaac Fotu, still international ball, come in a little late,granted a later start in school by NCAA , if you are playing FIBA world championships!

  15. Three star, Ray Kasongo, 6’9″ 235lbs from Canada is back on the market after Oregon refused admission

  16. Osocold:

    Wonder if he is from Western Canada or Eastern… like Toronto…maybe Negus and Janks know about him?
    Well, 3 three hard working recruiters, for UH MBB, and I guess one more, go for it!
    a 3 star big, very good, like Jankovich!

    So, still out there…..only thing.. wonder why Oregon refused admission, academics higher than UH?

  17. We’ve been looking at a bunch of 6’6 guys that look more like football players…6’9 with hops that likes to defend the rim is hard to come by i guess

  18. Playhoopsa this is the Josh Ajayi I was talking about a few weeks back not the point guard lol. Personally I think he’d commit if we offered. He tweeted that he can’t wait to leave Cali a couple of days ago…

    As for Kasongo we have no shot at him he already has a new top 3. The guy we should be targeting is Gary Gaskins 6’10 senior transfer from Oklahoma State.

  19. TAVS,

    yeah, that’s what I kinda mean, If Joshua is working on his game in the prep league and only BW schools are offering then… .

    You know he’s a big body and would expect the Big Boy Conferences to offer if he was really that good. I’m not putting down the player, he’s only been at it for a short period originating out of States.

  20. Maybe Q can do a better job of recruiting for UH next year. I mean, it’s kinda of a last minute hire and really late in the recruiting process. Maybe he could work on a really good player come early next year recruiting.

    I feel Gib could secure a mid-year recruit like past years, seems it worked out pretty good the past years.

    Negus-Chan
    Jankovic

  21. dannyp:

    Mahalo. I am the cp3, poor guy, well, same person. Really appreciate you and sportsbow, that is a ton of work you all do, searches, and getting the info. on possible commits and recruits. Outstanding job. Been following both of your blogs for years now, thankyou!

    danny, funny they have Two guys with same name. I think there is another Mamadou Ndyiae(sorry for wrong spelling!) too. A smaller athlete.

    I was thinking the same. He tells Dayton, that he considering going to prep school, however he qualifies for NCAA D1 schools now, BWC type. I think with the touch and go, really squeezing to get Sammis in, wonder if Gib would offer Joshua a scholarship? He could develop at UH. Que could work with him on his guard skills, however, I think he would have to be like Sammis, a 4 or 5, he is so much bigger, a man among boys in that AAU clip. Speaks really well, seems like a nice guy who just might fit Hawaii. We need those type of players!

    dannyp, thankyou in behalf of hundreds of UH MBB fans, you and sportsbow are really spot on, and appreciate what you do. Ever since, before the Fab, loved the recruiting aspect, Jim Halm, Bruce O’Neil, were recruited by Rocha, then Rocha recruits Nash , Henderson etc. till today. Sammis, Bobbitt, Fleming, recruiting is a game in itself, just have a few of the right ones, team can go long way.

    Mahalo dannyp!
    🙂
    Still have hope that Gib is still trying to secure that last scholie for a PF, a 4/5 rim protector, just a role guy, who fits, if not, well next year.
    Pocho, correct too, we have to assume Sammis gets in late, so if scholie still available, with Nevels pau, would have 2 to give for next season.
    We wait and see!
    🙂

  22. Gary Gaskins 6’10 senior transfer from Oklahoma State.: thanks dannyp, would think if Gib and staff really scrambling, they must have him on their radar, at this point even though late, interesting, there are 3 star athletes who decommitt, or just haven’t committed at all yet… a race to the finish, 5,4,3,2,…. Gib shoots the 3, from 30 feet, 1.. buzzzzzzzzzer.. Gib locks in Gaskins at the buzzer, would be wonderful late summer prize!
    ahhh, dannyp, we all can hope!

    🙂

  23. Got another question. In prep school do the credits count as college credits and can be transferred to UH? If can then I’d say good move if you don’t have any offers. I think it would still be better to go to a school and get a red shirt. But the offer has to come first I guess.

