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Incoming freshman Buggs recovering from knee surgery

The specific skills that Drew Buggs brings with him to Hawai’i remain to be seen, but one characteristic has already been established – toughness.

Buggs underwent successful surgery last week to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and torn meniscus in his right knee. It might slow his progress leading into his freshman season with the University of Hawai’i basketball team, but if his recent history is any indication, he is willing to do whatever it takes to be on the court with his teammates.

“Just resting it right now, and I should be ready to begin rehab real soon,” said Buggs, a 6-foot-2 guard. “There’s no (timetable) because I really don’t know. I know that I can’t rush something like this, but I’m going to rehab the best I can and see where it goes from there.”

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Buggs has already proved an ability to play through pain. He played the final month of his senior season at Long Beach Poly High School (Calif.) with the injured right knee.

“I knew it was the last time I was going to get to play with those guys and I really wanted to finish the year and help my team in the playoffs,” he said.

Buggs and Long Beach Poly made a courageous run through the CIF playoffs before falling to Junipero Serra High in the Division II state championship game last month.

Buggs said he still plans to enroll in summer classes at UH in July, when he can also start a rehab program with the UH trainers.

Earlier this week, Leland Green – a 6-3 guard at Redondo Union High (Calif.) – signed a National Letter of Intent to play with the Warriors. Buggs and Green played in the same backcourt for the Earl Watson Elite club team last summer.

“We played against each other through high school, and we played together last summer, so we’re close and I’m excited to play with him for the next four years,” Buggs said.

Buggs said he and Green have similar styles on the court, and they worked well together last summer.

“We both have a strong defensive mindset,” Buggs said. “We’re both explosive and can get to the rim and create for others. When we played together, we fed off each other. I think you’ll see both of us compete at Hawai’i and play to the best of our ability.”

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Ryan Silver, coach of the Earl Watson Elite program, said of Buggs: “Tell the people in Hawai’i not to worry about Drew. He just had surgery, but he’s a tough, tough kid. I don’t know when he’ll be ready, but when he is, Hawai’i will have a nice backcourt with Drew and Leland.”

Buggs signed his letter of intent during the early signing period in November. He attended several UH road games in California, and of course, followed the Warriors’ historic run to the NCAA Tournament.

“To be able to see the guys do that well, and knowing I was going to be a part of that group and program, it made me excited to continue that legacy,” he said. “The players and coaches made me feel like I was part of the team already.”

Buggs said he is aware that several of the key players will not be returning to the program next season.

“With our coaching staff, even though guys left, the expectations are going to be the same,” he said. “We’re still looking to come out and compete right away. It just gives new guys an opportunity to step up and fill in the gaps.”

Although doctors have ordered him to stay off his knee for at least a week, he put it to the test when his hometown Los Angeles Lakers played their season finale, and Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in the final game of his career.

“Kobe’s been my favorite player since I started playing basketball, and I’m a huge Lakers fan,” Buggs said. “I was on the couch watching the game, and it was so amazing I had to stop myself from jumping up so many times.”

18 Comments

  1. Toughness is nice. Healthy is better. Do everything to make sure it heals properly. Looking forward to an exciting season !

  2. Hoping for a speedy and fully recovery for Drew. He will be a vital player in the years to come.

  3. Any recruiting news? And hopefully he takes the right amount of time to heal, while him playing with the injury is great toughness not really the smart thing to do when you have bigger better things awaiting. All in all he’s a great get and can’t wait to see him playing for the Bows

  4. A true a warrior Get well Drew

  5. The headband.

  6. One of Q’s strengths was driving the ball so sounds like Buggs and/or Green should fit it pretty well into that role. “Defense wins championships” is the saying, and was also a strong point last year, so it’s encouraging to know that defense is also one of their strengths.

    To me, the key will be the point guard position so whoever steps into that role and plays well like Rod did will be important. To me, Rod should’ve gotten a lot more awards and was essential to our success over the past two year. We never had a true point guard like him who could handle the ball pressure (and give ball pressure) like him in a long time.

    Six months until next season… Always hate the wait.

  7. I hope the coaches are finding some talent in LA during the open evaluation period.

  8. Just discovered this pretty solid rap track by Brocke Stepteau featuring Sherriff Drammeh, Mike Thomas, and Quincy Smith: https://soundcloud.com/brockestepteau/marathon-feat-mt-slim-reef-q2smooth

  9. Coaches are all over the 48 states currently west coast , Texas and east coast , some tournaments in Texas from what I heard

  10. I had the same surgeries (acl and meniscus) on my left knee by the best – Dr. Kana and rehabbed at PRO. Honestly athletically it’s never the same again but I was older when I got the surgery. Hopefully Buggs will come back strong as a young gun!

  11. This waiting period… Offseason blues lol I can’t wait for at least football to start back up

  12. NBA playoffs is the last basketball I’ll be getting for a while.

  13. Bobbitt came back from his injury to lead the nation in steals. One can make the argument that he got all his quickness back and then some ! Agree with RC’s comments above! Bobbitt was able to take the pressure and put the pressure on. We are going to need a new point guard. Drammeh might be it or he might be the 2 guard. But somebody is going to have to provide the defense at the point, and also run the team. Big shoes to fill.

  14. Bobbit is the best point guard we had since AC Carter. You just can’t replace that and reload year after year. It’ll take a while to find someone anywhere near as good. And no, Drammeh isn’t the answer at point.

    And btw Bobbit’s injury Orie to junior year was shoulder so that wouldn’t factor much into his quickness.

  15. For those that say that Hawaii doesn’t have Div I players, another board mentioned Justice Sueing Jr (Maryknoll) and Samuta Avea (Kahuku) , both who are now at mainland high schools.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrGmLjb93XY

  16. While they’re from hawaii.. they needed to play elsewhere to get there (if they end up playing for a D1 school), so I don’t think they can really be examples for Hawaii HS bball having legit d1 players.

    I’ve been reading the forums for a while.. since the early gib days just never really commented but I’ve never noticed the user “RC” before I started posting. If I’m wrong I apologize but I will be putting a profile pic up and please do not follow suit with a similar one, as I want to stay away from past situations of multiple user names that I’ve witness take place on this board the last few years.

  17. Hawaii does have an occasional D1 talent here and there (Sensley, Nash, McGee, Akana, Alika, etc) but there is not enough to sustain recruiting efforts. If we can keep the guys home when there is talent I’m all for it but our focus has to be on the west coast and international.

  18. Does Jr have daddys hops? The highlights only have him shooting or layups. Looks fairly tall, maybe 6’5″? Would think dad would work on his jumping ability.

    the808, I thought Bobbitt broke his arm.

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