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More on Warrior commit Beon Riley

From left, Chris Gerlufsen, Beon Riley, Rowena Fong, Jabari Trotter. Photo courtesy Beon Riley.

Perhaps it was fate. When Beon Riley received one of his first recruiting calls from the University of Hawai’i a little over a year ago, he happened to be on vacation with his family in Hawai’i.

“I got that call and so I decided to go and see the campus for myself on an unofficial visit,” he said. “I was impressed from that first day, and everything about Hawai’i and all the coaches has been really positive ever since.”

Riley, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound prep guard, made a commitment to sign with the Rainbow Warriors on Monday. He is currently in his senior year of high school at Cathedral Catholic High, and is expected to sign a National Letter of Intent during the early period (November 13-20).

He made an official visit to Honolulu last month, and said “the family atmosphere” of the program turned it into an easy decision.

“Any program, any coach, can tell you that they are a family and doing things right, but with Coach (Eran) Ganot and Hawai’i, I saw for myself how much everybody cares about each other and I wanted to be a part of that,” said Riley (his first name rhymes with Leon).

The Warriors are also getting a player with an impressive basketball resume. He was a starter as a freshman and sophomore at Mater Dei Catholic High in Chula Vista, Calif. During his sophomore season, he averaged 15.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, and was named to the second-team All-CIF San Diego Section Team.

Beon Riley and his mother, Rowena Fong. Photo courtesy Beon Riley.

At 235 pounds, Riley is not your average “2” guard. Because he might still be growing, Riley said he is willing to play any position on the collegiate level.

“You can call me a guard, a forward, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m a basketball player. I’ll play where ever the coaches want me to help the team.”

Prior to his junior year of high school, Riley’s mother got a new job that prompted the family to relocate. He transferred from Mater Dei to Cathedral Catholic High, but later discovered that he had to sit out his junior season of basketball due to transfer rules.

“There’s a lot more behind that, and I wasn’t expecting to have to sit out the whole year,” he said. “I’m definitely going out this year with something to prove.”

Riley said the Hawai’i coaches – old and new – stayed in touch with him throughout. He said assistant coach Jabari Trotter was his main contact at UH, but he was also being recruited early by then-University of San Diego assistant coach Chris Gerlufsen, who subsequently joined the UH staff two months ago.

“That’s another thing that really made me feel like Hawai’i was the place for me,” Riley said. “My top two schools were Hawai’i and San Diego. When Coach Gerlufsen got the job at Hawai’i, that made two coaches there who I was really comfortable with. And then when Coach Ganot came out to visit me and my family, I felt even better about Hawai’i.”

Rowena Fong and Beon Riley. Photo courtesy Beon Riley.

Riley said his current grade point average is “around 3.5, 3.6” and he already has an idea of what he wants to major in at UH.

“Something that really stood out to me on my visit was the focus on academics,” he said. “I want to get into business, and I could see that Hawai’i has a really good business program.”

He also had a chance to hang out at Waikiki Beach and eat a plate lunch at Rainbow Drive-In (“the macaroni salad is really good there,” he said). Riley is a self-described water person who played competitive swimming and water polo before focusing solely on basketball two years ago.

He is also aware of a physical characteristic that is fast becoming part of his identity. “Yeah, I think I’ll keep the hair growing out,” he said. “I don’t want to be just another sheep in the herd.”

5 Comments

  1. Huge get for the program! Very well done by the coaching staff.

  2. Good article, is he of part Korean or Chinese ancestry ?

  3. Welcome to the ohana, Beon. Nice get, coaches. And nice story, Dayton. Solid start to recruiting.

  4. Welcome, Beon

    Got ‘Connected’ Top-Notch Friends ?
    Still Growing ..Takes One to Recognize One
    YOU Are Joining a Great Group of Guys/Coaches
    Graduate December ?
    Who Else Might recognize The Difference?
    Trotter-Gerlufsen-Ganot-Montgomery-Rising-Program Hawai’i ?

    Thanks, Dayton & Pacific Risk

  5. UH does have a good, well-funded Business program. Thanks to Jay Shidler.
    Really like what Beon had to say.

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