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Catching up with Stefan Jankovic

Stefan Jankovic had a relatively quiet summer, but he is hoping to make a lot of noise this season with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

The 6-foot-11 junior forward is considered one of the top returnees for the Warriors, and it is a role he is embracing as he prepares for the 2015-16 season.

Jankovic1_Flores

“I am one of the older guys now, I’m an upper classman, so I’m just really comfortable,” he said. “This is my fourth year in college. There’s no more of that, freshman, sophomore excuses … everything should be better this year.”

Jankovic sat out the first 11 games of last season due to NCAA transfer rules, but was in the starting lineup by season’s end. He averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, and was the team’s leading scorer (12.5) and rebounder (5.4) during the Big West Conference season.

“I was ready last year, to an extent,” he said. “But this year, there’s no question I want the ball, I want to rebound, I want to do what ever it takes because we were so close last year – one game away from making the NCAA Tournament.”

Jankovic did not play in any summer leagues, but trained a lot on his own in both his hometown of Mississauga, Canada, and in Honolulu. He also endured a minor knee injury that he said is now healed.

“I sprained my knee, so it kind of backtracked any plans I had for the summer,” he said. “But overall I still had a pretty decent summer. I still worked on my game, big-time.”

He said he had a chance to try out for the University National Team of Serbia, but the schedule would have cut into his planned goal of graduating after the Spring 2016 semester.

“I told my parents I would graduate in four years and I wouldn’t want to leave one or two classes over just for being lazy,” he said. “They’re already planning on making the trip in May to see me graduate. It will be a big accomplishment.”

Jankovic was born in Serbia and raised in Canada, but now he finds himself studying American politics as a Political Science major. As such, he is aware of some of the buzz surrounding Donald Trump as a Republican Presidential Candidate.

“If Donald Trump becomes president, then in 2040 you will see me as president as well,” he said with a laugh.

21 Comments

  1. See…guys focused.remember Mike, Aaron and Janks taking more class load..to grad
    Janks like Aaron shooting for spring graduation

    Could be Rod, Quincy, Janks, Aaron
    Pau this season..
    Alln the more so we gotta cheer on this year team..
    They want it
    .NCAA invite
    Hope they get it!

  2. Think guys told eran grad in four..get. degrees.
    Keep APR good and move on?
    Must be ?
    One and done under eran?
    NCAA..backlash?
    Should be intrrseting october!!
    🙂

  3. He talked of another year after this year in basketball as a grad student or taking some other courses, so hope he continues after this season, at UH.

  4. UHF1 – Are you bi-polar?

    For a while you started to show some support for the team, coaching staff, and a season of victories. And now a turn for the worst. Be positive, positive, positive……. What about encouraging the players who are going to graduate to stay after graduation as we will still have a good catalyst of the team for the 2016 – 2017 season.

    Didn’t you listen to the interview? “Maybe pursue a masters”

    Janks will have a break out year. He can shoot the 3 ball and bang down low. I think Eran’s flex offense will allow him to do both.

    Go Bows!

  5. Articulate young man , Janks has options and sounds like he wants to come back for grad school courses and continue on
    With Warrior Basketball. It’s almost Warrior time !

  6. Hey, Academics First, Mike, Aaron, Quincy, Janks, Stef, All very smart guys.. they want to get degree in 4 years? Why not? that is what a College education is about, the Athletic part is gravy..

    Mike Thomas, 1 year ago or so, made mention HE wanted to accelerate his coursed, to grad soon too.
    Mike could actually graduate Second semester summer of 2016..

    So, if Rod Bobbitt, Quincy Smith, Stefan Jankovich, with parents here from Serbia, Aaron Valdes with parents here from Cali, and maybe Mike.. getting degree half year earlier.. Why Not?

    They can still go post grad, if they want.. like Davis Rozitis.. just shows that guys that Benjy and Gib recruited.. no dummies.. very smart young men.. the former staff not given enough credit.. a lot of grief, however Not enough credit, and that is a shame.. Their, guys will graduate, Fotu, NWC, Joston Thomas, pursued, pro dreams, Shamburger graduated and pursued his hoop dream for final year..

    The Core guys,, from previous staff.. are Warriors.. good young men, and great students.. grad early, or go pro.. keeps that APR in good standing,.. or rather go pro in good academic standing/

    Still , I want, that core 11 returness, with Sai, Sheriff and Jakob to go to NCAA.. what is Wrong with that..
    I will be cheering them on.. NOTICE.. the guys still love Benjy and what he did for them, kept them together, even without support of UH admin,.. and They almost, shucks.. almost, made it to NCAA dance.. this year, maybe, the PAYOFF year, finally. they make it..
    And what Is wrong with wanting the best for the Wounded Warriors.. who had to put up with hell, they and their fans and families !

