Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Catching up with Aaron Valdes


The 2015-16 basketball season AND school year will be an important one for Aaron Valdes.

The 6-foot-5 junior guard/forward was the leading scorer and rebounder for last season’s 22-13 team, and he will be expected to play a vital role again this season. What’s more, Valdes is taking some extra classes this semester in an effort to graduate with a degree in Family Resources after the Spring 2016 semester.

“I’m in (six) classes – 17 credits – so it’s going to be tough, but I have to get through it,” he said. “I’m trying to graduate this Spring, so we’ll see what happens.”

Valdes averaged 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season, and also ranked second on the team with 56 steals. He also led the team in dunks and highlight-reel finishes.

The biggest change, of course, is an entirely new coaching staff, led by head coach Eran Ganot. Valdes said the transition has been positive.

“The coaches are doing a good job of trying to keep some of the same stuff, but at the same time, they’re teaching us new things on defense and offense. I think we’re going to be good going in. You’re going to see the same team almost, and the new guys are going to help us out a lot.”

The current semester started two weeks ago, so Valdes and the other returnees have been getting to know the new players since then.

“They’re good,” he said. “They came in, they can run with us, they’re playing with us well, they’re in shape. They can shoot the ball. Coming in, that was the big question, if they could shoot. The guys have been doing a good job showing they can shoot.”

Valdes displayed some of his shooting potential during the summer, when he drained 11 3-pointers and scored 43 points during a Hawai’i College Basketball Summer League game. He stopped playing in that league about a week after that performance so that he could avoid injury and take some time to visit his family in Southern California.

“I had a lot of fun playing, but at the same time, I just wanted to get myself right and ready for the season,” he said.

— — — — — — —

Former UH standout Matt Lojeski had 22 points and five assists, and scored the game-winning basket on a tip-in at the buzzer, to lead Belgium to a 76-74 victory over Lithuania in the EuroBasket 2015 tournament at Riga, Latvia.

Lojeski, who is originally from Wisconsin and played at UH from 2005-07, received Belgian citizenship after playing seven years of professional basketball in that country.

His game-winner (at the end of the video below), made ESPN’s Top 10 plays on Monday:


  1. Interesting. I guess he wants to graduate in the Spring so he can transfer to another school for his last year of eligibility. Or, stay at UH and enroll in a Master’s program. Very interesting.

  2. … or take the time to improve his game. Mybe a chance to go pro.
    Sky’s the limit.

  3. Its like no matter what happens you got options to deal with the uncertain future. But let’s hope that future is two more years at UH.

  4. Aaron:

    Airon, Have great junior season….Even more proud of you, Niko, Janks, Q, hopefully , Stef, Bobbitt, Dyrbe. if All of you guys are on track to graduate, this spring…. better yet..

    That is the key, get that degree.. I don’t know how you guys, with heavy class load do it.. however.. wish you well…if this IS YOUR YEAR….

    Stay healthy, all you guys.. and shoot for that NCAA bid.. !

    Go Bows. and Fly High Aaron, Airon Valdes.. Air Air.. !!


  5. You know
    .. just wondering out loud.. man, .. if IT IS THE YEAR OF THE GRADUATES.. Rod Bobbitt., Quincy Smith, trying working hard to grad this year…., Aaron, Dyrbe.. I think so too, Niko.. wait a minute.. I think Niko might have one more year to grad..maybe next December 2016?
    Janks.. heavy class load.. forgot about Mike Thomas too.. know that they all wanted to get leg up on track to graduate from UH..

    That is better than NCAA tournament.. unless make NBA or high Euro leagues.. get that degree.. !
    With all the happenings, for Aaron, Dyrbe, Quincy, Niko, Mike and Jovanovich past 3 years.. wonderful to see them do well in school !!

  6. Yes.. enjoy all of your comments…. did You all know that Quincy Smith made sure to take his classes be on track to graduate..get that degree.. good.. More Interesting.. Mike Thomas.. Jr. Athletic eligibility, took a load Freshman and Soph. year, to what? Be on track to graduate… Same with Janks.. I think he and Niko take heavier load in school last year.. and summer, to Be on track .. you got it . To Graduate.!
    Does this mean, that All the Juniors. want to move on.. WITH DEGREE IN HAND.. more power to them.. they got their degrees, made good use of school.. academics in order and can Move on..

