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Freshmen getting early opportunities for Warriors

Ready or not, the freshmen players on the University of Hawai’i basketball team are getting their opportunities in early-season practices.

Point guard Jessiya Villa, combo guard Justin Webster, and forward Bernardo da Silva have all been getting extra repetitions in recent practices, thanks in part to injuries to other players.

“It’s been great; everything I expected – hard and a lot of intensity, a lot of detail,” said Webster, a 6-foot-3 true freshman from Dallas, Texas. “Coach has been on me, which is good, and it’s teammates competing, so it’s been great.”

All three are expected to play in the Green & White intrasquad scrimmage this Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Doors will open at noon. The team is expected to practice for about one hour, and the intrasquad scrimmage will start around 1:00 p.m. Admission is free.

“I know there will be a bunch of trash talk in the locker room,” said Villa, a 2017 Kahuku High graduate who spent the last two years serving a church mission in Ghana. “However, that’s just going to make us better. One thing I’ve learned is that our biggest competition should be each other in practice.”

Da Silva and Webster are playing through minor injuries, and are attempting to make up for some missed time last week.

“I feel like there is more to learn every day,” said da Silva, a 6-9 forward from Brazil. “We have a lot of plays and a lot of sets. I just have to be able to learn and think about it more throughout the day so I can be ready for practice.”

Returning players Owen Hulland and Eddie Stansberry have also missed practice time due to injuries. Ahmed Ali, a senior transfer from Washington State, has also been sidelined recently.

Freshmen walk-ons Kameron Ng and Garrett Cason were also held out of contact drills in recent practices.

More details about the intrasquad scrimmage will be announced soon.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the video, Dayton. Mature freshmen taking advantage of their opportunities bodes well for building depth on this team. After two years serving his church mission, Villa already sounds like the leader he’s envisioned to be.

  2. Agreed. I like Villa’s mindset he seems having returned from the mission astonishingly in shape and ready to hit the ground running and with a maturity level you’d otherwise expect from the upperclassmen. I like this trio of freshman recruits they seem like a great group to develop and grow with the next four years. Go Bows!

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