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Practices for Australia are underway

The preseason has a preseason this year for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

With the program’s historic “2018 Down Under Tour“ now just a week away, the Rainbow Warriors have already started “official practices.” The team is scheduled to depart Honolulu on August 8 for a 10-day trip to Australia that will include four exhibition games.

“I haven’t been out of the country before, so I’m excited to go for the first time,” said sophomore guard Drew Buggs, who is from Long Beach, Calif.

In accordance with NCAA rules on preseason international trips, the Warriors are allowed 10 dates of practices in preparation for the competition in Australia. If not for the trip, the team would be starting practices in late September.

“It’s my last year, I want to get another (championship) ring,” senior guard Sheriff Drammeh said. “Obviously, every single practice matters, everything has to be right. This year, I’m kind of taking it different. I still have a leadership role, but it’s a different one now that both of our seniors is gone (from last season) and I’m a senior this year. I’m trying to take the biggest leadership responsibility there is.”

The preseason practices started last week, with 16 players on the roster (all 16 are expected to make the trip to Australia). Six newcomers (Dawson Carper, Mate Colina, Owen Hulland, Eddie Stansberry, Huthifah Abdeljawad and Zoar Nedd) are getting a head start on learning the system.

Drammeh and Buggs are two of the 10 returnees. The others are Samuta Avea, Leland Green, Justin Hemsley, Trevor LaCount, Jack Purchase, Zigmars Raimo, Brocke Stepteau and Brandon Thomas).

“I see more of a mature team,” Buggs said. “We have quite a few more returners. A lot more confidence because we have a lot of guys that played significant minutes last year that are returning. Just a more cohesive unit.”

Purchase, Colina and Hulland are all from Australia.

This is the program’s first trip to Australia. The last time a UH basketball team participated in a preseason international trip was 2011, when the Warriors visited China and Japan.

2 Comments

  1. Good interviews. It’s cold in Australia though,per some Wahine players from there.

  2. Like this team’s size , balance.

    Going to be fun watching dem guys!!

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