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Prep center Rakocevic expected to visit Hawai’i

The University of Hawai’i basketball team is expecting big things for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The Warriors would like to get even bigger in the future, and Gligorije Rakocevic could be a part of that.

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Rakocevic, a 6-foot-11, 245-pound center at Cantwell Sacred Heart High School in Montebello, Calif., is expected to make an official visit to Hawai’i this weekend. He is originally from Montenegro, and enrolled at Cantwell Sacred Heart in 2013.

“I decided to come to the United States for a better opportunity to play basketball and study,” he said. “And I want to play college basketball.”

Rakocevic averaged around 11 points and nine rebounds per game as a junior last season, and was named to the Division IV All-StateTeam by CalHiSports.com. That same website also ranked Rakocevic among the top 25 players in the class of 2015.

“He’s a big, strong kid; a guy you can go to down on the block and count on to give you a presence in the post,” Caldwell Sacred Heart coach George Zedan said. “But he has a really soft touch and can shoot it, too. He showed some promise on defense this summer playing AAU, so we’re really happy with the overall player he’s become.”

Rakocevic added: “I feel like I can shoot, but I love to play inside.”

Rakocevic said he has already made an official visit to Washington State. Hawai’i will be his second visit.

“Oregon State, New Mexico, Utah, some other schools also want me to visit,” he said. “I’m real excited about every school right now so I’m not sure.”

He is also excited about his first trip to Hawai’i, although he said the beaches will be a secondary sight. “I’m more interested in the basketball,” he said. “But, yes, I know Hawai’i is a beautiful place.”

As for his first name, Rakocevic said it has been mispronounced too many times to count.

“Everybody just calls me ‘Big G’ ,” he said.

Here is a video featuring highlights and an interview with Rakocevic. Warning, the video is long, and Rakocevic’s clip starts at the 16:38 mark:

And here is another highlight video featuring Rakocevic when he was still playing in Montenegro (so keep in mind that this video is at least two years old):

33 Comments

  1. ANOTHER GOOD SIGN FOR UH MBB…the recruiting line still open! Go and get some good fit student athletes to add to the great ones you have now Gib!

    Very good!

    Mahalo Dayton for real time recruiting updates!

    Go Rainbow Warriors.
    Go The Mighty Warriors!

  2. would assume too, if can do, maybe after the invest. pau, go after athletic shot blocker? Maybe.
    6’9″ – 7’0″ Senegal?

  3. Hmmm, we could use a kid like this right now!

    Not saying he’s a big-time recruit because I think he’s more “project” but I like his size and can clog up the middle. It looks like he likes hook shot near the basket so if he can develop that he becomes a real weapon. He could at least be a guy to answer some of the depth issues for UH bigs. He would fit in nicely with the Stefans, but agree that we need more big athleticism in the paint.

  4. Welcome BIG G!

    Choose Hawai’i!

    Don’t You Wish One (or More) of OUR 6-11’s Would Grow to 7-0, 7-2 ?
    and Keep Improvin’

    Still Find it Amazing that Players Choose the Desolate Plains & Wastelands of WSU
    (It’s IDAHO People! Drawing Lines on a Map Probably DOES Help! Geez…Everything Helps That —
    WE Bury Nuclear Waste THERE!]

    Hawai’i No Ka ‘Oi !

  5. Eagle and Chuck…that is where team is thin 4/5 spot…nice if staff can get those senegal…paris..toronto athletic rim protectors..however…evident..like Riley before him..gib targeting guys from overseas…have experience usa bb..more mature and used to being far from home..i.e. Haim Shimonovich..Milos Zivanovich..6’10” and 6’11” of past teams
    Still..remember very good friend of gib..that coach who brings in under radar talent to prep scool and when grad usa hs/prep..either they go pro overseas or ncaa D1

    Maybe can get a 6’10” ahmet gueye type with good hands..ahmet was good shot blocker

    If big G has great visit and Eagle..warriorhaw or whomever at WVB and G/W scrimmage ..if ncaa allowed..give him aloha shaka bruddah..play 4 years in hawaii..and great education not bad at all

    Serbia/Montenegro 6’11” triple towers solve front line shore up!!

