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Meet assistant coach Chris Acker

Four years ago, Chris Acker’s wife asked him what it would take for the family to live in Hawai’i.

“I have to be a part of the UH men’s basketball program,” was Acker’s reply.

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True to his word, Acker and his family are in the process of making the move from Los Angeles to Honolulu this month. He was recently named an assistant coach for the UH basketball team by new head coach Eran Ganot.

“Basically, Coach Eran and I crossed paths a couple of times at different recruiting events,” Acker said. “Also, I spent a lot of time going up to Saint Mary’s in the off-season, where he was coaching, to watch a lot of their practices and get better myself.”

Acker’s previous coaching experience came in the junior college ranks. He was the head coach at West Los Angeles College for the past two seasons, and was an associate and assistant coach at Citrus College (Calif.) for six seasons before that. Those connections could help him in future recruiting battles, but he is also willing to expand his horizons to find the best fits for future UH rosters.

“When it comes down to recruiting, the ability to be able to relate to the players, I know a ton of coaches in the California market,” Acker said. “I played in the national JUCO level, so I know some coaches in that area, a lot of four-year coaches. But at the end of the day, it comes down to understanding exactly what the coaching staff here is looking for in their players and making that connection with coaches outside of here to make sure we get the type of player that will fit the need for UH basketball.”

The move to Hawai’i is actually a return for both Acker and his wife, Jennifer. Acker played at Chaminade University from 2003-04; Jennifer is from Maui and was a student at UH when Acker was at Chaminade. They have two children.

“They’ll be here hopefully toward the end of June,” Acker said. “I can’t wait for them to get here.”

As a former Chaminade player, Acker is aware of the attention and fan support that the Warriors receive from the state.

“This is one of the most exciting times of my life to be part of a program like this,” he said. “I’ve already met so many great people that have extended their arms and welcomed me in … as I tell guys when we’re recruiting them, you can be from another state, you can be from another country, but when you go play and you put on the green, you’re not only representing yourself and your family, you’re representing the program and you’re representing an island. The people here get behind you, so I think that’s a very, very unique thing that we have to offer here.”

13 Comments

  1. Welcome Chris and family ! Hope you bring some energy to MBB and continue the 20 plus game season win streak holding at 2 years going on three.

    Just pondering..?
    BM notes, UH took away one self imposed scholie from total of 13 so 12 for next season. G, Jawato, Fotu, Sammis and NWC left or graduated. Two commits, so far, Canda and 6’6″218
    Sai Tammala, from India, a SLCC alumnus and DI grad and Sr to be athletically, from ASU. He did not play much, or average much, decent numbers in JC at coach Parrish’s old JC school.

    Now, I always thought you try to recruit Better than you have.. the thought, bring in better talent to make returnees work harder, actually all spots up for grabs. UH we know, Benjy knew, and Eran knows, needs Shooters.. so Canda and Tammala have to be around 38 % or better knock down 3 point shooters. Though BM says, he should help in front court? The guy has to be super strong or great rebounder, tough as nails,could be.. at under 6’7″ with limited DI time at ASU..Unless he is like an Indian version of Sammis Reyes, who was a tough son of a gun, very strong, physical game.

    Now BM, says, the 2 scholarships available for next season accounted for, leaving 2 more to offer, if NO MORE Departures, that still is Red flag for me, who else would consider leaving.? or maybe not want to go to summer school to stay on track academically? or wants to transfer to another DI school or drop down a level or quit school? BM must think guys are still mulling over, whether to come back, I think preferred walkons, maybe underclassman, so that is possibly 4 guys not returning.. if they want to move on..

    These last 2 available, or 3 if an underclassman does not return.. has to go to another GREAT shooter and 2 of the biggest , best rebounding, defending, bigs Eran can get..if not.. just role guys, or fill the roster,.. Seriously, the team looks like, Q, Rod, MT, AV, Janks, Jovanovich, Niko, ..as the Core guys, having to learn a Slow down Cerebral, type of basketball.. a big change.. well.. we shall see. I cheer guys and coach on.. I still would have loved to see, Eran go after, even a little chancy athletic types, that can fly, not 4.0 students, just eligible, however the athletic high flyers, that can protect the rim.. as we know,. those guys, unless a Vander, or Ahmet Gueye is still hiding out there.

    Going to be interesting off season. who returns in July, and how guys in Fall buy into the Eran/ Riley type of motion offense,. 30 second clock will speed up shots, and help UH on defense too.

    Eran, come on son.. get it done.. recruiting. looks like the Tammala guy is here for John A. Burns medical school, or trying to get in.. he has 4.0, so strategy, use him. however he maybe BB skill wise, to bolster, the APR for one year to avoid additional APR sanctions..

