Hoops workouts roll on

Drew Buggs helped officiate during the final Rainbow Warrior Basketball Camp of the summer.
Drew Buggs helped officiate during the final Rainbow Warrior Basketball Camp of the summer.

Day by day, the very new-look Rainbow Warriors look a little more like they belong.

The start of the 2016-17 season is still way off — the schedule hasn’t even been announced — but the final day of UH’s summer youth camps on Thursday had the effect of the ‘Bows rounding the turn of the offseason.

UH players have been out here for about a month now. Most of the guys are here, with the exceptions being Sheriff Drammeh, Zigmars Raimo and Leland Green.

Matt Owies (left) got up a shot during a team warmup for a workout.
Matt Owies (left) got up a shot during a team warmup for a workout.

Some of the ‘Bows helped out at this week’s camp.

“I love it,” guard Larry Lewis Jr. said. “I told my mom the other day, it amazes me how these sixth and fifth and seventh graders, the moves that they do and the understanding of the game at such a young age. So it’s just a great thing I can be part of their basketball development.”

Said guard Drew Buggs: “It was a lot of fun. It’s something I enjoy, working with the younger kids. Getting to teach them some things that I’ve learned here. That’s how I grew up, older kids and coaches teaching me the stuff that they knew. It helps out a lot. Anytime I get a chance to give back, I love to give back.”

Here’s some light Q&A with Lewis and Buggs, including the notable possibility that Buggs could redshirt the coming season depending on the progress of his knee rehabilitation.

Larry Lewis:

Q: What’s the vibe been for you out here so far?
A: Just the good feeling I’m getting from our staff and everybody I’m meeting that supports the team … regular fans I meet on the street and in my classes. They’ve been real supportive and just a great support system here on campus. It makes me really excited for the season.

Q: What have team workouts been like?
A: They have been good. High tempo, we’ve been getting after it. Staying in shape, getting in shape, so it’s just been good. Meeting everybody that’s a part of the staff. We’re just all getting prepared day by day for the season.

Q: What are you targeting in your workouts?
A: Me personally, I’m just targeting getting my versatility up, getting a little bit quicker, trying to get stronger too. And work on my outside range for this season, because I know it’s going to be hard getting to the basket, attacking and going up against those big guys.

Q: Are you playing more 1 or 2 with the team?
A: My whole life I’ve been playing 1 and 2 but as far as UH, a little bit more of a combo. Help bring it up a little bit but more running it on the wing, getting up and down the court.

Drew Buggs:

Q: What’s it been like for you out here this first month or so?
A: It’s been a lot of fun. I’m really enjoying how hard the coaches have been pushing us. I feel like my knee has gotten a lot better since I’ve been out here working with (athletic trainer) Jay Goo. I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I’ve learned a lot of things here. It’s been a fun experience out here in the summer.

Q: What’s the progress been like with Jay?
A: Jay Goo’s working me pretty good. I just started running, so that’s a big step. So it’s been a lot of fun.

Q: Are you targeting a certain time to be back in action?
A: Me and Jay Goo are taking it one day at a time, just working to get back as soon as possible. Waiting until I feel comfortable, waiting until it heals. So a lot of it is going to be how good my knee heals … how I feel. I want to get out there as soon as possible, but it’s all about my health first and foremost.

Q: Are you considering a redshirt for the coming season if it doesn’t heal quick enough?
A: It’s too early to say, but you know, we’ve definitely thought of it. I’m not going to force anything. If I’m not ready, I’m not going to force it. I have confidence in this team. My teammates, they’ve been working hard. I know they’re all ready. So if I’m not ready, I have confidence that they’ll still get the job done and everything will be fine.

Q: What’s it been like getting to know your teammates?
A: It’s been a lot of fun. We hang out together a lot as a team. We come in and work out together as a team. Everybody has their great attitude. It’s a great, cohesive group. We have a lot of fun with each other and we’re a pretty close team.

Here’s a few other hoops notes:

>> Still no word from the NCAA on its response to UH’s appeal of the postseason ban. The vague timeline for it was previously June or July. Those have come and gone. There’s a shocker.

>> UH is still trying to bring in a foreign prospect for the 2016-17 season. Sounds like it’s a matter of getting his transcripts (testing/grades etc) all lined up.

>> The schedule, per coach Eran Ganot, is basically done but is awaiting some contract signatures before it can be released.

>> Ganot hasn’t yet selected a director of basketball operations to replace Jamie Smith, who is now helping out with British basketball.

>> Dennis “Doc” Chai, a member of the UH basketball team in the early to mid 1960s, has died. He served as team captain under Red Rocha for the 1964-65 season. Best wishes to his family.

Here’s a couple other shots from the final day of the UH hoops camp.

Larry Lewis high-fived campers while Drew Buggs officiated.
Larry Lewis high-fived campers while Drew Buggs officiated.
Drew Buggs (foreground) and Daryl Matthews (background) officiated a scrimmage.
Drew Buggs (foreground) and Daryl Matthews (background) officiated a scrimmage.


  1. HawaiiMongoose August 5, 2016 7:05 pm

    Mahalo for the update Brian. Glad to hear most of the team is in Hawaii and working out together. I know Sheriff and Zigmars have been busy playing for their national teams in the U20 world championships. How about Leland Green? Has he been active in a Mainland summer league? When is he expected to arrive in Honolulu?

  2. Brian McInnis August 10, 2016 8:52 pm


    Sorry for not replying sooner. I think Leland gets in just before the start of classes on Aug. 22. As far as I know, he isn’t playing in a league back in California, but I’m not 100 percent on that.

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