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Catching up with Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas will have a different look and a different view with the University of Hawai’i basketball team this season.

Thomas is the lone returning starter from last season’s history-making 28-6 team, but he will not be in the staring lineup this season. The 6-foot-7 forward will sit out as a redshirt player due to a wrist injury. The 2017-18 season will serve as his senior campaign.

“The decision to redshirt was definitely tough,” Thomas said. “It’s tough to even be here at the beginning of practices, you can’t lead by example and play. But it kind of was a no-brainer from the fact that if I’m missing half my season with the injury anyways and we have the (NCAA) sanction and everything like that, it would be smarter to come back next year.”

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.

Thomas said the injury occurred during a Summer League game in July, and he underwent surgery in August. His right wrist will remain in a hard cast until at least October 19, and then at least six weeks of rehabilitation will follow.

“It is what it is, I guess,” he said. “But the timetable is looking good. I get the cast off in two weeks … and then I have surgery to get the pins out on the 19th.”

For now, Thomas is serving as a player/coach, attending every practice session while providing support and guidance for many of the 10 new players to the program.

“It’s tough for me because I don’t necessarily like that position,” he said. “Players can look at me as a coach, in a sense. It’s definitely given me a little more wisdom and insight from both sides. It’s definitely helped me out in making me a smarter player.”

Thomas said he plans to resume practicing with the team – essentially serving as the leader of the scout team – once he is cleared to participate, which should be sometime in December.

Although he will not don a game jersey this season, his practice jersey will be different from years past. After wearing number 25 for his first three seasons as a Warrior, Thomas switched to number 1 this season.

“My favorite player is Derrick Rose,” Thomas explained. “He was No. 1 going into the NBA. He used to wear 25, that’s why I wore it. I don’t know, I wanted to switch, I figured it would be kind of cool. I like No. 1. Single digits make you look thinner.”

From an academic standpoint, this redshirt season is allowing Thomas to spread out some of his classes so that he can graduate with a degree in Marketing in 2018.

1 Comment

  1. I’m taking notes.
    Next time the situation occurs, I’m going with the single digits, for sure.
    Thanks MT, Mahalo
    Can’t wait to have MT back on the team next year ! But its good to have him working out with the guys this year.
    Go Bows !

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