    Eran, man I don’t envy you.. wish you well,

  2. Welcome aboard Coach Acker.

  3. Welcome, Coach Acker

    Bigger, Think Bigger

    When You Wear The Kapa “H” You Represnt The WHOLE State
    (AND You CAN Push for Polynesia As Well in Fotu’s Case)
    D-II were Island/Region Rivalries like Hilo, Hawai’i Big Island Versus O’ahu

    Pound the Pavement, Hit the Tarmac
    Gotta Be On the Road (As Well As in the Comfort of Your ‘Home’ Gym with Current Players)
    Bring the UH Opportunity to The Prospects, Their Homes and Families
    Might Take Earning the Trust of TEN Prospects to Get One Good Signee

    Great Recruiting (NOT Talk of Recruiting) is The Life-Blood of a Great Program
    We ARE Already DOWN A FIRST-TEAM All-Conference/All-Region
    AND Now Three-More-Stars since end of Last Season
    Since UH Admin started Muckin’ it Up;
    We Need to At Least Replace FOTU’s Physical Presence (Talent Will Be Much Harder)

    CRANK It Up…
    R-E-S-U-L-T-S
    THIS YEAR And Next Year…

    NEED 7-8 PLAYERS
    NOT Sure How Far Three Proven Players and Remaining Role-Players Can Go
    AND THIS IS The Toughest Place To WIN FROM
    Facilities DO NOT Help You Travel EAST And WIN
    All You “Dominate” The Big West Talkers
    The Talent And Coaching (If Possible) Level Here has to be Better than The East (Including Cali-Competition)
    Every Road Trip You Start Down One, Gotta earn the First Win
    Mess Up One or Two (or More) and You Are Already 3-4-5 in the Standings

    June-July-August
    Late? International? Signees?

  4. Welcome to Coach Acker. Hopefully he can reel in some good JC bigs.

  5. All the coaches are enthusiastic about their jobs.

    As for Tummala, he is a true student-athlete, not an athlete – student.

    “Every time I see Sai, he’s studying. We could be on the plane late at night returning, and there will be one light on,” Sendek said. “It’ll be Sai. And he’s not back there playing a video game.” ( staradvertiser, 6-4-15)

    A lefty shooter on the court.

  6. With Sai’s 4.0 GPA why can’t UH offer him an academic scholarship and give the coach a little more recruiting flexibility?

  7. Anderpops that is a great thought, but if he wasn’t on athletic scholie he wouldn’t count towards APR. However, it would give us essentially an extra scholie.

  8. Welcome home, coach Acker.

    islandman: Tummala must have been a fairly decent athlete-student coming out of junior college. If I remember correctly, he got scholarship offers from Arizona State, Pitt, Minnesota, Georgia and BYU, according to a story posted on the school’s web site.

  9. clyde, he looks like he can shoot pretty good. These must be his high school highlights ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOPeuhBeNlE

  10. Tummala is smart, he can jump, he can make dunks, he can shoot some. Don’t know about his basketball IQ, or quickness, or handling, or rebounding, or defense. But, he was 1st team all conference so that’s pretty good. Coach Parrish must know that he’s a player that can help us a little bit and can be in the rotation coming off the bench to contribute. If he can give us around 4-6 points per game and about 3 rebounds per game in about 10-12 minutes of play he can help. I have to believe his maturity will definitely help the team and the fact that he went to ASU tells me that he has some ability. He didn’t play much there, but maybe a lot of that is because of the coach’s decision and not his fault entirely.

    Hope he works out to have a productive season in Hawaii.

  11. I like adding Tummala because he is like a 5-star recruit for the APR for one year. Anything he can add on the court is a bonus, but I am not counting on it. If my math is right, Norm Parrish was already at Utah when Tummala was at Salt Lake JC. If Utah wasn’t going after this kid in their own backyard with Parrish on staff, that is reason to wonder.

    Plus, Arizona State is not Arizona so Tummala being the last guy on the bench for two years is another flag as far as his skills. For those who remember Bo Barnes, he was not a starter but got a lot of minutes off the bench for ASU, so if this guy was that many notches below Bo, I have to wonder again. It could be that he had differences with the coach, but I doubt it based on everything saying what a great kid this is.

    I don’t care about any of that as long as Tummala sticks with his med school classes and helps the APR because we need that. We’ll be fine on the court with the guys coming back plus Canda.

  12. That YT highlight…. Does this guy ever dribble? Talk about catch and immediately shoot. Makes it seem like he is an easy guy to defend — if he doesn’t shoot immediately then he’s going to pass it/you can lay off him.

  13. Welcome Coach Acker. Remember, you can take the island girl from home but you can’t take the home out of the island girl. Your wife will be glad to be home.

    We are sure that you are up for the challenge.

    UHF1 – you sound really confident that there will be others leaving. What makes you feel that way? Do you have some inside that you would like to share?

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