Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Princeton to paradise: Jerome Desrosiers commits to transfer to Hawai’i

There are a lot of descriptors that Jerome Desrosiers will bring with him to the University of Hawai’i basketball team next season.

Photo courtesy goprincetontigers.com

There’s size – he’s 6 feet 7 and 245 pounds. Experience – he appeared in 82 games with 29 starts through his first three seasons on the NCAA Division I level. Shooting skills – 89 3-pointers as a power forward through his 82 collegiate games.

More than all of that, are two words that speak volumes … Princeton graduate.

Desrosiers made a commitment earlier this month to join the Rainbow Warriors as a graduate transfer for the 2021-22 season. He will graduate from Princeton in May as an Anthropology major. One of his first moves with Ivy League degree in hand will be relocating to the Manoa campus this summer.

“Coach (Eran) Ganot said he just wants his guys to be happy,” Desrosiers said. “That’s one thing that really resonated with me. That’s how I try to live my life as well – just be happy in general.”

It’s been tough for Desrosiers and other Ivy League student-athletes to be completely happy during the 2020-21 school year. Princeton and other Ivy League teams opted out of the entire season. There have been no games – or even practices – for nearly a full year.

“When the games (for other NCAA teams) actually started, it was hard to watch,” he said. “It hit me a little harder than I expected. We can’t have a season while everyone else is playing. It’s tough to sit around doing nothing and you can’t do much about it. But it gives me something to look forward to. It fuels me to work harder and get ready for next season.”

Desrosiers said he is allowed to lift weights at the school, but otherwise just works out on his own or with one coach. The Princeton players are not allowed to do basketball workouts with each other in the school gyms.

Desrosiers was a key contributor during his three completed seasons at Princeton. He averaged just 16.2 minutes per game, but managed to produce 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game through his 82 games played.

“I love to play tough,” he said. “Skill wise, I love shooting 3s, but I also love to get rebounds and drive at the rim, finish hard … overall, I like to be versatile so I can play more minutes.”

As a freshman during the 2017-18 season, Desrosiers had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed four rebounds in a 77-63 win over Hawai’i in the fifth place game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Little did he know that it would serve as an early preview for his second recruiting process.

Recruits, including transfers and graduate transfers, are not allowed to make in-person recruiting visits during the ongoing pandemic. Desrosiers said he entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal in late November and was contacted by the Hawai’i coaches shortly after.

“The coaches did a great job, showing me pictures, photos and videos of the campus,” he said. “Since I’ve been there already, my freshman year to play in the (Diamond Head) tournament, I kind of knew what it looked like, the facilities and stuff. I wasn’t jumping into the unknown, really.”

Desrosiers said Hawai’i assistant coach Jabari Trotter was his main contact on the staff, and with good reason. Trotter is a fellow Ivy League product – a graduate of Dartmouth, and a former basketball player and coach there. “That was good to hear from him, someone who kind of lived what I did – same career, kind of – in the Ivy League,” Desrosiers said.

Desrosiers is originally from Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, and has previous experience with Canada’s U17 national team. He was recruited to Princeton out of Northfield Mount Hermon, a prep school in Massachusetts that is considered a national power.

Desrosiers said his first language is French (see the video above for the correct pronunciation of his last name).

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