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Australian point guard Biwali Bayles commits to Hawai’i

Photo courtesy Bayles family

Biwali Bayles is quick and confident in his decisions. That’s a good thing for a young point guard. It’s an even better thing for the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

Bayles, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard from Redfern, Sydney, Australia, made a commitment this week to sign with the Rainbow Warriors. He is currently a member of Australia’s U18 National Team, and will have four years of NCAA playing eligibility, starting with the 2020-21 season.

The official signing period for basketball recruits starts on April 15, but Bayles said he already knows where he wants to play collegiately.

“Once I got to see Hawai’i, I already had a good feeling,” Bayles said. “You can feel the energy in the people and it really is a special culture there. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in America that has what Hawai’i has to offer.”

Bayles is considered one of the top prospects in Australia for the class of 2020. In 2019, he was selected to the Australia U17 National Team. That team won the FIBA U17 Oceania Championship last August in New Caledonia. He averaged 9.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in that tournament, including 12 points, two rebounds and one assist in the championship game victory over New Zealand.

More recently, he was selected to the Australia U18 National Team, and will play with them in a big international tournament in Germany this March.

“It’s helped me a lot,” Bayles said of playing against elite-level age competition in international basketball. “It’s helped me become more of a leader because I feel like I have experience, especially for my age.”

Biwali Bayles with his mother, Binowee Bayles. Photo courtesy Bayles family

Bayles is currently enrolled at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, the same academy in Sydney, Australia, that produced current Warriors Mate Colina and Owen Hulland. A third Australian, Junior Madut, joined the Warriors in December; a fourth – Jack Purchase – graduated last year.

“Obviously, it helped to see some Australians there in Hawai’i, and be able to talk to them,” Bayles said. “But to be completely honest, that didn’t make a difference in my decision. Just seeing the school and how close all the boys were and how much of a family it was, I wanted to be a part of it. It didn’t matter where all the other boys were from, they were all together like a family and that’s what I wanted to be a part of.”

Bayles said he has played the point guard position since he first started playing basketball, and describes his playing style as “energetic.”

“I bring energy to both ends of the floor,” he said. “I’m the type who will give up a good shot for a great shot. I like to get my teammates involved, make sure that they’re getting better, on and off the floor.”

Bayles said he also made recruiting visits to California Baptist and Drexel, but his decision was a relatively easy one.

Australia U17 National Team. Bayles is in front row, second from left.

“There were other schools recruiting me, too,” he said. “But once I made the trip to Hawai’i, I knew that’s where I needed to be. It was crazy to see how the whole state supports the team over there. I feel like a lot of people look up to the basketball players, especially the young kids. That’s something I value, being able to make an impact with the younger generation.”

Bayles noted that he was raised by a single mother, Binowee Bayles, who accompanied him during his official visit to UH. She has Aboriginal Australian ethnic roots, and Biwali’s first name translates to “Elegant” in one of the Aboriginal languages.

“The Aboriginal culture is similar to what I felt in Hawai’i – family and culture are very important,” he said. “That’s something I can always relate to, and that my mom felt good about, too.”

Here is a highlight video from Bayles’ senior season of high school:


1 Comment

  1. Looks like he can drive to the basket pretty well!

    Seems solid

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