    Maybe another visitor before november? Recruit official visits coming up?

  6. Finally , it is Warrior time , all Students , come on to the Stanley for some later night fun!! Big West title this year , nothing less, we got the horses !

  7. Well….Rainbow Warrior Basketball time! From UH Athletics site, photos and bios, the latest stats, vital statistics… MBB starting to roar!

    Link: http://www.hawaiiathletics.com/roster.aspx?path=mbball&

  8. The roster says Fleming used to be a defensive back in high school. Also says Bobbitt was a teammate of Spearman at Indian Hills in 2011-12. Looks like Bobbitt didn’t play in 2012-13 ?

  9. I can’t get excited about any big man. If they were good a lot of division 1 programs would be going after him. Not to say that he won’t develop into a good player, but Rogue Harris was a 7 footer, BUT……….I still think Bob Nash is the best center in UH history and he’s “only” 6’8″. If Rakocevic scores close to 20 points per game and at least 10 rebounds per game and shoots 60% from the floor in his senior season then I would say he’s a real prospect. If you’re that big in high school you have to dominate, period. We’ll see what happens.

  10. Someone said Nash was a forward, Pennybacker at 6′ 2 ” was the center.

    (article by Dayton)

    ” Davis added: “I have to give Coach Red a lot of respect because once he saw what we could do, he didn’t mess with it. We had two guards who could control the tempo of the game, and so we felt like we could score against anybody. We had maybe three or four plays, and the rest of the time, it was run as fast as you can.”

    ” After a controversial road loss at Westmont (Calif.) in 1972, Nash literally ran the referees out of the gym. His teammates then chased after Nash.

    “By the time I get outside, (Nash) has one referee pinned up against the fence,” Penebacker said. “So I get in between them, and try to pull (Nash) off. Then I look out of the corner of my eye and see two highway patrol officers with their weapons drawn on us. I told (Nash) we need to leave now.”

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2009/Jul/09/sp/hawaii907090358.html

  11. Quick look at the bios. Notice that Q got a ton of tats over the summer. Or at least a lot compared to his highlight pics.

  12. Another site…B—–, said in may 2014 gib and team blown up and guys all transferred out or go pro..well..few more hours warrior insider faithful…the doomsayers were wrong..uh mbb ready to rock..starts tomorrow!!

    Go Bows..The Mighty Warriors!!

    Go get em!!

    Fans at game tomorrow say hello to 16 sensational young student athletes..uh mbb alive and well!!

  13. Derek… Nobody is saying he’s a star recruit. He has offers from Gonzaga, New Mexico, Washington State, Oregon State, and a couple of other lesser teams. So, its not like he’s a nobody that just we have stumbled upon.

  14. Can’t wait to the guys tonight at the SSC! Cheee!

  15. My bad…

    Can’t wait to see the guys tonight at the SSC! Cheee!

  16. Mike Thomas shaved his head, per Brian.

  17. islandman..

    .yes…kind of thought like old klum gym midnight ohana..the faithful..1200 +
    in attendance. ..player intros start about hour after wvb game pau..kudos to that same 1200+
    Who we be at G/W scrimmage every year since the fab five

    Those fans really rock..

    Team appreciate them so much!!
    Look forward to Dayton’ video hilites..

  18. YES! LOOK Forward to the Dayton & Company’s Professional Video Coverage and Write-Up…

    BUT Here’s Some Un-Official Obsevations:

    1) GIB Said: Yes, we’re gonna be shooting some threes –BUY Your Tickets Now!
    Bigs Versus Guards Three Point Shooting Contest — @ One-Minute Each…
    FOTU 12
    JANKOVIC 11
    NEGUS 10
    GARRETT 9
    Garrett Led the BWC in 3-Pt Shooting Last Year… BUT Probably HAS Some Help this Year…

    2) ALSO Impressive:
    – Air Cuba Aaron Valdés (Note Proper Accent, Valdés ‘Ohana)….most time spent above the rim..
    – Mike Thomas Inside And Outside Lookin’ Like a Pro Player
    – Isaac Fleming NOT Looking like a Freshman, Getting to the Hoop
    – Negus’ Passing
    – Roderick Bobbitt Also Getting to the Hoop;
    – Jankovic — Those Threes above SO Solid…
    – ALL Pretty Good Passing for First Day of Practice…
    – Pretty Good Dfensive Effort

    Other Comments?