    You know.. with Their loads.. and TAVS.. servante .. never did think too much about that.. however do remember.. AV, MT, saying they wanted to speed up grad process.. I don’t think anyone wants to spend 5 years in school.
    Remember AV was a RS freshman.. so Now Academically HE IS A SENIOR.. I hope he does grad this spring.. Then.. wish you well Aaron, whatever your future holds.. !!

    You brought tons of high flying action to UH MBB fans.. And You guys proved.. Under 3 different coaches, that you guys Are Winners. possibly historic 3 20 win seasons in a Row !!

    Go Bows Warriors !

  7. Airon & Agent 0ran are the best of…

    Closing day was 9/4/2015.
    Who applied?
    Any selection committee?
    Fans interest?

    Mahalo for assist !

  8. 17 credits a semester for a D1 college athlete is insanity. That’s basically his social life (outside the classroom and basketball) out the window. I hope he’s getting enough rest, not too stressed, and getting at least B’s. But my guess is that he’s only concerned about doing the minimum to get that degree.

    I hope he stays on next year. He’s a lot of fun to watch. Hopefully like Fleming, he’s matured and learned to not whine so much to the officials.

  9. n2o4joy:

    Are You talking about the hire of assistant to replace Norm Parish?
    Kind of last minute, like how past coach, had to scramble put together staff.

    Haven’t heard anything.. ?

  10. Uh1:
    How about ask Ferd Lewis do a follow-up for good reporting !?

  11. n2o4joy

    Yes, agree with you.. know you post SA side too.. I don’t know, which side they are on.. Ferd, Dave, Brian, just tell the facts, fair and balanced….objective not subjective.. We want to know, and Will eventually Know the truth..
    UH, it is comical.. hope one day they get it right.

    Don’t blame guys for speeding up grad rate, and move on if that is their and Families desire !

  12. Karaitiana to play this season for Wahine. Compliance Office mentioned.

    ” After sitting out for the 2011-12 season four years ago due to NCAA regulations, Karaitiana returns for her final senior season after the NCAA officially approved her for one more year of eligibility.

    “I feel very blessed and honored to have the privilege to continue my basketball career as a Rainbow Wahine at the University of Hawai’i,” said Karaitiana. “A big thank you to my coaching staff and Richard Greene (Compliance Office) for making this opportunity possible. I am ecstatic to be able to represent the State of Hawai’i, play in front of our awesome fans and play alongside my teammates for the upcoming season. I look forward to getting back on the floor and making this an experience I will never forget.”


  13. Assoc. AD McNamara being replaced.

  14. Wow lot of upper management being replaced. Just read that the chief budget officer was replaced too. It seems like its throat cutting season. But I’m wondering if they are cutting the right throats. Or are they sacrificial lambs.

  15. Cleaning house?
    Right part of UH home?

    Things picking up…

  16. It’s a start Mc did not accomplish much in garnering new sources of income.

  17. The UH Vice President for Budget and Finance was going to retire anyway, apparently, but he stayed at UH working half time for nine more months to qualify for a good retirement pension. One story was that he was not fired and a told the UH president in July of 2014 that he was going to work until October 31 of this year and was giving UH time to recruit a new Vice President ( Hawaii News Now 9-4-15) .

    From older articles:
    “Howard Todo, the university’s chief financial officer and vice president for budget and finance, reported receiving two season tickets for both football and women’s volleyball, as well as a free stadium parking pass, over the past year. He valued the package of tickets at $1,570. Todo also accepted free tickets for the same sports in each of the previous two years. The total value of free tickets and free parking given to Todo by the athletics department over the past three years was nearly $5,000.” ( July 24, 2012, i Lind blog)

    Around 2011, he “got tickets valued at $1,660. Those included men’s basketball season tickets, valued at $540, as well as a $200 season parking pass for football games.” Others receiving free tickets were Greenwood, Hinshaw and former VP for Legal Affairs, Lendio. (July 16, 2011 & July 24, 2012, i Lind )


  18. Always glad to see a healthy Aaron Valdes…very exciting player on both sides of the ball…Mr. Highlight reel who has been doing it in school as well!

    Verbal commits is posting an offer today from UH of a 2*, 6’7″ JUCO, Alize Johnson from Williamsport, PA. He seems to have a lot of offers from Mid-Majors for the small forward spot.



  19. someone to replace AV eventually?

  20. Wonder if these high paid salaried heads donate a good chump of change to the University of Hawaii. I bet there are even more freebies given to the top brass. They make good money but still want something free.

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