Former ‘Bow, Utah Tech assistant coach Gibson Johnson re-joins Hawai’i coaching staff

Former ‘Bow, Utah Tech assistant coach Gibson Johnson re-joins Hawai’i coaching staff

Hawai'i adds former player, Utah Tech assistant Gibson Johnson to staff.

via Hawai’i Athletics

Former ‘Bow, Utah Tech assistant coach Gibson Johnson re-joins Hawai’i coaching staff 

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JUNE 5, 2024

HONOLULU – Guess who’s back, back again? 

Former Rainbow Warriors standout Gibson Johnson (‘18) will be joining the Hawai’i men’s basketball coaching staff, UH announced Wednesday morning. It will mark the 2nd stint as a coach for the former standout forward and all-Big West honorable mention after serving on Eran Ganot’s staff as a graduate manager (2019-21) and director of player development (2021-22).  

“First of all, I love the [Hawai’i men’s basketball program],” Johnson said regarding his encore stint on the Rainbow Warriors’ staff. “My love started playing here. I met a lot of special people at this program and university and the state in general is just surrounded by the type of people that I want to surround myself with … It’s a special place.” 

Johnson, who won a junior college national championship at Salt Lake Community College prior to his playing days for the ‘Bows, was a two-year captain and starter for the Rainbow Warriors. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged double-digit points in each season with Hawai’i, starting 59 out of 60 possible games while being named an all-Big West honorable mention during his junior season. 

“Being able to explain what it is on a day-to-day basis [at Hawai’i], what it’s like playing for coach – the amazing things about it and the struggles you go through [as a collegiate student-athlete] – I feel like I’m able to give that insight,” Johnson responded when asked about some of the traits he’ll bring back to the staff. “I have some good qualities as a coach as far as being able to recruit, how connected I am in the game [too].” 

Following his graduation, Johnson took a year as an assistant coach at SLCC before jumping on staff at his alma mater. After his three seasons on the pine with Ganot and company, Johnson accepted a role at Utah Tech as an assistant coach under legendary Division II coach Jon Judkins – who led then-Dixie State to 12 straight winning seasons, six PacWest conference crowns and nine Division II NCAA Tournament appearances before the program transitioned into the Division I institution ranks. 

“It was a learning experience overall. The programs are run differently so [I was afforded] different responsibilities with an elevation going from [director of player development at Hawai’i] to assistant coach,” Johnson said, reflecting on his time with Utah Tech. “I was given full opportunity over at Utah Tech and that really allowed me to grow. Coach [Jon Judkins] is a great guy, over 600 wins in college sports [is hard to do]. 

While with the Trailblazers, Johnson continued refining the multiple aspects of his coaching prowess as a developer of players, strategist, and recruiter. Among his quality traits as a coach, multiple staffs have lauded his ability to recruit and connect with players from across the country. His time at Utah Tech lined up perfectly with that for Idaho transfer sophomore Tanner Christensen, joining the Trailblazers for the 2022-23 season. Christensen committed to transfer to Hawai’i for his final year of eligibility earlier this offseason on April 1 and officially signed on April 17. 

“I’m really excited about where the program is heading,” Johnson said. “We suffocate our program with great people and we’re going to keep pushing in that [positive] direction. I’ve always been about winning championships, it’s the reason I came out here and that’s what we want to do.” 

Hawai’i men’s basketball assistant coach Brad Davidson joins ‘Wake Up in the Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani’

Hawai’i men’s basketball assistant coach Brad Davidson joins ‘Wake Up in the Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani’

Hawai’i men’s basketball assistant coach Brad Davidson joins ‘Wake Up in the Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JUNE 4, 2024

HONOLULU – From the Land Down Under, to the frigid cold of the Dakotas (both North AND South), to a happy medium in the middle in Hawai’i, Brad Davidson’s coaching career has taken plenty of twists and turns. 

It has also allowed him to take in plenty of action featuring plenty of talent. 

