When Central Wyoming College point guard Bryce Canda became the first player to offer a commitment to new Hawaii coach Eran Ganot on Monday, it may have also signaled the opening of a new pipeline to UH.
A key tie between Canda and Ganot in this instance was Kumbeno Memory, coach of the I-5 Elite AAU team on the West Coast. Memory knew Canda since about eighth grade and played for him as recently as the summer after Kanda’s senior year at Grant High School in Portland, Ore.
Ganot and Memory have developed a trust going back to Ganot’s days as an assistant coach for Bob Nash at UH.
Memory helped send former WAC Freshman of the Year Dominic Waters (another Grant High product) to UH and Riley Wallace. (Here was a Comcast Sportsnet story about Waters a couple years ago in which he credits Memory.) And yes, Waters transferred out after two years, but that time period is about when Memory got to know Ganot.
Once Ganot landed back at Saint Mary’s as an assistant, Memory helped send two players there — Stephen Holt and Garrett Jackson. Holt finished his career 10th in scoring and second in steals at SMC. Jackson was a valuable contributor after transferring from USC midway through his career.
“I have a great relationship with Eran. A lot of trust with him,” Memory told the Star-Advertiser Monday.
Could that result in more I-5 players down the line? Judging by recent history and that phone conversation with Memory … quite possibly.
Ganot is scheduled to appear on 1420-AM’s Call the Coach at 6 p.m. Tuesday night. The show is taping at the H-Zone at Ward Center if you want to see it in person.
If the timing of Canda’s expected letter of intent paperwork works out, Ganot might be able to speak about his new recruit on the show.
UPDATE: Here’s the quote statements Ganot and Canda gave in Tuesday’s UH press release.
Ganot: “We are very excited to have Bryce on board. I have enjoyed watching his development over the years and his progress is a true testament to what hard work can do. Bryce comes from great programs and terrific coaching from high school, AAU and most recently at the junior college level. He is of great character, has a strong desire to be successful, and is a great fit.
Ganot continued: “Bryce has great versatility and size which will allow him to play both guard positions. His ability to shoot, defend, and rebound are all great assets moving forward. We are thrilled to have him in our program and looking forward to being part of his continued development.”
Canda: “My dream has always been to play Division I basketball and now that I have accomplished that, it doesn’t stop here. With the help of the great coaching staff at UH, I feel like my teammates and I can achieve our long term goals. Coach Ganot has coached many good players and helped them to the next level, I just want to get my name put on the same list.”
Stay tuned for a full interview post with Canda.