Hawai’i lands commitment of prized Xavier transfer Gytis Nemeikša

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JUNE 28, 2024

HONOLULU – They found Nemo. 

The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team received a massive boost to the 2024-25 roster on Friday as former Xaiver Musketeers forward Gytis “Nemo” Nemeikša announced his commitment to the Rainbow Warriors for his final year of eligibility. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward appeared in 34 games (20 starts) in his lone season at Xavier, averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 18.5 minutes of action each night. 

“I’m really excited to play for Hawai’i,” Nemeikša said. “I’m excited to join the team and get to know my teammates better to become a family.” 

The Lithuanian forward transferred to Xavier ahead of last season from a university in Lithuania, leaving questions as to the total number of years that Nemeikša could play in the NCAA. Those questions were answered in December when he was granted a 2nd year of eligibility by the NCAA. He was ranked as the 5th-best remaining player in the portal as a 4-star transfer by EvanMiya CBB Analytics. He is the highest-rated forward to join the Big West via the transfer portal this offseason. 

“I felt a lot of attention from the staff and I liked the presentation of the team,” Nemeikša said about what set Hawai’i apart in the recruiting process. “You can see that it’s an organization that is very professional and like one big family.” 

Outside of the ‘Bows, Nemeikša was pursued the hardest by Drake, who made the 2024 NCAA Tournament as a 10-seed, and Rhode Island while hearing from a multitude of other schools. 

Nemeikša poured in a season-high 20 points in a 74-71 loss to Washington during the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas, going 7-of-11 from the field (1-of-3 3PT) to lead all scorers in just 28 minutes of action. Playing at national runner-up Purdue, Nemeikša tallied 10 points and seven boards in 25 minutes, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in Xavier’s 83-71 road loss. 

“A very energetic and dedicated player,” Nemeikša said when asked to describe himself. “I’m always playing with a high motor, just doing everything that I can to win. As a person, I am calm and kind. I like to communicate and meet new people.” 

The 6-foot-8 stretch forward enjoyed a 10-point, 5-rebound performance against back-to-back national champion UConn on January 10, starting and playing 22 minutes against the Huskies while shooting an efficient 4-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from 3-point range. After starting in the Musketeers’ first nine games, Nemeikša’s role and playing time began to fluctuate following the flip of the calendar.  

Hawai’i’s transfer portal recruiting class is now at three players as Nemeikša joins HCU guard Marcus Greene and Utah Tech center Tanner Christensen as new Rainbow Warriors. All three of Greene, Christensen and Nemeikša arrive as new ‘Bows have one year of eligibility remaining. Hawai’i will welcome two high school additions in three-star guard Aaron Hunkin-Claytor on scholarship and Roy Igwe as a walk-on while wing AJ Economou will finally enjoy his first court action for the ‘Bows after redshirting the spring semester last year.