Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Meet the Warriors: Darryl Matthews

Darryl Matthews understands that basketball may not always be a part of his future. Heck, he’s not even at full strength yet for this season.


It is why he is not afraid to enroll in challenging classes – such as Finance and Mandarin – during his first season with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

Matthews, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, transferred to UH from West Los Angeles College. Current UH assistant coach Chris Acker was the head coach at West L.A. during Matthews’ freshman season.

Ankle injuries hampered his sophomore season, and he opted to walk on at Hawai’i for this season. Matthews said he planned to enroll at the University of San Francisco and give up on college basketball until the UH coaches reached out to offer him a walk-on spot on the roster.

“It’s been great ever since I got here,” he said. “It’s one of the great choices I made.”

At 212 pounds, Matthews is one of the stronger post players on the team. However, he is still recovering from an ankle surgery he had in March, and admits that he may have to accept a lesser role this season.

“My role this year is actually just to bring energy in practice, help these guys get better,” he said. “If I get out on the floor, just make sure I don’t make any mistakes, rebound the ball at a high level, bring energy, play defense at a high level, force turnovers, steals, just be here for my teammates.”

As a daily reminder of his journey to full strength, Matthews needs only to look at his well-toned left shoulder and torso. He has a tattoo of two koi fish that “swim” up his body and transform into a dragon on his shoulder and arm.

“The swimming upstream is basically to show what hardships you go through in life – you might be down and out, but you have to keep swimming,” he said. “The koi fish swims upstream to get to his goals every year, and turns into a dragon. The dragon represents strength, power and luck.”


  1. Interesting guy!
    Last year at 6′ 5″, Aaron Valdes was our best dunker and played mad defense. Hope Darryl Mathews watches some of last years AV’s highlights, and works on his jumping ability and quickness. In other words, don’t just go through the motions. Do what it takes to give us some highlights!

  2. The attitude of the players are very unselfish and team centric which will take them further than any skill.

  3. All diamonds shine in each’s own god-given brilliancy.

    Hawaiian Aloha extends to all of those here to make the most with their opportunities!

  4. Darryl truly is a interesting guy! He sounds mature so maybe he is older than the other guys on team. I like his story about the tattoo. I hope those big arms and shoulders help grab lots of rebounds!

  5. What a refreshing attitude and a great addition to the team. Just a likable guy who has his priorities in the right place. Hopefully, he’ll contribute on the court as much as I’m sure he will in the locker room.

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