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A hard-earned and well-deserved record for Purchase

This is the 3-pointer that made Jack Purchase the new UH career leader for 3-pointers. Courtesy Brandon Flores

You know those little kids who shoot two-handed set shots with all their might from their chest? Jack Purchase was not one of them.

When you’re the son of a professional basketball player, you learn how to shoot properly from start.

“He taught me to put the ball above my head from a young age,” Purchase said. “I had my jump shot pretty much set before everyone else my age did.”

Hundreds of thousands of practice shots later, Purchase is the greatest 3-point shooter in the history of the University of Hawai’i basketball team. Regardless of comparisons to past players or fan opinions, Purchase has the numbers to prove it.

With five 3-pointers in the Rainbow Warriors’ last game – an 87-64 win over UC Riverside – Purchase became the program’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made and attempted. Through 85 career games at Hawai’i (and with at least six games still to come), Purchase has 185 career 3-pointers in 503 attempts.

The previous UH career records were held by Zane Johnson (180 3-pointers made from 2010-12) and Predrag Savovic (471 3-point attempts from 1999-2002).

“It’s still amazing,” Purchase said during an interview two days after he broke Johnson’s record. “The whole build up the whole week, it was in the paper and everything, hearing people talk about it. To finally knock that one down was a good feeling.”

Jack Purchase as a toddler, already with basketball in hand. Courtesy Purchase Family

In perhaps typical Purchase fashion, he expressed a sense of relief at achieving the record with two weeks remaining in the regular season … so that the focus can now shift to the rest of the Warriors.

Hawai’i is 16-9 overall and in third place in the Big West Conference at 7-4. The Warriors will play two road games this week – at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, then at Cal Poly on Saturday.

“Right now we’re clicking,” he said. “Right now, we’re playing really well together. It looks pretty on the court, we’re having fun. But the thing for us is staying consistent. We have to keep it rolling.”

While Purchase took the spotlight last week, he is not the only sharpshooter on the team. Junior guard Eddie Stansberry leads the Warriors with 66 3-pointers, while Purchase has 63. Brocke Stepteau (29 3-pointers) and Sheriff Drammeh (25 3-pointers) are also considered long-range threats.

At its current pace, this Hawai’i team will likely break the school record for 3-pointers made in a season. This year’s Warriors have already made 222 3-pointers. The current UH team record of 241 was set by the 2001-02 team that went to the NCAA Tournament led by Predrag Savovic and Carl English.

“Very dangerous, very dangerous,” Purchase said of this team’s shooting ability. “If they’re face-guarding me, then Brocke and Eddie are open. Or if they’re face-guarding them, then one of us is open. Having three or four people on the court at any given time who can knock down a 3 when they’re wide open is dangerous. It definitely helps us spread the floor and it definitely helps us run our offense as well.”

This is an Australian Under-14 all-star team. Jack Purchase is in the top row, second from left. In the front row, at right, is Ben Simmons, current NBA All-Star and Philadelphia 76er. Courtesy Purchase Family

Even before he made his first 3-pointer at Hawai’i, Purchase played an influential role. After transferring from Auburn in 2015, he had to sit out the 2015-16 season as a redshirt, per NCAA transfer rules.

That 2015-16 UH team won the Big West Conference championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, and Purchase was the organizer of the “Hawaii 5-O” bench crew that celebrated big shots with choreographed moves and skits during games. They became as identifiable as the stars of the team.

When Purchase finally got his chance to play during the 2016-17 season, he did not disappoint. He made 72 3-pointers, which is the most by a UH sophomore, and seventh on UH’s single-season list. He followed up with 57 3-pointers while battling injuries during his junior season.

He has saved his best for last, as he has transformed into an all-around player as a senior. He currently leads the Warriors in scoring (11.8), is second on the team in rebounding (6.0, which is the best mark of his career), leads the team with 12 blocked shots, and is third on the team with 49 assists. He is also shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range, and 82.4 percent on free throws. As proof of his importance, he also leads the team in minutes played (30.3 per game).

“I’ve said it before, my favorite part of the game is getting assists,” he said. “Trying to see other harder, playing the right way. I take a fair bit of pride in it, yeah.”

He’s also performed well in the classroom. He is on track to graduate in May with a degree in Human Development and Family Services.

“It’s kind of come and gone very quickly,” he said. “But it’s been an amazing time here. I’ve loved every second of it. Playing in the Stan Sheriff, there’s nothing like it … when the Stan’s going crazy, I get goose bumps on the court when I’m coming back on defense after a big play. It is sad, but we still have one more (home) game here and we’re looking to finish off the right way.”

The Purchase family above and below, taken about 4-5 years apart: Jack is in the middle of both shots. His father is Nigel and mother is Simone. His two sisters are Lucy (at left in top photo and second from right in bottom photo) and Grace. Courtesy Purchase Family

4 Comments

  1. Great write up! Looking forward to senior night!

  2. Jack is very under rated and I think he will be missed a lot next year. He is the senior guy who can carry this team to the title this year!

  3. Congrats Jack! Really happy for him and his overall play this season. Much improved and I hope it ends well. This team is a lot of fun to watch, esp when it’s raining 3’s! Sad that the season’s almost over but crossing my fingers on some kind of post-season opportunity. Let’s GO Bows!!

  4. Congrats to Jack. He’s turned into a complete player but he sure can shoot the heck out of the ball.

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