The veteran basketball coach sat down Tuesday for a getting-to-know episode of Wake Up in The Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani’ and discussed a multitude of topics including his 13-year playing career in the NBL, the time he was replaced by a young Patty Mills for the Australian national team and his foray into coaching. 

After learning about the foundation that built Hawai’i’s Aussie assistant coach, the conversation shifted over to the Rainbow Warriors and how Davidson got involved with the ‘Bows in the first place. Knowing head coach Eran Ganot for a while through days of working on the highest-level circuit in Australia for basketball, Davidson had always half-joked with the ‘Bows head coach that he would be ready at the ring of a phone for a spot on the staff in Hawai’i – and then pounced on the opportunity when the real telephone ring came. 

Since coming to Hawai’i ahead of the 2021 season, Davidson has continued helping produce high-level guards, including assistance in the development of JoVon McClanahan as an all-conference caliber player. With the 2024-25 edition of the ‘Bows, it’ll be a new group of talented faces that Davidson says he is looking forward to working with. 

“You can see the hunger there for him and the chip on his shoulder,” Davidson said of incoming transfer Marcus Greene while discussing Hawai’i’s recruiting class so far. “He also has great leadership skills which is [something apparent with incoming freshman] Aaron Hunkin-Claytor.” 

Davidson mentioned returning junior point guard Kody Williams along with freshman AJ Economou that will get a chance to compete for a role this season, discussing the little things that make each player unique in the process. Hawai’i also returns standout sophomore guard Tom Beattie and promising young forward Akira Jacobs as players expected to progress in year two. 

You can catch ‘Wake Up in The Den with Ku’ulei Agbayani’ live every weekday morning from 8-9 a.m. HT on 95.1 FM, AM 760 and streaming on hawaiisportsradio.com. The show is available after recording where most podcasts are, along with past OIA and HPU broadcasts and older interviews. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, Hawaii Sports Radio Network, for the behind-the-scenes of shows and interviews like this one and many more! 

Fore the Players Classic Hawaii NIL Golf Tournament

Fore the Players Classic Hawaii NIL Golf Tournament

Fore the Players Classic, NIL Golf Tournament for University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball

BY HSRN STAFF | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 20, 2024

One of the nation’s premier NIL golf events is coming to Hawai’i! Designed to help the players and the program, the money raised will directly support the University of Hawai’i Men’s Basketball student-athletes and build the NIL foundation for the future.

Hosted by a Campio Sports and a Surprise Celebrity Guest, participants will play championship golf, receive custom swag, and meet and mingle with current UH men’s basketball players.

What:     ‘Fore the Players Classic’
When:     Thursday, August 1
10:30 am – Registration in the Clubhouse
12:15 pm – Tee-Off
5:30 pm – Reception in the Clubhouse (Auction & Awards during Reception/Dinner)
Where:    Kapolei Golf Club, Kapolei, HI

What’s included: 18 hole contests + complimentary food & beverages + one-of-a-kind swag including custom gifts, high level prizes, autographs, & much more!

Contact: Jake Headrick
Phone: (205) 300-1145
Email: info@campiosports.com

UH Men’s Basketball: 2024 Offseason Recruiting/Transfer Portal Tracker

UH Men’s Basketball: 2024 Offseason Recruiting/Transfer Portal Tracker

UH Men’s Basketball: 2024 Offseason Recruiting/Transfer Portal Tracker 

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED APR 8, 2024 UPDATED JUNE 8, 2024

The 2024 offseason presents a big remodeling of the UH men’s basketball program, losing six seniors and injured sophomore center Mor Seck to the transfer portal. In all, Hawai’i lost the top five point-producers from last season with the graduation of 1,000-point scorers Noel Coleman and Bernardo de Silva, all-Big West selection Justin McKoy, sharpshooting 8th-year guard Juan Munoz and late-clock magician & prime table-setter JoVon McClanahan. 

