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UPDATED: Nevels earns top award at team banquet

Garrett Nevels made his first appearance at a University of Hawai’i Basketball Awards Banquet back in 2013, when he was still a junior college student on a recruiting visit. Two years later, Nevels justifiably received the Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award at the 2015 version of the awards banquet.

“That’s definitely not something I was thinking about,” he said of perhaps picturing himself winning such an award back in 2013. “To accept it tonight, it’s a great feeling.”

The Woolaway Award is the top honor for the program, and Nevels certainly earned it with a courageous senior season. The 6-foot-2 guard played most of the season with a significant injury to the thumb on his shooting hand.

NevelsBanquet1

“He put this big baseball mitt on it and played,” head coach Benjy Taylor said. “We all know the story – he made left-handed lay-ups, left-handed floaters.”

Despite the injury, Nevels finished second on the team in scoring (10.8 points per game) and 3-pointers (48), and first in free-throw percentage (.771). “It’s all over now; it was a great ride,” he said.

Nevels was the lone senior on the 2014-15 roster, and the unquestioned leader of a team that bonded amid tumultuous circumstances to post a 22-13 record that included a run to the Big West Conference Tournament championship game. He said he is confident that the returnees for next season can keep the momentum going.

“They’ve already been through so much, whatever they face now will probably be simple for them,” he said. “I just want them to keep working hard and they just have to win that tournament next year.”

Nevels said he is in the process of finding an agent so that he can continue playing professional basketball, most likely in an international league. Before that, though, he will graduate with a degree in Sociology. He is scheduled to participate in UH graduation festivities in mid-May.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody,” he said. “I appreciate all the love.”

(Photo of Gary Payton and Garrett Nevels courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

10 Comments

  1. G Money
    Mahalo!
    High character guy!!
    🙂

  2. I thought that fellow on the left looked familiar. Good luck Garrett on your basketball career and life. And thank you for your tremendous effort and heart representing this 50th state. You will always be a part of the Hawaii ohana.

  3. yes.. G…part of 42 wins over two seasons.. great run.. I mean, these guys are something special, thanks again, to team and Coach !

  4. Great kid; great ballplayer. He’s grown as a person, and it’s great to know that he’s on track to graduate. It’s also nice to see him so relaxed, and smiling.
    He’s a grinder, someone who will succeed in whatever field he chooses to pursue. Until then, wish him the best as he chases his dream of playing pro ball.
    Mahalo, Garrett, for representing the school and state with class and commitment.

  5. Best of luck to you G! Really rooting for you in whatever you do. Maybe link up with Spearman in Germany! I read that Brandon had a great rookie year and is already fan favorite. Anyway, would be great to see you back in Hawaii in 15 years as a coach! Aloha!

  6. It was nice to see a player who sort of flew under the radar last year become a visible leader this year. You could just tell that even if the stats weren’t there, how important he was to the team.
    Aloha and mahalo to my favorite “character” player on this team.

  7. Well said words by all. This is the kind of example that the program is looking for because he’s a team player, a good player and a solid student. As said yesterday, this is very deserving for G!

    You can bury the past staffs all you want but have to admit that they found a fair share of good guys that we can be proud of.

  8. Chuck, agree. It is a common theme, notice, current AD, past, current coach soon, and past, mantra, they want this type of student athlete or coaches, High Character, good morale, represent Hawaii University community in a true Aloha fashion. That is what all walks of life, all professions , vocations, nations, cities, neighborhoods want. Good people, and Garrett was a good get from prior staff. He is really the face of this year’s team , well deserved Captain Nevels, so proud of you !

  9. The Men’s VB team may be going to the NCAA’s ? When was the last time a men’s team went to the any NCAA championship tournament ? Tennis team ? Maybe a diving team member.

  10. Aloha to G , a true Warrior both Nevels and Spearman will always be remembered as two individuals who never gave up and young men of integrity and true grit, never backed down from any opponent , Warriors 4 Life!

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