Hawaii basketball alum Phil Handy exults in another NBA title

Phil Handy worked with Toronto guard Danny Green at a practice in the 2018-19 season. / Photo courtesy Raptors.com

Former Hawaii men’s basketball guard Phil Handy is an NBA champion once again.

Handy, who won a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, can get a second finger fitted for a ring after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in six games on Thursday night in Oakland for the franchise’s first championship. Handy is a first-year Raptors assistant coach.

It was the fifth straight year Handy faced the Warriors in the NBA Finals. He was there four straight years as a player development coach with the Cavs before latching on with rookie coach Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto last offseason.

Handy, an Oakland native, could celebrate a championship in his hometown for the second time; he also won the 2016 title on the road with the Cavs. (The Undefeated recently did a video feature on Handy and his Oakland roots.)

An exultant Handy put up a series of posts and stories on his Instagram page from the court, the champagne-soaked locker room and the team plane on the flight back to Toronto.

Handy is believed to be the first Hawaii basketball alumnus to win multiple NBA championships as a player or coach. Tom Henderson won one as a player with the Washington Bullets in 1978.

The Raptors’ other Hawaii tie is general manager Bobby Webster, a Kailua native who graduated from ‘Iolani in 2002.


  1. cappie the dog June 15, 2019 3:32 pm

    Toronto went 3-1 since I started wearing the Raptors cap I bought at Lids Pearlridge.

    I’m so excited for Phil Handy. Nothing but good memories when he was a BOW. He put in a buzzer-beater against UTEP in overtime, in which both teams scored in double-digits. Handy came close to making an NBA roster. If there was a D-League back then, who knows?

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