The quintet of Rainbow Warriors leave many holes on the roster to fill for head coach Eran Ganot and staff to fill. Hawai’i returns promising young prospects in 6-foot-5 guard Tom Beattie and 6-foot-9 forward Akira Jacobs while looking to soon-to-be juniors Kody Williams and Harry Rouhliadeff to take a leap in production. Ryan Rapp, the sweet-shooting guard from Australia that started 18 games in 2023-24 for Hawai’i, is also expected to return next season. The ‘Bows also have signed 6-foot-3 guard Aaron Hunkin-Claytor and have early-enrollee high-flying wing AJ Economou ready to join the fray entering next year. 

Since contact with recruits/transfers has been permitted, the UH men’s basketball staff has been on the road hard at work to help fill in the missing puzzle pieces for competing for the Big West in 2024-25. Below, you can find an up-to-date list on the latest in ‘Bows basketball recruiting from rumors to offers to commitments. 

Hawai’i in contact with experienced 6-foot-7 double-digit scorer

(JUNE 5) The Rainbow Warriors are on the hunt again, checking on former Sacramento State guard Zee Hamoda in the transfer portal as Hawai’i works to fill out the remainder of the roster after the graduation of six seniors. Already receiving commitments from guard Marcus Greene and center Tanner Christensen, the 6-foot-7 Hamoda would play on the wing for UH men’s basketball after averaging nearly 12 points and four rebounds per game last season for Sacramento State.

Hamoda began his career at Utah State, appearing in 62 games off the bench for the Aggies across two seasons before transferring to Sac State for his junior season. The 6-foot-7 wing eclipsed double-digit points in 22 of 34 games last year, including a 15-point, 6-rebound showing in a 10-point loss at Big West tournament champion Long Beach State on December 2. Hamoda has also heard from UMass, San Diego State and UC Santa Barbara among many others since entering the transfer portal.


 

St. Thomas More (CT) springy forward Roy Igwe commits to Rainbow Warriors

(MAY 10) The 2024 high school recruiting class for the Hawai’i men’s basketball program just got a bit more athletic.

Roy Igwe, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound wing that grew up in Japan, announced his commitment to the Rainbow Warriors on Friday, May 10. After graduating from school in Japan, Igwe spent a season at Connecticut prep school St. Thomas More while preparing for chance at the next level and now is expected to join the ‘Bows as a walk-on with four years of eligibility.

Igwe played against Hawai’i during the Rainbow Warriors’ international trip to Japan in August of 2023, catching the eye of coaches ahead of his prep season in Connecticut after showing off his strength and athleticism against some of the more veteran players on the UH roster during a scrimmage against the Tokyo Samurai. He is the 2nd UH men’s basketball commit with Japanese ties in the last two seasons, joining rising sophomore Akira Jacobs on the Rainbow Warriors’ roster.

He becomes the second member of UH’s high school recruiting class for 2024, joining three-star guard Aaron Hunkin-Claytor.


 

Former Mr. Basketball winner visiting Hawai’i as ‘Bows continue backcourt remodel (NEWS)

(MAY 6) Hawai’i hosted former Minnesota Gophers guard Braeden Carrington on Monday, multiple sources confirmed to HSRN. The 6-foot-4 sophomore from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota was a high school standout that originally decided to stay home and suit up for the Gophers following a senior year that saw his team go 31-1, capture the school’s first state title and the guard himself get named as the 2022 Mr. Basketball honoree in Minnesota. His recognition as Minnesota’s “Mr. Basketball” followed a two-year run of future top-5 NBA Draft selections Jalen Suggs (’20) and Chet Holmgren (’21) and Carrington became the first honoree to stay home to play for Minnesota in six years (Amir Coffey, ’16).

Carrington averaged 4.6 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per contest across 29 appearances (10 starts) for Minnesota in 2023-24, becoming a defensive standout at times for the Gophers on the perimeter. The guard is a strong athlete with a good frame (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) who does damage in transition, at the rim and on the left side of the floor. The UH men’s basketball program has already received commitments from former Utah Tech center Tanner Christensen and former Houston Christian guard Marcus Greene from the transfer portal, joining AJ Economou and Aaron Hunkin-Claytor in the 2024 recruiting class for UH.

