Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Catching up with Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas still has unfinished business at the University of Hawai’i.

That might seem odd coming off a historic 2015-16 season for the Warriors that was as complete as any in program history, but Thomas is in search of more than just more victories on the court.

UH defeats Cal, 77-66, in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament at Spokane Veteran's Arena, Spokane, WA on March 18, 2016. Photo: Brandon Flores.

“To be honest, the fan support was a big part of it,” Thomas said of his decision to return to UH for his senior season. “But also me wanting to get my degree, finish up what I started. That was a big part of it.”

As has been already documented, Thomas will be the only starter returning from this season’s Big West Conference championship team that finished 28-6. In fact, seven of the top eight rotation players will not be back next season.

If there is one player who can provide leadership for what will undoubtedly be a new and young team next season, Thomas is a good choice.

“A big part of me staying is this being my team and me taking ownership of it and enjoying that ownership,” Thomas said. “I think if I would have gone somewhere else, I would have had to try to fit in and gel with somebody else’s program as a player. I’ve been here three years, I want to finish.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, and shot 52.1 percent from the field while starting all 34 games as a junior this past season.

He said he is on pace to graduate with a degree in Business Marketing in 2017.

Thomas was one of five juniors on the 2015-16 roster. Among the other four, Stefan Jankovic and Aaron Valdes opted for a shot at professional basketball, Stefan Jovanovic is transferring to Loyola Marymount, and Dyrbe Enos will graduate this year and not play next season.

“It’s going to be a transitional period,” Thomas said. “We have a limited team right now, but it’s going to create a lot of opportunity. I think a lot more offensive freedom, defensive freedom, and for us to really get after it. It’s going to be a young team. I’m excited.”


  1. I have a feeling Mike is going to have a stellar senior season. Part of me wishes he would use his redshirt and play in 2017-2018 though so I could see him dominate in the NCAA tournament agian.

  2. All the best to Mike Thomas. Doing what is right for all the right reasons. He has always seemed like a fine young man with a good head on his shoulders. Hopefully earning his Business Marketing degree from UH will round out a great career in Hawaii. He certainly deserves our utmost support for being our one/main vestige of hope for next season.

  3. Good to have Mike finish at UH like he finishes under the basket.
    A possible mate for him in Gibson Johnson (Gibby) JC PF, 6-8, 240, 24 yrs old from Salt Lake (Utah) Community College, per Ferd. Visiting next week.

  4. Megan Huff transferring to another school, per another board and Kaleo.

  5. Mike is the man! Getting your degree, staying for the fans, and finishing what you started speaks volumes.

  6. Mike T is the model example for all student athletes to follow. It will be poetic athletic justice if he can lead this team to do big things next year.

  7. Yeah. His senior night goin’ be crazy. Thank you Mike for staying.

  8. Yup… imagine ALL that love he’s gonna get that night, all to himself.

  9. His dedication to the program and to himself sets the stage for a breakout year.

  10. From the moment he set foot on campus, Mike Thomas seemed mature beyond his years. He always seemed to have his priorities straight, and has been an amazing student-athlete. Hawaii needs to keep this young man here after graduation. I know he’ll be highly recruited in the real world.

    I, too, see him having a breakout year … witness his play in the postseason … and he’ll be a great leader for a very young team.

  11. Mike is a man of the people. A lot of athlete’s only hang out with team members and are too exclusive to mingle with regular students. Not Mike. He’s loved by all on campus.

  12. William McDowell-White commits to Fresno.

  13. I know we talk about Men’s basketball on this website and this thread is about Mike, but if Megan Huff is transferring, I’m concerned since she would probably have been a huge part of the wahine team next year. If she’s still unsure, I hope she reconsiders. To be honest, I thought she should’ve gotten a lot more minutes and started from the start of the season.

    Going back to Mike, I’m thinking Mike will be a great leader for next year’s bunch and I’m glad he decided to stay. He will truly be the “rock” … I think that’s the nickname they gave him in a few intros at Stan Sherriff.

  14. Mike is very intelligent and well-spoken– He’s going to be successful long after basketball ends for him. Happy to have him on board as a 4year senior.

  15. Per Jackson on Hoopstalk, Rod (and AV) not back to school at this point. However, i think he said they are expected back for the banquet/fundraiser on May 5. Could affect the APR.
    Mamadou leaning towards returning to play at UCI next season.
    UH athletics has this on their website on team APR’s. You can see the basketball APR’s.
    “The APR is calculated based on the number of student-athletes on scholarship and those who are retained and remain eligible for competition. Teams with a four-year score below 930 or a 950 average over the most recent two years, can be penalized by a loss of scholarships and post-season ban”

  16. Islandman, very old news. Av actually never even came back to hawaii on the team charter after ncaas. Rod was back here for a little while after ncaas, but then joined av and others to train for professional career.
    Good news is all can still pass all classes (keyword “can”), as they all have mostly online classes and made arrangements with professors for the other classes to turn in assignments online. Whether they all do so, that is another matter, but apr won’t necessarily take a hit IF they stay up on classes. If I’m ganot, I make sure janks, av, and rod keep up and even have tutors and advisors working with those guys from hawaii. It benefits the players to get their degrees AND the university/bball program, obviously!

  17. WeBleedGreen …. yes i knew about AV as he said he was staying on the mainland.
    However, take a look at the team APR averages, etc. even before this year. per the link. That is not old news.

  18. Other news from Jeff P, though it might be olds to some. He heard UNC will be fined $7 to 10 million with the decision to come in about 4 weeks. Roy Williams is in the clear, apparently. Jackson said the big schools get off easy, Jeff said they can hire the high priced lawyers and i think he said he told Matlin he should sue the NCAA in a local court.

  19. Thanks Mike can’t wait to see the senior season balling from him

  20. Aloha Mike, looking forward to a banner year out you. Just by the comments alone on this site says so much about you and your Ohana.

    I see both the McDowell-White brothers have signed with Fresno State. Because they now have 16 scholarship players on their site, I wonder who is going to leave or become a walk on.

    GO GANOT…we await your recruits.

  21. I think we want our recruits to be like Mike !

  22. Not gonna lie the lack of recruiting news has got me worried and then hearing MCdowell white is heading to Fresneck?? UH got a win in the tourney, Fresneck got killed.

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