Hawaii men’s basketball: Phil Handy represents with Raptors

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

When it comes to NBA teams and making deep runs into the postseason, it helps to have a Phil Handy handy.

Handy, the University of Hawaii guard-turned NBA player development guru, will make a fifth straight appearance in the NBA Finals today when the Toronto Raptors take the court (3 p.m. Hawaii time) for Game 1 against the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Toronto.

Handy was with the Cleveland Cavaliers the last four years during the Cavs’ run of four straight Finals appearances and was brought on board with new Raptors head coach Nick Nurse last offseason. Now he helps guide players like superstar Kawhi Leonard and up-and-coming star Pascal Siakam. That after working with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant in his past stops.

It’s been a good run, to say the least.

Handy is eager at another chance to beat the Warriors, who bested Handy’s Cavs in three of those four matchups, he told the Star-Advertiser’s Cindy Luis in a phone interview for a story that ran Wednesday.

He described himself as “47 going on 22.”

Back when he was really that age, or close to it, Handy was a key player on the 1994 UH WAC tournament championship team. For his two-year UH career, the guard averaged 10 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Handy was one of the team’s outgoing personalities.

Phil Handy in the Honolulu Advertiser on March 2, 1994. / Honolulu Advertiser file

In Luis’ article, Handy spoke about his working relationship with Toronto general manager Bobby Webster, a 2002 ‘Iolani graduate who used to watch Handy during his college days. Luis did a separate story on Webster that ran today.

To boot, KHON’s Rob DeMello recently did a remote interview with Handy and dug up some old footage from his UH playing days.

Here’s some shots of Handy working with Toronto players this season, courtesy of Raptors.com.

Guard Norman Powell drove against Phil Handy during warmups for a game. / Photo courtesy Raptors.com
Forward Pascal Siakam worked on a floater as Handy looked on. / Photo courtesy Raptors.com
Phil Handy offered some hands-on instruction at practice with guard Patrick McCaw. / Photo courtesy Raptors.com


  1. islandmand May 30, 2019 2:31 pm

    I vote Handy for UHMBB Head Coach

  2. iGrokSpock May 31, 2019 10:27 am

    Handy still looks to be in great shape. Maybe this is the year that the Raptors take it all.

  3. cappie the dog May 31, 2019 5:24 pm

    Here is the proper place to write: The genius of Phil Handy.

    This is difficult for me. It’s a Kevin Durant-less Golden State. If the Warriors win, Stephen Curry gets all the glory. But if the Raptors win, you can say that Toronto’s World Title coincides with the arrival of the University of Hawaii alumnus Phil Handy. LeBron vouches for him. Didn’t Handy get credit for firing up the Cavs when they were down 3-1, and made me cry?

  4. cappie the dog May 31, 2019 5:29 pm

    “47 going on 22”; that’s my mantra.

    I had to show ID at the Republik last night. After the concert, when I was alone with my niece in the Ala Moana parking structure, I pumped my fist several times in the air.

    Mike Milosh of Rhye is a CANADIAN white male, who sounds like an African-American female. He sounds like Sade. It’s eerie.

    “You saw it happen, tell your mom!”

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