    He’s got to be kidding. If that’s natural muscles (no lifting) he should consider Mr. Olympia. Seriously. And if his muscles are all in the right places he could be the next Ronnie Coleman. You gotta go where you are gifted and Mr. Ajayi got some serious muscles there. But that’s further down the road I guess. Body builders peak all the way in their 40’s so he’s got time to do other sports.

    One thing I’ve noticed about players from Africa. They are well mannered, hard working, and most importantly they have this urgency to succeed. I really do hope that Joshua gets his chance to come to Hawaii. These are the kind of kids that can elevate their games if given a chance.

  24. Servante: what I understand about prep schools is not a lot but it goes something like this:
    1. If you have your 30 “core classes” 9th thru 12th grade then prep school can only help you if you choose to retake a core class and you do better you can replace a previous core class to help improve GPA. I think you can only replace one or two.

    2. Prep schools were originally used alot by really rich parents with trouble kids. Trouble with attitude, grades, etc….but has since evolved in the last 10+ years into a way kids can simply have one more year to mature and put them into a better situation athletically and/or academically before becoming freshman in college.

    3. Athletes use it many times instead of junior college because it doesn’t use a year of eligibility up.

    4. Most prep schools are very, very structured in everything they do. They try hard to teach kids self discipline about getting work done on time, etc…

    5. Most prep schools offer very few college courses (if any) that can be counted as credits toward college. I expect that to change as attending prep schools become more popular each year.

    I may have some of the details slightly off but that is the way I have had it explained to me over the years. Hope that helps.

  25. Gaskins seems to have lots of baggage. How much time do you want to spend on a possible distraction when we have so many young’ums this season?

    If it’s a late season get, it’s gotta be a good one. Most players take a year to learn a team’s system and get adjusted.

  26. I hope Coaches have checked out this kid from Indiana U., Peter Jurkin. He is a true 7 footer with shot blocking ability. As of today, he has not accepted any school. He will be a junior who may have an extra 9 games coming back to him on appeal from the NCAA. He does have some minor baggage, but was never given any real playing time due to medical reasons and the death of his father in Sudan.

    At an athletic 230#s he could be our stopper in the post: http://www.nbadraft.net/players/peter-jurkin.

    Regardless IF we get anyone else for this upcoming season or not, we have height, speed and with good guard play, you are always in the game. Our biggest hurdle will be learning to play with each other. We will have three good opponents on the road early to see just how good we are before the Diamond Head Classic…Can’t Wait!

    GO BOWZ

  27. Backbeat…
    with possible(sammis coming in) 12 scholie athletes..and All wanting to play..it is about team and attitude..great to have a nevels..bobbitt..fleming..fotu..negus..at least 2 or 3 guys making smart plays , not afraid to take..and
    make …..big shots. Will…be exciting…cannot wait…
    🙂

  28. Speaking of Prep schools, North Broward Prep – Coconut Creek, FL… that is where Sammis graduated from. Wonder if just a Florida High School or Prep, that 13th grade?

    Sammis, and Negus, and Isaac, all working the muscles, the core, when they get the cardio down, too, along with another 7 or 8 guys , for total of 10 or 11 in rotation getting a lot of PT minutes. then UH MBB can be ready for that March BWC tourney run. Just don’t run out of gas.

    Hope the whole team, including Mike T., Brandon J, who is rehabbing, Roderick, and the guys in Cali working, strong, .. if they all have abs like Sammis, Negus, .. shoots, what a great conditioned and buff team. Just have to have lithe BB strength like Allen Iverson, the smallest guy, however tough son of a gun! Loved his heart and effort, very strong to basket too.

    Silence is DEAFENING… no news , yet on UH MBB front, recruit possible or finalize, or waiver front.. Very soon school starts, … before that in couple of weeks or less, the returnees, since not freshmen, will have that first chance to move into the upper classmen dorms, I think.. so very soon..

    The Summer league, getting very competitive and testy… Thomas in action tonite, hope his back is okay!

