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Dynamic point guard McClanahan commits to Warriors

Photo courtesy JoVon McClanahan

If adjusting and adapting are considered good traits for a point guard, then the University of Hawai’i appears to have secured a good one for the future in JoVon McClanahan.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound point guard at Sheridan College (Wyoming) made a commitment this weekend to sign with the Rainbow Warriors. He recently completed his freshman season at Sheridan with spectacular statistics, and will have three seasons of NCAA Division I eligibility at UH.

“I just thought that Hawai’i has a great coaching staff, the culture they have there is great, there’s a lot of fan support, and I think that Coach Eran (Ganot) has Hawai’i going in the right direction,” McClanahan said. “The pieces they have on the team complement me, I think. They also said the point guard position is wide open and I think I can be a great fit.”

McClanahan’s commitment comes at an obviously unique time for the entire world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all forms of in-person recruiting and recruiting visits to college campuses have been on hold for the past month.

He said the Hawai’i coaches recruited him with the use of modern technology – video conferencing and online presentations.

“I’ve never been to Hawai’i before, but they showed me pictures and videos, the ins and outs of Hawai’i,” McClanahan said. “We did a live (video) call with my parents and the coaching staff and talked about everything. It was different, but that’s the way everybody’s adjusting to it now. It was a good relationship from the start, so just seeing everything they showed me made it feel like a good fit all around.”

McClanahan averaged 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game, and led the team with 61 steals in 29 games this past season at Sheridan. He made 61 3-pointers and shot 44.5 percent (61 for 137) from 3-point range. He also was a remarkable 245 for 279 (87.5 percent) from the free throw line (for comparative purposes, the UH record for free throws made in a season is 195 by Christian Standhardinger in 2013-14).

Courtesy JoVon McClanahan

He scored 20 or more points in 19 games this past season, including a high of 50 points and another game with 40 points.

Cody Ball, head coach at Sheridan College, said: “His on-court numbers make it obvious that he is a great player, but I wouldn’t expect him to score at the rate he is scoring now. He is more of a true point guard that is a great shooter. Because of injuries, JoVon was asked to become more of a scorer than he normally would be. He willingly stepped up. At Hawai’i he will do whatever is asked of him – which I expect to be a heady, solid point guard.”

McClanahan noted that the team averaged 86.6 points per game with what he described as an “attacking” offense.

“It was a four-out, one-in offense with a lot of dribble drives and ball screens,” he said. “The coaches put me in a great position to do what I did.

“I would describe myself as a winner, first. I’ll do whatever it takes to win. I feel like I can score on all three levels – 3-point, deep range, mid-range, finishing inside and drawing fouls. But I also like to get my teammates the ball, and I feel like I can defend.”

It is interesting to note that Sheridan College is in the same league as Western Wyoming.  Manel Ayol, a 6-7 forward at Western Wyoming, committed in March to play for Hawai’i.

Courtesy JoVon McClanahan

“That’s another reason I picked Hawai’i,” McClanahan said. “He’s real athletic and he plays hard and I think we’ll complement each other’s game.”

Sheridan and Western Wyoming split the regular-season series, 1-1, but Western Wyoming went on to win the district championship.

McClanahan is from Vallejo, Calif., near the San Francisco Bay area, and played high school basketball at Salesian Prep. One of his Salesian classmates was Makayla Edwards, who played her freshman season for the UH women’s basketball team.

“She’s not going back, but before she made that decision, she told me a lot about Hawai’i – the people, the culture,” McClanahan said. “That helped me to hear it from somebody I knew.”

McClanahan was not recruited by Division I programs out of high school, so he opted to attend Sheridan.

“I guess you could say I got overlooked and when a lot of the California schools weren’t going to take a chance on me, that made me want to go away for JUCO,” he said.

His one season at Sheridan changed things, and over the past few months he received recruiting interest from Washington State, Cal, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton, San Diego and Montana State.

Courtesy JoVon McClanahan

Like almost every other college campus in America, Sheridan shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic, and McClanahan is completing this semester through online methods from his home in California. Unlike other student-athletes, he is able to train daily. His father has access to a gym, and he has a twin brother (Jaden) to work out with. His brother is the starting point guard at Independence Community College (Kansas).

McClanahan said he would like to major in business, and his coach at Sheridan noted that he is as solid in the classroom as he is on the court.

“JoVon is a special player and a special person,” Ball said. “What I think is the most important thing to know about JoVon is that he is an exceptional student. He is a 4.0 student so far in all of his college courses. As my assistant, Tyler Hurley, often said during the season: enjoy having your best player also be your best student and one of the best kids you’ll ever know. Hawai’i got themselves a great person and player.”

McClananhan is the third recruit to commit to the Warriors for the 2020-21 season. The others are the previously mentioned Manel Ayol, and Australian point guard Biwali Bayles.

The signing period for basketball recruits starts on April 15, but there are still numerous questions about the process due logistic complications associated with the COVID-19 shutdowns.

4 Comments

  1. Good insights in this story.

  2. Welcome to Hawaii JoVon!

    This kid looks like he could really ball! As sad as it was to lose Buggs, it might work out for the best. Hopefully they can figure out this COVID19 situation soon!!!

  3. Huge pickup with Buggs leaving town. Let’s keep the recruiting momentum going.

  4. Super-Social Long-Distancing…
    Ditto…Nice Insights, Dayton

    ‘Capper’ to A Great Class Would be The Athletic Eraser who Can Score At Will…
    {‘Just Asking…Coaches on a Nice Building Run…;-}
    Much like what these recruits seem to have; the ability to create their own and teammate’s shots…
    Potentially Good Medicine for The Anemic Big West Offensive Challenges this past season…

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