****UPDATE: Carrington announced his commitment to Tulsa on Saturday, May 11****


 

Greene joining Rainbow Warriors, becoming 2nd offseason transfer addition (COMMIT) 

(MAY 2) Hawai’i’s backcourt rotation for next season received a boost on Thursday as Houston Christian transfer Marcus Greene committed to the ‘Bows, via the guard’s Instagram account. The 6-foot-2 junior became the 2nd college transfer to commit to UH this offseason and should be an immediate contributor for the Rainbow Warriors after averaging 15.1 points per contest for the Huskies during the 2023-24 campaign, shooting 42.7% from 3-point range and dishing out three assists a game. 

The guard spent his freshman season at Sacramento State before spending a year at Panola College (TX), transferring out from the NJCAA program to HCU after helping lead the team to a top-10 national ranking and a regional final in his lone season. Greene visited the University of Hawai’i campus last weekend, meeting with the team and coaching staff as he mulled over his next college home before eventually landing on wearing the green and white for his last year of eligibility. 


 

Bows set to host VT’s Camden, Houston Christian guard Marcus Greene for official visit (NEWS) 

(APRIL 26) Eran Ganot’s recruiting efforts continue over the weekend as Hawai’i hosts 6-foot-8 Virginia Tech transfer John Camden and Houston Baptist 6-foot-2 point guard Marcus Greene for official visits. 

Camden would fill a similar mold to recent Hawai’i standout forwards Kamaka Hepa and Justin McKoy, transferring into the Hawai’i program after seeing limited action with Power 5 programs with a chance to take a leap into a larger role. The forward from Downingtown, PA started his college career at Memphis before transferring to Virginia Tech. After dealing with a variety of injuries, Camden struggled to get in a rhythm and find playing time for a steady Hokies team. He was a top-100 recruit and ranked as highly as 4 stars by Rivals coming out of high school. 

Greene averaged 15.1 points per game last season for Houston Christian, starting all 28 contests for the Huskies and is one of the top 3-point shooters in the portal after drilling 42.7% of his 3-point attempts last year. The 6-foot-2 guard is considered a 3-level scorer and can create his own shot. 


Hawai’i checks in on Division II standout point guard from CSUSB (INTEREST) 

(APRIL 19) Chris Mitchell, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oceanside, Calif., has received check-ins from multiple Big West programs during the transfer process he told @ThePortalReport. The former Cal State San Bernardino standout helped lead the ‘Yotes to the NCAA Division II Final Four, averaging 16.1 ppg on 49% shooting from the field while snagging 7.4 rebounds per contest. 

Other than the ‘Bows, Mitchell has heard from UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton from the Big West. In all, the junior combo guard has heard from over 20 schools across the nation. 


SWAC Player of the Year hears from Hawai’i, various Power 5 programs (INTEREST)

(APRIL 18) Jackson State guard Ken Evans, the 2023-24 SWAC Player of the Year, has recently heard from Hawai’i during his recruitment process. The 6-foot-5 scorer is a hot commodity in the portal, receiving calls from West Virginia, Louisville and Nevada among many others. 

Originally from Mississippi, both Ole Miss and Mississippi State have reportedly contacted Evans. The reigning SWAC Player of the Year averaged just under 19 points per night last season while starting 32 games, dropping 25 points in a late December game versus Gonzaga. 


UH hosting NJCAA D1 All-American guard for weekend visit (NEWS)

(APRIL 12) Hawai’i continued a heavy pursuit of former Casper College guard Darius Robinson over the weekend as the 6-foot-1 shooter visited the islands for a multi-day stay, the Chicago native posted on his Instagram story. Averaging more than 18 points per contest on 42% 3-point shooting, Robinson helped his Casper (Wyo.) team to a 24-9 record in his sophomore season with creative playmaking and elite long-range shooting and was named an NJCAA Division I All-American honoree.

