Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Fotu scores eight against USA stars

Isaac Fotu had his best game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Tuesday, and it happened to come against the best team.

Fotu, a junior forward for the University of Hawai’i, scored eight points and grabbed two rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench for the New Zealand national team. It wasn’t nearly enough, though, as the United States routed New Zealand, 98-71, in a pool-play game of the World Cup at Bilbao, Spain.


Fotu shot 3 of 4 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. He is now averaging 6.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for the tournament, while also shooting 50 percent from the field.

Only one New Zealand player reached double-digit points against the talented USA team, which is a collection of NBA stars.

Fotu (No. 12 in black) only appears briefly in the background of the highlight video above. However, he and the University of Hawai’i did receive mention during the television broadcast on ESPN2.

CLICK HERE to read a feature article on Fotu from a New Zealand media outlet.

The New Zealand “Tall Blacks” are currently 0-3 in pool-play for the World Cup, and have two games remaining – against Ukraine on Wednesday, then against Finland on Thursday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 3 a.m. (Hawai’i time), and will be available for live online viewing at www.espn3.com.


  1. Tonganator and Ohana:

    Aloha and mahalo for kind thoughts about the faithful diehard and positive UH BB fans, and Hawaii!
    We really felt so happy, that Isaac played well against the USA team. That team of NBA all stars, that talent is about as good as it gets on this planet. Isaac more than held his own, in short minutes.
    Now, I feel, if I were NZ Tall Blacks coach, and I was waiting for it, START ISAAC, in one of the remaining do or die games. Either at tip off, or to start second half. If given 30 minutes instead of 17, Isaac would score 14-15 pts, 12 rebounds, a couple blocked shots, several assists. Isaac so calm, never frazzled, though one of the Bigs for USA, cleared him out with forearm, Isaac did not back down!

    Tonga, Britain, New Zealand, the University Of Hawaii, the State of Hawaii, are so very, very proud of OUR ADOPTED Kiwi Son, Isaac Frotu(fear the Fro!)Fotu, and his great ohana!
    Maybe one day we will see Ella, and Daniel in international BB play as well!

    Mahalo Nui Aloha!
    RunBows says: Go Tall Blacks! And Go The Mighty Warrior, whose teammates are cheering him on, from Hawaii, and cannot wait to have Isaac back with team! Isaac has made a lasting impression on an international stage! Super!

    Mahalo Plenty Tonganator and take care, say hello to Isaac and your Ohana!

  2. As Gib says in the story, Isaac’s pro future will likely be at small forward. That being said, I doubt he’ll be at the 3 for the upcoming college season. It was odd watching Isaac “drifting” to the perimeter throughout the game. He was defending, or being defended, by the likes of Klay Thompson, Rudy Gay, Kenneth Faried and even James Harden and Kyrie Irving. That took some getting used to.

    Isaac shot his 3-pointers with confidence, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of me wanted to see him closer to the basket. I was curious to see how his footwork/spin moves would work against Team USA.

    With Isaac gaining valuable experience facing the basket, I wonder how Gib will utilize him this year. Someone has to step up to fill the post, providing interior defense, grabbing rebounds and allowing Isaac more freedom.

    Best of luck to Isaac and the Tall Blacks in their next two games. (Loved the pre-game haka and resulting expressions on the faces of the U.S. players!)

  3. Nice work Fotu!

    Way to represent the U of H. Adding that 3-ball to your game when you come back here will make you deadly!

  4. You know Fotu warrior teammates are just jazzed watching Isaac play against a bunch of NBA all stars on the big international stage. Probably thinking they need to get training going because Fotu expectation is going to be sky high. Me thinks practices are going to be intense.

    Fotu represented UH, his family and New Zealand very well. We are all proud. His intensity needs to be infectious within in the team.

    Go Bows!!!!

  5. with this experience playing against the best…isaac now knows what it’s gonna take and if he is ready to play in the nba…hopefully he realizes he should get his 4 year degree and stick with us till senior season

  6. Aloha, Kiaora, Malo e lelei RunBows and UHMBB fans.

    Watched the game between Tall Blacks and USA, good game against NBA loaded team, what an experience for Isaac and the young players to have a hit out against the best. I really enjoyed watching the game. The Tall Blacks need to win against Ukraine and Finland to progress through.

