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Ganot returns as head coach for Sunday game against Maine

The University of Hawai’i basketball team has relied on the same starting lineup for every game so far this season, but there will be a significant change in the introductions when the Rainbow Warriors host Maine on Sunday.

Eran Ganot will return to his familiar role as head coach of the Warriors for the first time this season. He returned to full-time duties after Christmas, and was the head coach for the team’s two practices leading to Sunday’s game.

“I’m feeling better,” he said following the team’s practice on Saturday. “Obviously working towards being back to normal and it’s moving in a good direction.”

Sunday’s game is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawai’i is 8-5, and Maine is 3-9.

Ganot was on an undisclosed and indefinite medical leave of absence since November 6. He was not specific on the health issues that kept him away, but described it as “kind of a trifecta of things and some of it is personal. But when you have things that affect the area they were affecting, individually it would be tough but at the same time, it took a toll.”

Chris Gerlufsen served as acting head coach during Ganot’s absence. He is now back in his role as assistant coach, along with John Montgomery and Jabari Trotter. Jesse Nakanishi, who was allowed to serve as a temporary assistant coach while Ganot was out, is back in his role as director of basketball operations.

Ganot acknowledged that he stayed in contact with Gerlufsen and the staff in between his rest and rehabilitation.

“Look, I grind, I work, that’s what we do,” Ganot said. “I just had to put a lot of that time into different areas in terms of getting back. But I would have lost my sanity if I wasn’t involved in communicating with our staff and our players.”

Ganot added that he watched every game on television, and he said it was not an easy task.

“I feel for people who watch UH athletics or any sport or team that they’re passionate about,” he said. “You can imagine me with a ball in my hand, standing almost right in front of the screen. It’s hard. It’s really hard.”

HAWAI’I (8-5, 0-0 Big West) vs. MAINE (3-9, 0-0 America East)
When: Sunday, Dec. 29, 5:00 p.m. HT
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, HI
Television: Spectrum Sports – Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD).
Streaming Video:BigWest.TV (Must be a Spectrum cable subscriber to stream in Hawai’i).
Radio: Live on ESPN Honolulu (1420 AM/92.7 FM), KRKH (Maui), KPUA (Hawai’i Island), and KTOH (Kaua’i).
Audio Webcast:ESPNHonolulu.com/Sideline Hawai’i App.
Live Stats:HawaiiAthletics.com
Ticket Information: Lower level – $32; Upper level (prices vary by section) – $22, $18 or $5 for adults, $18, $15 or $5 for senior citizens, $8 or $5 for students. Free for UH Manoa students with ID. UH Manoa students free with validated ID. Parking is $7.
Promotions: Jack in the Box is the sponsor of Sunday’s contest and will distribute Free Taco Certificates to the first 5,000 fans at Gate A and award Free Jack in the Box for a Year during the promotional contest at halftime.   

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