Jankovic getting looks

Stefan Jankovic is getting some NBA workout looks. / Photo from UH 2015-16 season by Darrell Miho, Special to the Star-Advertiser
Stefan Jankovic is getting some NBA workout looks. / Photo from UH 2015-16 season by Darrell Miho, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Hawaii basketball has produced two conference players of the year: Anthony Carter (WAC Pacific Division, 1997); and Stefan Jankovic (Big West, 2016).

The first went on to have the longest NBA career of any UH alumnus (and it’s actually still going in some respect, as Carter latched on as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings).

The kind of pro career the second will enjoy could well be decided within the next handful of days.

Jankovic got a workout from his hometown Toronto Raptors this week, but that wasn’t actually the first NBA club to give the lithe big man a look. He told the Star-Advertiser on Friday that he’s also worked out with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

“They have all been pretty good so far,” Jankovic said. “I have about ten more to go but things are looking good.”

He said his next workout is with the New York Knicks.

The workout with the Raptors was a little extra special, though, for the Serbian-Canadian. He was matched up with Marquette power forward Henry Ellensen, who could be a lottery pick (top 14).

“I hadn’t been home since August so yeah it was a nice little homecoming,” Jankovic said.

Now, Jankovic still appears to be a long shot to be one of 60 players drafted on June 23. He’s unrated on the prominent NBA Draft website projections. (For some reference, Cal’s Jaylen Brown is projected at roughly the seventh overall pick, while UC Irvine’s towering center Mamadou Ndiaye is rated 97th by DraftExpress.)

Raptors Republic did an analysis of how Janks’ workout went. Most of the attention was on Ellensen, however.

Players can latch on with NBA teams via free agency, and get summer league looks as well. You can’t sleep on Aaron Valdes and Roderick Bobbitt, either. If not domestically — NBA or D-League — they could do well overseas. In recent years, Bill Amis, Isaac Fotu, Brandon Spearman and others have found good jobs in Europe.

The last UH player to actually get drafted in the NBA was Reggie Cross in 1989 — he went in the second round, 44th overall.


  1. K-Bay June 4, 2016 12:22 am

    Go, Janks,

    Keep plugging away; your ability to grow and adjust, as exemplified this past season, puts you at the forefront; for your Future is Not Constrained To, Or Limited By Your Past… For You it’s just the intro, starting point…Keep Flyin’… Bigs with Real Skills, Intelligence AND Work Ethic…Sky’s NOT The Limit…It’s Just Where You Play…

  2. pochoboy June 4, 2016 4:28 pm

    Good attitude and playing your best, what more can anyone ask of you. Go Get Em Janks!

  3. cappie the dog June 5, 2016 4:24 am

    That game-tying three he hit at Cal-State Fullerton was the biggest shot of Hawaii’s season.

    His Missouri teammate is playing for the Halifax Hurricane in the(I never knew this exsisted) Canadian Basketball League. Without this defection, we would never have seen the emergence of Mike Thomas and Quincy Smith. Thomas, I think, at times, tries to do too much. I think he’s trying to fill Isaac Fotu’s shoes. If he relaxes, and plays within himself, he will be First Team All-Big West next season. On the biggest stage, against the Terrapins, he had his best game. I am looking forward to seeing how he’ll react as the squad’s team captain.

    Byron Scott isn’t coaching the Lakers anymore. It’s bad timing for Mamadou Ndaiye. This is the wrong era for his skill-set.

    And yes, good luck Stefan Jankovic. All it takes is one team.

    Prove Chad Ford wrong.

  4. cappie the dog June 5, 2016 4:27 am

    Oh, Reggie Cross.

    Why didn’t you show up for rookie camp?


    Because he thought the Sixers didn’t have a first round draft pick; he mistakenly thought he was that de facto top incoming player and was guaranteed a roster spot.

  5. pochoboy June 5, 2016 6:46 am

    I’m pretty sure Thomas learned alot playing with, watching, learning the motor/desire of Standhardinger in action. Thomas was kinda meek his first 2 years but emerged as an active paint player last year.

  6. wonna June 6, 2016 6:07 pm

    Raptor looks but no touch.

    Luck goes only so far!

  7. cappie the dog June 7, 2016 8:01 am

    Holy cow.

    Negus Webster-Chan is actually working out in the Toronto Raptors’ facility.

    I thought I was hallucinating. Too much bitter melon.

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