  19. NICE POST ISLANDMAN !!
    (the one before the shaving head one)
    I remember (fan) steve goodenow, and most, but not all of the facts in the posting.
    Some of it was new to me. But otherwise brought back a lot of memories and got the juices flowing and ready for the new season, regardless of the current players and coaching staff.
    GO BOWS, baby !!

    The sense that the fab five, (and indeed at one time I could name all fifteen), were better as a team than as individuals, helped to bring the fan base together back the team. Remembering John Wooden talking about basketball in just that sense, and then actually having a team do it, in front of us every night, well, … was sooooo goooood!! Ranked #12 ! Love to check the paper to see where we were ranked each week.
    Now I am waiting for Dayton’s videos, and waiting for the time we can check the papers again!

  20. Also Possible “Impression”
    PROBABLY TOO Early To Say (For Sure, We’ll SEE)…BUT…
    Point Guard Play — Ball-Handling, Passing AND Defense Appears Stronger, Improved

    -Might Be The Senque-Bobbitt-Fleming+Returnees Effect…

    IF AS Quoted, Senque Really Said, “Biggest Mistake I Ever Made was NOT Playing for You [GIB]…”
    Then Really Good Prospects for Current TEAM
    AND Future Recruits…
    AND Hawai’i Fans…
    And Maybe…
    GIBREALLYGOOD (We’ll See…)

    AND This Team Might Be Surprisingly, Even Amazingly, Good….

  21. Eagle…Just LOVE the focus of Gib, the staff, the school the UH MBB program and the student athletes. Leave the OTHER stuff alone, it will resolve when it resolves, just concentrate on staying and getting healthy. Gib has learned by year 5, how to get guys into super conditioning, and prepared for a , including BWC games, 32(!) game season before BWC tournament. Very smart.

    As Aaron , Fotu, Nevels, Smith , Sammis Negus, their comments, One Ohana, One goal, Win championships..FOCUS on School, good heatlh and Basketball success. Love that Mantra!

    Eagle as always, you of the premier fan of MBB and SSC season ticket holder as are many other WI fans and supporters of the program.. each year, even if some had to travel on, …the talent upgrade at 1-5 , has gotten better. The type of personalities are more in harmony,… Love the Chemistry.. and the 3 point shooters… Nevels, HAS HELP.. will only open up things down in paint, going to the rim, for Valdes, Thomas, Fotu, Jankovich, Jovanovich, and the perimeter guards being able to drive to rim and one, or dish the dime.. IT IS TIME…

    Eagle and warriorhaw, TAVS, josh, jjay, everyone, THE TIME IS NOW… OFFICIALLY BASKETBALL season has ARRIVED.. that makes me and thousand of other faithful loyal MBB fans of program THE HAPPIEST..
    Doom and Gloom, B—–O… said UH MBB would crash and burn, well soon they will learn and get straight, however Still intact to win the BWC and go to NIT or NCAA , and go deep !

    Great team and talent, everyone stay healthy, and I really hope, even if have to platoon the 5 guards, and 3 wings, and 3 bigs, have 11-12 guys playing 5 to 25 minutes, beginning of season would be great for when it matters, BWC tournament time!

    Go Bows!

