The summer of Summers?

Former Army soldier Chris Summers wants to play college ball, and is using the Manoa College Summer League as a showcase for his talents.
Former Army soldier Chris Summers wants to play college ball, and is using the Manoa College Summer League as a showcase for his talents.

Usually, to play in the Manoa College Summer League, you need to be a current or former college athlete or a local high school player with college aspirations.

There’s a notable exception playing in the league right now, however.

Chris Summers, 21, has not yet enrolled in a college. In fact, he didn’t even play high school basketball in his native Detroit. Summers, as it turns out, went into the Army straight out of high school and recently finished his deployment at Schofield Barracks. Now he’s got a job locally … and he’s looking to play college ball.

“I was looking to do something to get out, get away from there (Detroit), all the negativity and stuff,” Summers said. “That’s when I got to Hawaii and I decided to stay out here after I got out (of the Army), and hope to pursue a college career.”

He said he’s interested in walking on at Hawaii, and has received some moderate interest back; he was invited to run in open gyms with UH players. He’s also received some interest from HPU, he said.

“It was pretty cool playing with the (UH) guys. It’s nice to see what you can go up against,” said Summers, who could have four years of eligibility. “That (was reassuring), and the summer league too, because I know a lot of people that are in the summer league either are in college or played in college (in the past), and for some of the schools I’m interested in. I can play right with them, so it’s fun and exciting.”

He had an unusual track to get to this point; just about everyone else competing has at least played high school ball.

“Basketball has been my first love since I was 2 years old,” he said. “My dad bought me a little basketball hoop and ever since then basketball has always been the love of my life. Every (competition) I can get into, I would, but unfortunately I had other responsibilities, my little brother I had to watch over while my mom was at work. So I couldn’t really do too much.”

The 6-2, 207-pound Summers has certainly turned some heads in the league with his quick release and ability to score in bunches. He’s not afraid to put it up from anywhere, or fire with a hand in his face.

Summers scored 27 points in a loss for National Fire Protection on Tuesday. He’s averaging about 24 per game (fifth in the league) and leads the league in 3-pointers made.

He was first invited to play in the Manoa league in 2014 after being seen by one of the league’s organizers in another local league.

“Ever since then, I love it,” Summers said. “It’s the best league that I’ve been in in Hawaii, the competition is awesome.”

Will Summers get a chance to play at the college level, perhaps even in a UH uniform? It’s possible, but something would have to happen soon; UH’s first day of fall semester instruction is on Aug. 24, and he’d have to go through the full admittance process.


The summer league playoffs are on Aug. 4, 6 and 8, with the championship on the 8th taking place in Maryknoll’s gym.

As has been the case in recent years, the playoffs will be broadast on Olelo (Oceanic ch. 49) and streamed at


The eight-team bracket for the Maui Jim (new sponsor) Maui Invitational was announced on Tuesday.

It’s a tough draw for host Chaminade, as always. The Silverswords open up Nov. 23 against Kansas, perhaps the favorite to win the event. On the other side of the bracket, Indiana should be pretty potent.


  1. obachan July 29, 2015 4:55 pm

    Hope this young man gets a shot at college ball. He certainly has his priorities straight after first fulfilling his primary responsibility to his family.

  2. mctruck July 31, 2015 4:47 am

    Correct me if I’m reading over the current roster, but I see big guys listed just four guys over, (6’4″). One player at, (6’5″) another at, (6’7″) and two guys at, (6’11).
    Wow, laulau? I guess UH planning on running a very small lineup??

  3. kendall July 31, 2015 6:08 pm


    Verbalcommits has said that Hawaii got a commitment for the 2015-16 season from a Swedish PG, can you confirm this?


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