  29. gibnogood: you sure you on the right forum? Just joking. Well, thanks for information on prep school. Did online search too. Lot of HS kids opting for either JC, play freshman year, then transfer to D1 school for 3 years. Micah Kroeger, Vander Joaquim, Quincy Smith. And those that opt for Prep school. Those parents must have some money. Especially the international ones. Man cost a lot of money to send them far away to school. However USA basketball land of opportunity, and good basketball and academics to be gained. Set young guys up for grad from college and future possible pro ball. Not too many of thousands, make it to Pro Ball, however Hoop Dreams right?

    gibnogood, I hope Gib Is Good with team this year… Year 5, should be NIT or NCAA year…payoff..we shall see, for sake of Hundreds, maybe thousands of viewers of this site, that Gib, and staff, recruit good people and Gib and team can make it to Big Post season tourneys.

    One thing I appreciate, about Gib, he has good Dad, and mom, supportive wife , hard on her a lot of times, NCAA DI coach , a lot of stress too, and his 5 great kids, One, of whom I think soon to graduate. Well, Let us see, WI fan UH MBB nation, really hoping and I think you too..that Gib Will Be Good this year and for 6 years to come. ! I believe, he can stabilize program, and keep moving forward with adjustments, and getting things in order, Gib Will Be Good for a long time for Hawaii MBB program, just like how I hope Laura Beeman, will be good for years to come for WBB!

    🙂
    Go Rainbow Warriors! Go get em Gib, reel em in, hook em up, and WIN!
    🙂

  30. BM reports Mike Thomas resting back. Take care, since hurt it last game..so no MT in summer league tonite and no Zach Buscher..bummer..however soon guys back as whole team and start school in three weeks…get ready to rock …uh mbb preseason workouts soon begin..

    see gibisgood!!

    🙂

  31. Nice Thread, Dayton

    UHMBB ‘Program’ showing Depth, Skill, Knowledge of Supporters

    IS GNG new name for NMNash?

    ———-

    Donate — Grab & Give Out Some of those Empty Seats
    i have a hard time imagining anyone who enjoys Quality Basketball Not Enjoying this year’s team…
    The Crowds @ Manoa — like the Loyals at old Honolulu Stadium,
    should join the Noisy Students around Sections ‘E’, F & G

    ————-

    i guess prep school gives ‘newly serious’ students a fifth-year chance to build study and personal time-management skills, and work out their bb skills in the game (versus only practice), then they can take on D-1 Level building in the next phase…
    …while PT, growth and maturity builds a lot, even Community College/JC doesn’t approach D-1……weighing his options…

    i think IF a player can step up, learn and handle it, he might get more done in one to two years redshirting @ D-1…
    [Dyrbe, AV…]

    i expect the coaches are monitoring his Prep School (or for others HS, JC, redshirt) ‘Learning / Improvement Curves’…
    to see if he projects to progress fast enough in UH System.

  32. Eagle: Just some late nite , slow time, UH MBB recruiting musings…

    I wonder what happened to the overseas recruiting. Know this past year, Gib went to France, Paris has a lot of those Sudanese immigrants from Sudan a Former French Colony. Lot of good and tall athletes. As well, as the Eastern European. In the NBA, several, from Serbian, Croatia, etc, , good athletic bigs, that can protect rim, are there as well. A lot of tall, talent international that can play NCAA ball and even make NBA. Toronto , Canada… (however , great recruiters will not tip their hat, they might know of prospects, we don’t know about, and verbal commits, don’t know about too)

    JMO, and maybe right, getting the international guys into USA getting much harder to do. i.e. last year, Harper and Fotu, trying to get visa straightened out to re-enter USA. And all the paper work ..

    Secondly , that other thing, the No Clue At All, could have had effect on Cousins and Bol. I think Gib was very close to signing one of them.

    Well, what do good , always working it 24/7 in NCAA window to recruit do? They, Benjy, Gib and Que, till the 13th hour, to last minute to enroll guys, they keep searching for that right fit. No News, saying Gib and staff shutting down that last recruit for this upcoming season. I guess, unless, Gib says, he will hold that last scholarship for mid term transfer or next season, to have at least 2 to give. for 2015-16, then we KNOW FOR SURE,.. recruiting, is for 2015 and beyond, this 2014-15 season is Pau, However one never knows, remember, Aaron Valdes and Ozren Pavlovic, till the last minute, and a few days into school year, they got in academically for fall semester.

    Sammis , bro, keep on working on the waiver from ncaa, your inclusion to this year’s class, is really important. Keep Grinding, we pulling for you brother Sammis!

  33. pass on this guy too.

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