  22. Eagle,

    On the 3-point contest, that was Brocke Stepteau instead of Negus. For a good stretch of their competition, it was awesome to see Janks and Brocke hit consecutive 3-pointers while moving their shooting spots around the 3-point line (NOT FROM THE SAME SPOT!). Garrett was a little off for the 3-point competition, but I’m not concerned as he’s a proven shooter. Nice to see Fotu display his 3-point shooting improvement. During the exhibition game, Mike Thomas hit a couple, and little Isaac and Quincy hit some too. Of course, in open gym videos – Dyrbe, Negus, Sammis, and Niko have shown they can hit from beyond too!

    On the dunk competition, it was ALL AIR-ON VALDES! Looking forward to the first game on Nov. 6th!

    GO BOWS!

  23. MRAloha…Right Thanks for Correction
    Impressive Three-Shooting Display
    Sooner or Later, Dyrbe and Brocke should get Floor Time …
    Stepteau Plays Fearless

  24. akuhead2,

    thanks for your comments on Dayton’s 2009 article. I laughed at the quote by Al Davis on Red Rocha’s coaching style: ” … We had maybe three or four plays, and the rest of the time, it was run as fast as you can.”

    “I think it was God sent myself,” Davis said. “I didn’t even know Hawai’i had basketball. I thought everybody surfed. Then I get out here and see these other guys, and knew we could be something. ”

    I was reminded that Dennis Sallas of Roosevelt was on the 1971 team, from the UH website.

    This current team may have the potential to get the fans going like that team, if they can use their teamwork in playing the other teams.
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Eagle, mraloha, thanks for the reports. Brocke is showing his skills. I hope Thomas can continue showing his pro skills, with Jordan like shaved head.

    Note: The UH website said Jankovic and Nevels won the three point contest.

    Runbows, hope most of the players can get playing time in the games.

  25. The crowd loved Dennis Salas when he came in to play.
    And as far as the style of play, Red Rocha got a lot of credit for the team regularly doing better in the second half, and hence regularly winning. They would run a lot in the second half, but we always remembered them running in the first half as well. Its just that the second half would more often end up with us up. Genius!
    Yes. it looks like this years bows may be able to run, run, and run some more. Great legs. Steady focus. And this year it looks like a very deep bench !

    Hard to mistake Brocke for Negus, what?! Thanks for the updates. Keep em comin’.

  26. Note: Brian said Fotu and Janks won the bigs vs. guards shooting contest vs. Garrett and Brocke.

  27. Remember, that was major problem for UH MBB a few years ago, well a couple… Lack of PG play, and the PG being able to shoot from outside? As well as more than one, i.e. Zane Johnson or Garrett Nevels hitting from 3 line. If they were off, long nite for the team. Now NWC, Smith too, Fotu, even Sammis, Jankovich, Valdes, Fleming, Bobbitt, Enos, Stepteau, have ability to hit trifecta. Just makes UH more potent on offense and opens the paint area more for the bigs and guys driving to the cup. Yes, Dennis Sallas, a real fan favorite, as well as remember Tim DeSilva? Still the Fab Five , initially with NBA draftee Tom Newell as part of that starting five, were the team. When they got it going it was great to see. UH MBB , or Hawaii, came to a standstill with everyone either listen on AM radio or watching live TV of home games. Hope this year’s UH team does same thing, .. with so many sophs , and freshmen, they have chance to be good for several years. 3 or 4 down the road.

    These 16 guys, the fans, including you faithful hard core lovers of UH MBB program, wow, the youth love the guys too. Could be really special year .. and sure, let legal handle the other matter. That , I am confident will be reached, with UH counsel, and those big boys, reaching a settlement, and UH still playing postseason.. would be good to get that over with quick, however, out of Gib and team’s hands, so why worry? Just Play ball , and do well in school. And win and have Fun!

  28. Was totally impressed and entertained last night. You couldn’t tell by the news coverage. Brian M must have finished that article before lunch and went home. Actually, I hope he went to get a look at what this year holds for UH and BBall fans. Was interesting to see that Mike Thomas wearing some sort of rib protection that fit under his uniform. It probably lessens the elbow action and it doesn’t look like it got in his way. He looks bigger and stronger than last year and love the MJ haircut.The three point shooting was totally impressive. Can’t wait to see them open up and rain threes on an opponent.

