Hawaii men’s basketball: Former UH great Carl English retires

Carl English (center), Phil Martin (right) and the rest of the Rainbow Warriors let out a cheer after beating Boise State 68-65 on March 6, 2003. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Dennis Oda.

At long last, Carl English is calling it a career.

The 39-year-old English, one of the best players in Hawaii basketball history, had enjoyed a resurgence in his native Canada in the twilight of his career. Playing for his hometown St. John’s Edge in the National Basketball League, he’d been a league MVP as recently as two years ago, when he was still scoring points in bunches.

English announced his retirement in a Twitter post Friday. He will have a ceremony on Feb. 23 — for his career-long No. 23 jersey — when the Edge host the Island Storm. He has not been an active player with the Edge this season.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard was the longest-tenured professional among former Hawaii basketball players, having launched his pro career in 2003-04 and basically playing nonstop for 17 years spanning North America, Europe and back.

You can hear a radio clip of English with VOCM’s Greg Smith.

“I never thought this day would come. It is what it is and I’m ready for the next chapters,” said English, who’d recently become an author.

Asked on the radio spot about his career highlights, English said immediately, “Getting a scholarship first, playing for the University of Hawaii, because I was just a young kid then. And I had such huge dreams when I was just a young kid in Newfoundland. And being able to go to University of Hawaii and get my education there, and then chase the NBA dream was amazing.”

He got a cup of coffee with the Association before going to Europe and playing in one of the best leagues outside the NBA for about 10 years, the Spanish League.

He added to VCOM that the true highlight of his career was “his kids and his family.”

English is No. 7 in UH career scoring with 1,259 points — no one has passed him since he left school a year early after the 2002-03 season. He was a two-time All-WAC selection, making the first team his redshirt junior season. As a redshirt freshman, he was named WAC tournament MVP in 2001, when he scored 25 points in a win over Tulsa in the championship game.

He’s still fourth in career 3s made (162) and second in career 3-point percentage (.391) in Manoa.

He’ll forever be linked to the heavily international cast of Rainbows teammates like Predrag Savovic, Haim Shimonovich, Nerijus Puida and his countryman, Phil Martin.

As a member of the Canadian national team, he went up against the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Team USA as a forerunner of sorts to the many prominent players from his country known worldwide today.

He’d hinted previously that he was close to calling it a career.

Then-UH coach Riley Wallace talked with Carl English late in the second half against Louisiana Tech at Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 11, 2003. / Star-Advertiser file photo by Richard Walker


  1. Fulingyu February 7, 2020 4:07 pm

    Any chance he gets into coaching?

  2. Go Bows February 7, 2020 5:55 pm

    Good player, good person, wish him all the best now. Coaching would be great maybe he can send UH some Canadian players!

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