HPU picks up pair of big-time wings in Division 1 transfers Brashear, Kuzmanovic

HPU picks up pair of big-time wings in Division 1 transfers Brashear, Kuzmanovic

Guards Sherman Brashear (left) and Pavle Kuzmanovic (right) committed to Hawai’i Pacific over the weekend, adding a pair of big scoring guards to the roster.

HPU picks up pair of big-time wings in Division 1 transfers Brashear, Kuzmanovic

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JUNE 2, 2024

HONOLULU – The remodeling of the Hawai’i Pacific University men’s basketball team gained a pair of eye-popping pieces from the transfer portal this weekend as the Sharks gained the commitment of former Division I guards Sherman Brashear and Pavle Kuzmanovic for the 2024-25 season. 

The addition of the two 6-foot-5 guards adds a pair of reliable scoring threats with size on the perimeter to the rotation for HPU. The Sharks, who lost 6-foot-3 shooter Tyrease Terrell to graduation and saw 6-foot-4 wing Melo Sanchez enter the transfer portal, immediately gain two players who will be able to contribute in a big way from Day 1 in the Shark Tank to fill the void as Jesse Nakanishi’s program looks to take the leap from playoff participants to playoff performers next season.  

Brashear, a 6-foot-5 left-handed shooter from Rockwall, Texas, was a 2020 graduate who spent his first year out of high school at Panola College, a respected junior college in Texas before transferring to Western Kentucky for his freshman season. Following a year with the Hilltoppers, another transfer was in the works to a better home in UTRGV where he spent the last two seasons in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) playing for the Vaqueros. He shot 40.2% from 3-point range last season across 31 appearances. The guard provided a scoring threat with defensive upside in various roles for the Vaqueros in his two seasons, totaling 43 steals in 63 contests while playing just under 20 minutes a night.

Last season against the University of Hawai’i, Brashear knocked down a triple and came away with two steals in a reserve role, working his way to the line five times in a 7-point outing. In the Vaqueros’ second-to-last game of the season on March 7, Brashear enjoyed his best showing of the year in a 79-74 loss against Utah Tech. The silky-smooth shooting guard tallied a career-best 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting (6-of-9 3PT) while pulling down five rebounds, collecting a trio of steals to go along with three assists in 37 minutes of action. 

Kuzmanovic, a 6-foot-5 wing from Loznica, Serbia, committed to Boise State ahead of the 2020-21 season after enjoying an incredibly successful international career in his youth. Before heading to the perennial NCAA Tournament contenders in the Broncos, Kuzmanovic helped lead the U18 Serbian National Team to the 2018 FIBA U18 European Championship and helped the U19 team advance to the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals the very next year. 

During the 2018-19 season, the rising Serbian star shot 44.8% from 3-point range for OKK Beograd, a feeder club for Mega Basket that plays in one of Serbia’s top-level basketball divisions, Basketball League of Serbia. With the sharp-shooting touch of the young Kuzmanovic, OKK Beograd finished with the organization’s second-best placement in league standings ever. 

He spent his final year before college playing in the highest-level professional league in Montenegro, Prva A Liga, for KK ABS Primorje and appeared in 11 games for the team. The Serbian sharpshooter drilled over 38% of his 3-point attempts while playing about 27 minutes per contest, averaging 11.2 points as a 19-year-old against grown men before heading to the United States to play college basketball. 

In three seasons with Boise State, Kuzmanovic and the Broncos made the NCAA Tournament two times while making the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in the other season. After his junior season with the Broncos, Kuzmanovic transferred to Arkansas-Little Rock and appeared in eight games, dealing with a nagging foot injury. 

The commitments of Kuzmanovic and Brashear wrap up the offseason recruiting cycle for the Sharks after adding five fresh players via the portal and high school commitments.