If Stefan Jankovic is to be a Hawaii Rainbow Warrior, it will happen in the next handful of days.
Jankovic, the ex-Missouri Tiger forward, said on Friday after returning from his visit to UH that he plans to decide by the end of December (note: corrected from the end of January) so he can get a jump on enrolling at his next Division I destination. He has a list of “1o or 15” other schools he’s considering, he said.
UPDATED: Jankovic has committed to UH as of Saturday afternoon.
Jankovic got to visit the Manoa campus and Honolulu on Wednesday and Thursday. He took in a UH practice and got to hang out some with his former Tigers and Ontario youth basketball teammate Negus Webster-Chan.
“It was like a quick visit, but it was nice. I had fun, enjoyed myself. Saw the facilities, followed practice and whatnot,” Jankovic said.
The 6-11 Jankovic will have two and a half seasons to play once he sits out this spring semester and the 2014 fall semester. So he’ll be a redshirt sophomore by the time he plays in the winter/spring of 2015.
He hadn’t seen Webster-Chan since NWC transferred out from Frank Haith’s program at the end of last season. Webster-Chan figures to be a big reason why UH could land Jankovic.
“It was cool (hanging out) ’cause we were together for a few years, and obviously he transferred out and I hadn’t seen him in a while,” Jankovic said. “Probably half a year since I saw him last, maybe even more. So I was able to see him again, hang out and kind of kick it. It was cool, a good time.”
Jankovic announced he would be transferring out from Mizzou on Nov. 22, about a week after UH’s 92-80 loss to the Tigers in Kansas City. That was Jankovic’s last official action — he played all of 12 seconds in that one.
“I mean, I just kind of, it was time to get out,” he said. “I didn’t really believe in how the coaches were using me and playing me and the minutes I was getting. … I thought I deserved more, I thought I worked for a lot more. It was a bunch of things. The fact I wasn’t getting the minutes I wanted, the minutes I thought I deserved. I wasn’t being used the way I liked, I was kind of just used as a shooter and whatnot. So it was a bunch of things. I played 12 seconds that game (vs. UH). I felt like to kind of continue my basketball career at the next level, wherever that may be, I had to make a move.”
He might not have time to visit any other schools by the time he decides, which works in UH’s favor.
“I mean, I’m still looking at a couple schools,” Jankovic said. “I definitely enjoyed my visit, it was the first school I visited. But we’ll see. I’m kind of looking for, obviously, opportunity to come in and start and play, and be a major player and a big role for the team. That’s definitely one of the big things I’m looking for. And then after that all the other things, the coaching staff, the relationship I have with them. How I get along with them on the visit, see how the coaches are and stuff. You know, just player development and location a little bit too. You know, Hawaii probably beats everyone in that.
“No. 1, most importantly, is playing time. How I’ll be played and how I’ll be used.”