    Season just around the corner. Looking forward to coming over again in December to catch up with games during DHC.



  7. Sorry meant to put in this link:


    Tai and Isaac will face each other when Nebraska comes to town for the DHC. There will be a few Kiwis in the house at the SSC.

    Can’t wait to see some of the boys start working out open gym ready for the season.

  8. Hey Tonaganator:

    Thankyou for your great comments and support of Warrior Insider site, for going on three years! Love having Isaac here, and your ohana’s aloha for Hawaii and the University.

    On behalf of probably hundreds of fans that view our posts!
    P.S. Yes according to islandman, first practice really soon! start of October!
    Very sure, the 15 that are here, are running open gym!
    Hope for video, if allowed by Dayton!
    Mahalo Dayton and to the Schmidts, this IS THE BEST coverage, exclusively for Men’s Basketball, For we die hard Positive Fans, you have been keeping us going, on the forum, about 6 straight months after season finished, with the goings on of UH MBB! Thankyou Dayton Morinaga , the best UH Insider for UH MBB!

  9. Aloha Tonganator! Thank you for your post! I woke up 5:30 am Hawaii time just to watch Isaac play against the USA team. I really enjoyed watching the game. The opportunity to play with the pros is priceless. It was really great to hear all the nice things the commentators had to say about Isaac & Tai. I’m hoping that Isaac and the Tall Blacks will win the two games and move on. I also looking forward for Isaac’s return to UH as well. Mahalo!

  10. Man….oh man….Jankovich 6’11” with three ball range, Fotu 6’8″ shoot out to three line, Negus Webster-Chan 6’7″ deeeeep 3 ball. G Money Nevels, NBA range 3 ball shooter. Even Mike Thomas
    6’8″,showed during summer he can, when relaxes, let the game flow, he legit 3 ball shooter . too
    If you have guys 6’7″ to 6’11” on this year’s team as three ball threats, makes the offense that much better, stretch defense, .. they come out to a big, or forward at 3 line, and booom, pass goes into a cutter to rim, or another big for a flush. This team, the guards, the wings, AND the bigs shooting outside to the rim, in the paint and transition, the Offensive firepower can be lethal. Just couple with shutdown D, wow!

  11. Yea you right about that RB. Fotu and Jank should be able to pull Mamadou outside. Open up the inside.

  12. I’m a little perplexed that they did not have Isaac at the power forward spot. That’s his bread and butter. His outside shooting is just the frosting. I question the coach. Clyde is right. Fotu looked out of place playing so far away from the rim.

  13. maybe, that is what they are developing him for, as Gib was interviewed by NZ press. If has a shot at NBA, Euro, or NZ pro BB, he would probably be a 3. His footwork, is awesome, he has quickness, and great hands, …NZ really does not have height, unless they had Steven Adams the 7 footer.
    Just a guess, … and I think that is what Isaac would ideally want to play in the pros, a SF. Great that he can still work on it for a couple of years with Hawaii, servante …. the experience, even being guarded by those All NBA pros, really great for Isaac, he can pick up things from being on court with some of the best BB players on the globe. Just my guess, NZ coach, wants Isaac to play the SF. He can rebound though, he was getting banged by those USA bigs, and Isaac did not fall down, or back away.. he is a tough Kiwi!

    clyde and servante probably right, for UH, this year, he is a stretch 4, he will if not triple teamed be so dominant, even better than his first two years, you can see him getting better, more confident each year with UH… what a blessing to have, what might be, the best PF/hybrid to ever play for UH!

  14. servante …..in the next one or two, if they make it that far, games, I would like to see Isaac Fotu start. The more minutes, then he can go to the isolation, one on one, spin moves that is his bread and butter, would like to see him go left and right hand, he can, he has Dr J. size hands, and footwork, some of the best footwork in the NCAA DI MBB. I believe so. Hope, as tako and clyde? say, that Fotu, will not miss too much, school, if they do go out, a loss.. then Isaac can come back to school and be academically sound.. Or being a Jr. maybe a lighter class load.

  15. 9 of 10 coaching contracts were signed by Apple on Friday, except for Gib’s apparently, per staradvertiser. Tom’s last day as chancellor was on Sunday.

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