  7. Awesome and smart Basketball player!

  8. Reads like this is his last year in the college ranks depending on his health and his play

  9. EURO-pro, Serbian-national’s loss is TEAM’s gain.

    Short-term “unlaziness” hard to produce outstanding results near-term-wise.

    Actions speak louder than noise – wait & see !

  10. Pocho, in the video at about 4:45 to 4:52, he says, after he graduates in May, it will make it easier to focus on basketball going for a masters or a lighter or minor in his last year (in college).

  11. It’s nice to see players graduating in 4 years. The summer credits are really helping them to complete their degrees before their eligibility is up.

  12. Janks is definitely going to be major factor in this team…sure hope he remains healthy and injury free. Hope he has improved on his defensive skills…looks like he did not put too much time in the weight room. Congrats on your studies though.

    CBS Sports is reporting about an NCAA investigation of San Diego State’s men’s basketball team. It will be interesting to see how their administration reacts to those charges.

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/25303032/san-diego-state-under-investigation-by-ncaa-for-potential-violations

  13. The article notes that San Diego St’s head coach is Steve Fisher who’s program at Michigan got into trouble with the NCAA and was fired in 1997.

    But some say winning games is the main thing .

  14. An AP article reminds: ” Following an NCAA investigation, the school (Michigan) vacated its participation in the Final Four in 1992 and 1993.

  15. Steve Fisher case reminds that winning may not be worth it, if you have to vacate the wins later, unless you’re okay with asterisks or footnotes on the school season records. Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse had to vacate 108 wins over five seasons (but he’s still in the Hall of Fame). So looks like you can’t judge a coach’s success on whether he wins a lot of games, if he has to give back the wins later. Does this apply to UH ?

  16. Good question islandman. It is a question that really has no right answer.

    The asterisks are like scars from a bad surgery. They stay with you for life no matter how much you try to hide it but also people don’t really notice it after years and years.

    In the cases of Fisher and Boeheim they both responsible for huge followings and national attention for their schools. The sellout crowds bring lots of money for the schools. I don’t think the NCAA can take away the money made or the memories of all those big wins.

    Those of us old timers who remembers San Diego State from the old WAC, they were not that good as what they are now. I heard Fisher talked about this before about how only 2,000 fans was showing up for games when he first started and now they sellout every game with 12,000. Thats a lot of extra cash for SDSU. A lot of their basketball fans and even the experts will always consider Fisher and Boeheim great coaches no matter what gets taken away by NCAA. A lot of people will always consider them cheaters also.

    Of course UH never got to that level under Gib but at least there was improved attendance and I think they made more money than before. I bet there are two answers for the question at UH, one saying that Gib improved the program and the other saying Gib brought down the program. The debate is that he did both.

  17. Let’s hope this team can bring the kind of recognition that Marcus Mariota and Nikki Taylor are bringing. What’s more it’s sure sweet to see Hawaii athletes attain that kind of success and recognition.

    Off the subject: I’m wondering if June Junes or Greg McMakin followed Mariota while he was at St. Louis. I heard that he blossomed in his senior year. That’s why many schools did not hear much about him. But I’m pretty sure the Hawaii coaches knew something about him. Ganot needs to be in close contact with the Hawaii schools to make sure that a player with great potential does not slip away to another school. Can’t get them all but at least can offer scholarship like Oregon coach did when he saw Mariota at an Oregon football camp. He stole Mariota right from under UH’s eyes.

  18. Nice thought servante but I’m going to take a chance and say the best college basketball player in the country will never come from a Hawaii high school like Marcus was for football. Way different story for football as you can read about all the different kids from Hawaii signing with big time programs.

    For football, Coach Chow and his assistants really need to make contacts with all these top local kids and offer them early like you said. A good example is the freshman Qb at Kapolei because they might as well offer him a scholarship to UH now! Of course the team also have to win games to get the kids thinking that this is a good program.

    For basketball not so much. If there is a good local kid then of course Coach Ganot needs to take a look, but lets be real here and understand talent level for basketball is really low in Hawaii. I think better to spend the recruiting time and money to find young international kids.

  19. Wahine basketball probably just got stronger, now that Huff is going to be playing only basketball .

  20. Huff was doing Really Well;
    Shoji considered her His Most Improved Player and ‘…she really looks like a great volleyball player…” just that the other girls started ‘years ahead’ and have YEARS of D-1 Experience… she’ll bring the Same Thing to Basketball, Her ‘Natural’ Sport….

    WHEN The Stars Align As They ‘Will’…
    Hawai’i CAN Produce Another Superstar…
    #1’s: Jack Johnson, Bruno Mars…
    Back-to-Back Tim Chang, Manti Teo, Marcus Mariota, NEXT?…
    ?Brad Pineau? Julian Sensley…Next?
    When Will ONE of Them BE In Basketball?
    Maybe Never, Maybe Soon, Maybe @ UH…

  21. I hope Jankovic takes his game to a higher level. How’s 17 points per game, 8 to 10 boards, 75% from the line, and 50% from the field.

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