  29. Brian was tweeting from the game last night. He may have an article later. It was late so it may have missed the deadline.

  30. Whew! Like all above, I was left feeling that this team of brothers will make a big splash this year. Funny that we think our guard play will be our strength when we have a Big West MVP candidate is a big. Sweet. I concur with Eagle on his points. Well said.

    This year we will stretch the defense because our bigs (Janks, Fotu, Thomas) all hit 3’s. Even Steph has a nice 16 footer.
    Impressed with NWC. He is a facilitator. Sees the whole court. Nice passes.
    Thomas plays with a ton of confidence now. Plays faster, less drag. haha

    Bobbitt will be pushing for starting role. Played well considering he had a long layoff due to injury.
    Aaron is, well Airon. He’s one of those guys on the opposite team we always yell ” will somebody block this guy out!!”
    Isaac Fleming was also impressive. Between he, Nevels, Q and Bobbitt, we have guards not afraid to drive to the rim.

    I think Gibs vision is coming to fruition. Of course he needs to pull it all together and keep everybody happy with their playing time. But the pieces are there.

  31. Agree with everything in warriorhaw post. Get the defense going (KEY) and some good foul shooting and we will be tough to beat. Hope Gib can keep everyone happy once game time begins. There is a lot of talent out there that needs TLC.

  32. Appreciate too, all the accounts by those that went to G/W scrimmage . Mahalo!

    This WI MBB site , run by Dayton Morinaga, as part time labor of love, and sponsored by Schmidt Ohana and other contributors, fantastic! SA beat writer, some write-ups, etc. has a blog, tweets. However, this site, really the FANS, the friends, the families, the students, the die hard , hard core and faithful fans of UH MBB , whether for 4 years or 44 years, they All Unite Here to back up the program and staff. FANTASTIC!

    Gib, as was mentioned by Mike Thomas, he structured the workouts, weight training, beach , etc, and the rehab, rest, get ready for this season , with purpose… HE NEEDS all of the Team , actually ALL Sixteen of them, whether on the court for many minutes, or preparing team, and cheering team on. Excellent. !!

    Question for those at the Scrimmage,

    Did You notice if the guys, that did play, are they Good Passers, find open man, share the ball, on Open Gym you can see they do. Like the Fact that NWC is , he IS a Point Forward, or Wing Point, he can facilitate, run the offense, get the ball to the right guys, ..
    As, they say, keep emotions, swag and self, at the door, or second to Winning as a Team, this year’s squad, Gib has a team that can have good depth and go a long way!

    Should be exciting just to have a team, with 3 or 4 guys on the floor at anytime able to shoot a good percentage of three pointers. Will match the other BWC teams. Now, Gib has to get guys as a Team , be the best if not one of the best in BWC on Defense, also, the other intagibles, more assists to turnovers, take care of the ball, inbounding the ball and getting past half court under pressure, FT’s , the whole team shooting 70% or better, will help team to be that 20+ winning and BWC championship team. Lot of Parts, and Here is Where it starts, the team effort, togetherness and mindset, they are going to make some noise, WIN.. and do great things…Come on guys, and Gib, the UH MBB faithful fans, go your backs.

    Go Rainbow Warriors!
    Hey…. once again love the FOCUS… team , and coach , are here to concentrate on BASKETBALL, getting better, giving back, and Winning..

  33. Also, Very , Very important, in a close game , time running down, does UH have guys willing to step up and HIT the key shots, get the blocked shot, steal, rebound, create the turnover or hit the winning FT’s, remains to be seen… however

    Fotu, Nevels, Smith, Bobbitt, NWC, Fleming, Valdes, Thomas, and team, you have 3 or 4 or 5 on the court not scared to affect winning, by being go to guys, UH will have good to great season.
    Fotu, Nevels, proven..and the rest, they will soon have their chances,.. A lot of excitement fans.

    Hoops Heaven in Hawaii is Here!!
    Go Bows!

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