Aloha Janks

Stefan Jankovic could smile at his decision to turn pro Wednesday.
Stefan Jankovic could smile at his decision to turn pro Wednesday.

The first piece has moved.

Unfortunately for Hawaii, it was its most decorated one. Stefan Jankovic, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, is moving on.

Let’s be real: Jankovic going pro, with what was on the table for next season, was kind of as automatic as going for a “king me” move in checkers, or a similar knockout no-brainer maneuver in chess that I never earned as a kid.

Of course, it’s pretty tough to make the NBA. “Janks” will take his best shot at it but knows playing in Europe is a viable option, as well. Anthony Carter, the only other UH player besides Jankovic to win a conference player of the year, was the last ‘Bow to play in the league. Predrag Savovic got a cup of coffee. Trevor Ruffin lasted a season or so. Before that, we’re talking Bob Nash and Tom Henderson in the ’70s, plus a couple others.

Here’s a snippet of what Jankovic told the press in a group session today:

“It was tough, for me especially. I always talked about Hawaii, a special place that I had in my heart. And I really did. It came down to, just talking to my family. I took a week off, to get my mind off everything. These couple days, just talked to my parents. I have a small circle. Talked to Coach (Eran) Ganot a couple times. Just kind of gathered some information, and I truly thought this was best for me moving forward. There’s a million things that go into a decision like this. Small things. Obviously, being able to support my parents. Help out financially. There’s a bunch of things that go into it. Ultimately I thought I was prepared. It didn’t come down to anything to do with NCAA stuff … I truly thought that I was ready. There was no way that I was going to go somewhere else (for college).”

His affinity for the islands was legit. When he wasn’t getting shots up during his own time, the Serbian-Canadian with the perma-tan was off to the beach.

So, as was kind of the question of the day, will we see a domino effect with the other UH juniors? Or is Jankovic, with his smooth all-around game, the exception and not the rule?

The others — Aaron Valdes, Mike Thomas and Stefan Jovanovic — are still mum. It’s possible Thomas will have something to say on Thursday.


Ganot and his assistants are flying out tonight for Houston and the Final Four. This stretch will be crucial for both recruiting and scheduling purposes.


I missed this during all the NCAA Tournament madness. Here was a Toronto Sun story about Jankovic taking UH back to the NCAAs from the perspective of the last Canuck to get UH there, Carl English.


  1. HawaiiMongoose March 30, 2016 9:06 pm

    Brian, thank you for the link to the Toronto Sun story, that was a really enjoyable read.

  2. Hoosier March 30, 2016 9:35 pm

    Go get that money!’ Earned your degree and POY for your conference. Perfect time to move to next level and play for pay. Privilege to watch u play and grow. Best of luck in reaching your dreams. Aloha and mahalo young man

  3. pochoboy March 31, 2016 4:27 am

    Mr. Stefan Jankovic,

    Mahalo! for donning the UH Rainbow Warrior uniform.
    Wishing you the very Best

  4. cappie the dog March 31, 2016 5:07 am

    I was hoping that Mr. Jankovic would transfer to a struggling high major team, like a Rutgers, or a Boston College.

    As long as he didn’t transfer to another Big West team, I had no problem with him playing at another school.

    Carl English showed up on multiple NBA mock drafts. And we know how that turned out. What good is a cautionary tale if nobody makes use of it?

    Jankovic, obviously, will make money somewhere; he will be successful. But as a fan, I would love to see him in a NBA uniform.

    If you’re declaring for the draft and ESPN doesn’t deem it as news, you probably should return to school.

    I admire his loyalty to Hawaii.

    I wish him the best.

    And I’m sorry for shouting, “What are you doing!” when he took his first deep three. In all fairness, everybody in my section found it jarring.

  5. tongo March 31, 2016 7:44 am

    Aloha Stefan,
    We really enjoyed watching you play and wishing you the very best. thank

  6. obachan March 31, 2016 8:05 am

    TJ would be happy for you Stefan; I am also.

  7. NorthShoreFan March 31, 2016 5:06 pm

    I understand that if you declare and not hire an agent, you could return to school. Not sure if is makes sense for Janks since he’ll get his degree but another year of experience might e better for him is there is no NBA callings.
    European ball might be ok too though.
    Anyhoo, Good Luck Janks!

  8. Brian McInnis April 2, 2016 1:41 pm

    No problem.

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