Robinson was the 2nd-best free throw shooter in NJCAA D1, hitting at an 89.3% clip from the stripe. His 111 3-point makes ranked fifth-most in the country among JUCO shooters while there were only 15 players in the NCAA from Division I, II and III to hit more threes than the Casper guard in 2023-24. The visit to Hawai’i for Robinson continues a prolonged courtship from the Rainbow Warriors with first reported interest and contact between the two coming back at the end of February.

****UPDATE: Robinson announced his commitment to Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 30****


 

Rainbow Warriors, other Big West programs check up on Idaho guard EJ Neal 

(APRIL 9) Former Idaho Vandals guard EJ Neal has heard from Hawai’i, Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara out of the Big West since entering the transfer portal, he told @ThePortalReport on X on April 9. The 6-foot-5 junior guard appeared in 29 games for Idaho this past season, starting eight of them. 

Before his transfer to Idaho, Neal was a two-time 1st team Coast North honoree and two-time All-Defense player at City College of San Francisco. The guard was the 2023 Coast North Defensive Player of the Year and went 61-5 in two years at the JUCO level. Neal has also heard from high-major programs such as UCLA and USC while Washington State and St. Bonaventure have also checked in with the defensive standout. 

****UPDATE: Neal announced his commitment to Sacramento State on Saturday, April 13.****


 

Former LA prep guard, Montana State three-level scorer hears from Hawai’i 

(APRIL 9) Former Montana State freshman guard Jaqari Miles heard from Hawai’i and a bevy of other schools, he told @ThePortalReport on April 9. The 6-foot-4 guard scored 10 points in his collegiate debut before suffering an injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the year. He received a medical redshirt for the year and holds four years of eligibility still. 


 

Hawai’i in the mix for former 4-star, 6-foot-8 wing out of ACC (OFFER/RUMOR) 

(APRIL 3) UH has been in contact regarding the transfer process of Virginia Tech redshirt sophomore John Camden, ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Borzello reported on April 3. The 6-foot-8 forward was rated as a 4-star recruit by Rivals and was ranked as high as the 90th-best recruit in the class of 2021 when he committed to the University of Memphis.

Camden dealt with injuries early in his college career that sidetracked the shooter, slowing development at Memphis before deciding to transfer to Virginia Tech (LSU was also in consideration until the end). After two seasons with the Hokies, Camden re-entered the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining. 

**** UPDATE: Camden announced his commitment to Delaware on Monday, May 6. ****


 

Christensen becomes first to join Rainbow Warriors’ reload (COMMIT)

(APRIL 1) Tanner Christensen, a 6-foot-10 center from Spokane, WA, was the first UH commitment of the offseason, coming to the islands via the transfer portal on Monday, April 1 after spending the past two seasons in St. George playing for Utah Tech in the Western Athletic Conference. 

While suiting up for the Trailblazers, Christensen started 63 out of 63 possible games and increased his scoring average into double digits by his second season. The UH men’s basketball program has been eyeing the big man for a long time – 2024 is the 2nd transfer of Christensen’s career after spending two seasons at Idaho – and finally got their guy in a sturdy, mature 24-year-old with a polished offensive game and a knack for swatting shots. 


 

NJCAA D1 National Champion 6-foot-7 wing offered by the ‘Bows (OFFER)

(MARCH 26) Barton Community College wing Lajae Jones was offered by Eran Ganot and the UH men’s basketball program, the left-handed shooter announced on his social media on March 26. After the offer, Barton went on to win the NJCAA Division I championship to cap off a 36-1 year as Jones led the team in points per game (15.4), 3-point percentage (42.2%) and field goal percentage (54.0%) in his sophomore season. 

The lanky forward showed off impressive athleticism and a soft 3-point stroke in a well-rounded offensive game while flashing creation ability for himself and untapped potential as a distributor. According to his social media, Jones holds offers from Stephen F. Austin, Samford, St. Bonaventure, Murray State, Eastern Kentucky, tournament-darling Oakland (MI) and others. 

