Playoffs? Playoffs

The College Summer League playoffs are this week, but the “game of the year” in this setting may have just happened over the weekend.

Sparked by Bill Amis‘ halftime appearance (he thought the game was at 7:30, not 6 p.m.), Central Medical Clinic rallied from 20 points down to defeat Solar Universe 127-122 in overtime and claim the top seed in the playoffs at 7-3. Amis scored 20 points in the final 25 minutes, while ‘Iolani product Kyle Pape poured in 39, including the 3 in OT that just about sealed it.

“It felt good, I wanted to get the first-round bye and also try to avoid Clark Hatch (Fitness) for as long as we can,” said Amis, who has been the best big man in this running of the league. “They’re going really hot right now. So that’s going to really help us out, trying to not play them until the championship.”

Central Medical vs. defending champ Solar Universe is a solid bet for the final pairing, but you can’t count out Keith Shamburger and Clark Hatch, nor Julian Sensley and Wealth Strategy Partners.

“We’ve shown, we’ve now beaten every team at least once,” Amis said. “I think that’s a good confidence builder. We can beat (Solar) even though they play a different kind of basketball (small ball) than the rest of the guys out here.”

Solar, which got a big shot from another UH alum, Zane Johnson, just to send it to the extra period, is the No. 2 seed at 6-4 and also gets a bye on Tuesday, when No. 3 (Wealth Strategy Partners, 5-5) plays 6 (Grantco Pacific, 2-8) and 4 (Clark Hatch Fitness, 5-5) takes on 5 (National Fire Protection, 5-5).

The complete playoff schedule can be found here. Note that all games this week are at Maryknoll High School’s gym, not the traditional Manoa Valley District Park. The games will also be televised on Olelo (Ch. 49) and broadcast at

For current or former pros like Amis and Johnson, these summer league games remain competitive in both quality of play and player temperament and are a terrific outlet for their skills.

When Johnson is back in the islands between pro seasons, he works out often with his old teammate Amis. They both left their mark Saturday night with hero roles for their respective teams. Amis couldn’t be stopped against Solar’s smallish lineup while Johnson (27 points) showcased his deadeye shooting.

Johnson’s contested shot from the deep corner in the final seconds of regulation was at the same spot on the court that Ray Allen hit his unbelievable shot to send Game 6 of the NBA finals to overtime. Of course, the stakes were infinitely greater for that one.

(Brandon) Spearman set me a good screen. Artie (Wilson), the Phil Jackson of the summer league, drew up a good play,” Johnson said.

UH teammates Spearman and Negus Webster-Chan each added 26 points in the loss.

It was hard to find a seat in the Manoa gym on this night. Overflow hoops fans crowded the corners of the court for a good view.

“I enjoy it because I can come back and play in front of the fans,” Johnson said of playing local summer ball. “It’s a good opportunity. You know, it’s good to just get out here and compete.”

Amis elected to enter the local real estate/loan market over a second pro basketball season in Europe, where he excelled in his rookie go-around. You may have noticed; he was an analyst for OC Sports’ UH hoops broadcasts last season. His on-court game clearly hasn’t dropped off, and he could be the summer league MVP.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Amis said. “It’s a good way to stay in shape and keep the competitive juices going. This is the best year I’ve seen of the summer league.”

There was plenty of talk for a rematch between the two teams — one that wouldn’t occur until the championship this Saturday.

“I hope so, because we’re getting there,” Johnson said. “I don’t know about them, though.”


  1. K-Bay August 5, 2013 1:55 am

    Whoʻs got on their Big-Boy Pants?

    the guys who know and are developing for Big-Time Ball…
    Amis, Zane & Julian (among others) are helping to indoctrinate our newer ʻBows with their further-developed D-1 and Pro-Ball intensity and focus on Team Results…

    …and smart of Gib to build this very good night-time activity (summer league) into his off-season developmental regimen

    Creds to the fans & community for getting the playoff games onto Live TV — maybe K-5 and OC-16 are also paying attention — would be a nice developmental area for their talents as well and could be good use of air-time, versus mostly prime-time re-run sports…

  2. afriend August 5, 2013 9:26 am

    Where is the NCAA womens summer basketball program?

  3. turfwar August 5, 2013 10:32 am

    It was fun to see the fans on the sidelines give Amis a cheer and ovation when he came running into the gym to his team’s bench at halftime like a super hero arriving to save the day. Then he actually pulls it off. A fun Saturday nite for sure.

  4. Cyrus Y. Hammond August 5, 2013 12:02 pm

    Day 2 of my attending the summer league and things are already looking up. The first game that I watched yesterday featured a blast from UH basketball’s past. Julian Sensley!

  5. poorboy August 5, 2013 1:01 pm

    Nice writeup Brian! A lot of interest when several hundred fans, young and older make effort to go to summer league games. Of course creates extra buzz for UH MBB fans and prospective season hopes!

    Nice, statewide, Oleo and Oleo youtube stream, fans from the entire state can checkout, good summer league games, not a regular season intense, super intense defense, however fun offense!

    Mahalo Brian for your blog and updates on walkon situation. Incredible, maybe 17 or 18 guys associated with program, a lot of interest on helping UH MBB get to the dance!!

  6. bowsfan August 6, 2013 6:05 pm

    Anybody watching the summer league on tv, I tried channel 49.

  7. bowsfan August 6, 2013 6:15 pm

    I tried and its on the website

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