Standhardinger returns // Team bonding

A weekend retreat to Molokai seems to have done the Hawaii men’s basketball team good.

For starters, junior forward Christian Standhardinger made a sooner-than-expected return to the court coming off his staph infection on his right elbow. His arm is still wrapped up; it will probably be that way going into Friday’s exhibition vs. Hawaii Pacific and the Nov. 9 regular-season opener.

“Everything is fine,” Standhardinger said on Monday. “They cut it open, and it (healed) a lot quicker than the doctor thought. He said I’ve got a huge hole in my elbow now but if you wrap it around, it cannot get any worse. Might as well play through. … It hurts, but you can play through it.”

There’s also this: senior center Vander Joaquim also seems to be progressing relatively on schedule. He’s back in on non-contact drills and is running the floor well. But his lateral movement (the real tester) is still coming along slower, and it sounds like he’s still pretty questionable for the Maryland Eastern-Shore game.

“He’s a couple weeks away, they tell us, from anything with contact,” UH coach Gib Arnold said. “But it’s just good to see him running. I have him on a team, but he’s not in the game, he’s on the sidelines. When they run, he’s supposed to run. I think he got a little winded today. Hopefully we’ll keep him in best as shape as you can without playing. Obviously there will be some adjustments. He hasn’t been with us for the entire preseason, so we’ll need to adjust to him and he’ll need to adjust to stuff.”


The Molokai trip itself required a little ad-libbing by the team; because of the Saturday tsunami scare, they ended up spending both Friday and Saturday nights sleeping in the Molokai High gym “The Barn” instead of just Friday as originally planned. But they still got to go hunting with guides and have some team time around a bonfire. MHS was the designated evacuation zone so the team was joined by several area residents.

Arnold said he asked the team to share three things: their families, who inspires them the most and how their path took them to play for UH. The coach said it got “a little emotional” at times.

Here were a few players’ thoughts on the getaway:

Jace Tavita:
“It was a big team builder. Not just basketball-wise, but everything. Off the court, we wanted to become closer as a team and as a family, and I think we did that. We did a lot of different things. We went out hunting. We had to hunt for our own food. It was a good experience, though.

“I thought they were kidding when they said there would only be one stop light. I didn’t even see the one stop light. But it was a cool place. Really peaceful. So I think it was a good place for us to go and bond as a team. There’s no distractions out there. The people were really friendly to us, they took care of us. It was a good experience.

“My group was me, (Brandon) Spearman, (Isaac) Fotu and (Caleb) Dressler. The plan was, we were hunting for boar, but we ended up hunting down a deer. So it worked out. We were in the woods for about six hours. You had to be really patient. We got to spend some time together.

“That was after the morning practice. … Somehow (we had enough energy). The adrenaline of chasing down a wild animal kept us going.

“We gutted and got the meat. The coaches and all them, we had a big ol’ barbecue. They cooked it, and it tasted pretty good.”

Isaac Fotu:

“Coach (Brandyn) Akana took us around the island. He knew everyone from the island. On Saturday, one group went fishing but it was too rough so we just caught some waves. Two other groups, one group went deer hunting and one group went boar hunting. But we didn’t get a boar, we got a baby deer instead. They got two deers, and we cooked them up. They we had a good meal.

“Not much hotels or big buildings or anything. It’s wilderness. That was fun.

“Yeah (we heard about the tsunami). The high school was an evacuation site, so we had a couple of old people stay over as well. We were just roasting marshmallows on the camp fire.

“We stepped up our chemistry by a lot, I think. We talked a lot about what we want to do with the year and what we what to get out of it.”

Christian Standhardinger:

“It was a very unique and new experience for me. You find out about each of the players and the coaches. I think it was an amazing team bonding experience. I’m happy I was a part of that.

“Favorite part? You know, I do like hunting a little bit. Watching those guys on their hunt. … They were supposed to hunt the pig, but they got a little deer. We were hunting for the big deers. We got two of them.

“It tastes better if you were part of providing it.”


  1. Chicken Grease October 30, 2012 6:36 pm

    Eek. Staph’ is no joke. Good to see Standhardinger on the heal, though. Didn’t MIah catch staph’ b-balling as well. Maybe the basketball practice areas need to be professionally disinfected so that other players don’t end up w/the same thing.

    Will be good to see b-ball Warriors back in action 🙂 . Ooh!!!! Cross town rivalry game w/HPU? The shark’s always funky to see 🙂 .

  2. pocho October 30, 2012 6:57 pm

    Brian, that was a great read right there. I must admit I do like your question/answers with the players and your observations of the team.

    Very interesting blogs you’ve done.


    sounds like Standhardinger should rest it and wait for the complete heal job. He just needs to keep in shape running or whatevers, he don’t need to be banging players in game situations if you ask me. Oh well

    and Joaquim sounds like he’s gonna have to catch up in conditioning a lot. He didn’t look all in shape coming back after summer.

    We just need these 2 in the meat of the conference season to win it all. Not part healed and hobbled during that time. JMO though, LOL

  3. poorboy October 30, 2012 8:03 pm

    Yes. agree pocho, I think Gib and staff are on it..if they see Christian or Vander not completely on the mend, they will hold them out, if they are okay by mid November, or early December, gives the other guys chance to step up..I think Christian is going to play soon, he would not be in full action on court practices if didn’t have full medical clearance..

    Vander has to watch that knee, don’t want to injure again or worse..Vander, take your time, rehab well and wear a good brace and shoes….Davis, Christian, Isaac and Caleb have to step up…I think they will..Hey is chance to play a lot, get ready for BWC season!!

  4. Jjay October 31, 2012 9:29 am

    It’s Warrior Time. First game this Friday night! Bring it on This will be a exciting year. More so than football
    It’s BBall time ! Yeah!

  5. K-Bay October 31, 2012 10:50 am

    Let’s Get Started !

    (Tickets just came in Today’s Mail minutes ago…)

    Show Us Good Stuff we haven’t seen for awhile, or ever…

  6. protector October 31, 2012 10:51 am

    I think the team has great potential and my fervent hope is that they can avoid serious injury. The minute I saw Fotu play, I wanted him to be a starter and I was really afraid they’d red-shirt him. If he’s not a starter, I hoe he gets a lot of PT. With Fotu, Stanhardinger and Brereton in there, I can’t visualize too many teams that will out-hustle them.

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