****UPDATE: Jones announced his commitment to St. Bonaventure on Saturday, April 27.****


 

Hawai’i interested & active in Casper guard, top JUCO shooter’s recruitment (RUMOR/INTEREST) 

(FEB 22) Casper College (WY) guard Darius Robinson is a name to keep an eye on during the offseason transfer cycle for Hawai’i after the sophomore guard finished his second season at the NJCAA Division I program. Via Rising Ballers & JUCO Exposure Networks on Instagram, the 6-foot-1 guard from Chicago, Illinois has heard from the Rainbow Warriors among many other schools as he looks for a home among the NCAA Division I level. 

Robinson started all 33 games for Casper in 2023-24, averaging 18.4 points per game, second-most on the 24-9 Thunderbirds’ roster. The guard is an elite shooter, hitting at a 41.9% clip from behind the 3-point arc on eight long range attempts per contest – even ranking 2nd in the nation from the free throw line (89.3%). He hit 111 3-pointers in total last season, 44 more than Juan Munoz’s UH-best 67 made triples in 2023-24 and 5th-most among all players the NJCAA Division I level. 

Dynamic transfer guard Marcus Greene announces commitment to Hawai’i

Dynamic transfer guard Marcus Greene announces commitment to Hawai’i

Former HCU guard Marcus Greene has committed to Hawai’i men’s basketball | via UH Athletics, Marcus Greene

Dynamic transfer guard Marcus Greene announces commitment to Hawai’i

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED MAY 2, 2024

HONOLULU – The grass is certainly a bit more “Greene” for the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors as the offseason recruiting cycle rages on. 

Hawai’i’s backcourt rotation for next season received a huge boost on Thursday as Houston Christian transfer Marcus Greene committed to the ‘Bows, via the guard’s Instagram account. The 6-foot-2 junior became the 2nd college transfer to commit to UH this offseason and should be an immediate contributor for the Rainbow Warriors after averaging 15.1 points per contest for the Huskies during the 2023-24 campaign, shooting 42.7% from 3-point range and dishing out three assists a game. 

The guard spent his freshman season at Sacramento State before spending a year at Panola College (TX), transferring out from the NJCAA program to HCU after helping lead the team to a top-10 national ranking and a regional final in his lone season. Greene visited the University of Hawai’i campus last weekend, meeting with the team and coaching staff as he mulled over his next college home. 

“Hawai’i is such a beautiful place, enriched with culture and is like no other place to live so that really spoke to me,” Greene said about what helped push him to Hawai’i. “Even more so, talking and spending time with the players and coaching staff made my decision clear.” 

The Gilroy, California-native guard fills another one of the holes left by the graduation of six seniors from last season’s Hawai’i team while providing a different level of athleticism in the backcourt. Greene, who knocked down a 3-pointer in 25 of 28 games last season and averaged 2.2 made 3-pointers per contest for the Huskies, is expected to help ease the loss of sharpshooting guards Juan Munoz and Noel Coleman. 

In 2023-24, Greene took his game to a higher level the better the competition got. Against high-major schools or programs from the NCAA tournament field, he averaged 17.4 points per game. Among other schools that were active in Greene’s recruitment included St. Bonaventure, UC Davis and San Jose State before the standout guard eventually decided to bring his talent to the islands of Hawai’i. 

The junior guard said that he’s already excited about getting to work with the staff and his new teammates, eyeing a dream season in his move to paradise. 

“I’m super excited and have high hopes on what we can be together as a team. Now, we can enjoy the fun in working and building up so we can become exactly what we strive for,” Greene said of his mindset going into his final year of eligibility. “It is really such a blessing that I can pursue academics and athletics here in Hawai’i.” 

Greene joins Utah Tech transfer Tanner Christensen as part of the ‘Bows reload, providing two experienced college players to a team that likely will see many minutes be filled with underclassmen such as Tom Beattie and Akira Jacobs. Hawai’i also will add Salesian point guard and three-star recruit Aaron Hunkin-Claytor as part of the 2024 recruiting class while continuing activity among transfer portal players. 

For the latest on Hawai’i recruiting, check out Hawai’i Sports Radio Network’s UH men’s basketball recruiting tracker, here.