6-6 guard Beon Ja Riley commits to Hawaii basketball

Beon Ja Riley / Courtesy photo

A top high school guard from San Diego has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii basketball team.

Beon Ja Riley of Cathedral Catholic High told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he will sign a 2020 letter of intent with the Rainbow Warriors. The NCAA’s early signing period begins Nov. 13.

“He’s a fantastic player,” Cathedral head assistant coach Steve Wade said. “He’s a big-time player. He’s a punishing guard. He’s out-played tons of kids going to Pac-12 schools.”

Riley said he is 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds. He was named San Diego County’s Freshman of the Year in 2017. He was selected to the All Metro League first team as a Mater Dei Catholic High freshman and sophomore. Riley did not play this past season in accordance with CIF rules after transferring from Mater Dei to Cathedral.

Wade said Riley is a versatile player who “stuffs the stats” on offense — scoring, distributing and rebounding. Wade likened Riley to Andre Miller, a Utah graduate who played 17 NBA seasons.

Riley is “a punishing, physical, tough, downhill, you-can’t-guard-me big guard,” Wade said. “He’ll punish you on the boards.… He’s probably the most versatile player you could want. He guards one through four at an extremely high level.”

Riley had several offers, including from Washington State and San Diego. But he said he chose UH because of its upward trend and family atmosphere.

“Being with the coaches and players, I could really sense they’re actually a family,” Riley said of his recruiting visit. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I could tell it was really legit. Everybody showed love. It exceeded my expectations, for sure.”


  1. jm2375 November 4, 2019 2:33 pm

    Welcome to the Warrior ohana, Mr. Riley.

    (He looks like he’s 10 years old)


  2. sackkabooya November 4, 2019 4:37 pm

    This is the TE Rolo needs. Ganot needs a point guard.

  3. Da Punchbowl Kid November 4, 2019 4:42 pm

    Thank you posters one and two. It’s all true. And mahalo for being a Warrior, Beon Ja!

  4. Maddog50 November 4, 2019 5:40 pm

    Warriors need to storm the beaches of Aloha Stadium Sat and burn the boats! No going home without truly defending and owning Pride rock against the Spartans!

  5. Na Alii Pride November 4, 2019 5:50 pm

    Looks like a more athletic version of Isaac Fotu. Great get. Would be nice if we could finish recruiting in the early period.

  6. JetWavy November 4, 2019 6:47 pm

    @ sackkabooya

    Ganot has point guard options if he’d be willing to actually you know… DEVELOP his talent. That means actually being willing to play them, though.

  7. NorthShoreFan November 4, 2019 7:36 pm

    Warriors International…..looking good

  8. One Villa November 4, 2019 11:12 pm

    #5 there’s a lot of guys that were more athletic than Isaac Fotu flipping burgers and selling cars right now while Fotu continues to play professional ball. Let’s wait a good 4 years before we start making those comparisons

  9. One Villa November 4, 2019 11:25 pm

    6’6” 230 is great size at the wing/forward spot. Hopefully he can hit the 3 ball coz that’s what Hawai‘i needs from its perimeter players. Coach Chris likes shooters, and his teams put up a lot of 3s. Hopefully he can get into Texas and get us some legit big men for the future too. Lot of talent in Texas.

  10. izzy November 4, 2019 11:28 pm

    Los Angeles Chargers interested in team moving to London.

    1- Will the Chargers and anyone who plays them get an extra regular season game?
    2- Will the Chargers pay visiting teams’ travel expenses?

    Just wondering. . .

  11. One Villa November 4, 2019 11:36 pm

    Hawai‘i has PGs. We got Buggs returning in 2021, and 3 true freshmen that can play the position. Each of them bring a different skill set. We can’t expect the world from them. When’s the last time a Hawai‘i team started a true freshman PG or had one play quality minutes? Maybe Isaac Flemming? I don’t think Coach Ganot has had one. The departure of Ali hurt this team a lot. His presence would’ve allowed this staff to groom their freshmen and bring them along slowly, like they’ll be able to do with Da Silva. Don’t have that luxury anymore, but sometimes trial by fire really pays off. Us fans are just gonna have to hope for the best and support the team no matter what. Stop hating on two local boys living out their dreams playing for the green and white! We should be cheering the loudest for the 4 local boys. That’s never happened before and may not happen again. Kahuku fans should be in the arena like it’s the state championship!

  12. Warrior Lifer November 5, 2019 12:03 am

    11. Buggs was the only freshman guard to start until Ganot. Buggs has been the man for UH since Ganot took over (he’s started every game I believe since Ganot’s 2nd season, since he had to redshirt his freshman year). Buggs has been the best Ganot recruit so far, and I think Beon is a guy who can be like Buggs and start for this time (if not, then meaningful minutes off the bench) from day 1.

  13. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 12:14 am

    #6 JetWavy

    Yeah, too bad they didn’t get in much vs Chaminade. I think Villa has to find his rhythm and figure out how his game translates to D1 firstly. He is strong and quick but kind of small. In the mean time Webster has to suck it up and progress, He can do it. I know he has some combo skills that can be squeezed out by Ganot. A camp regular. When Villa is ready, then there will be those “options” you alluded to. Three (and a half. Ng- he’s going to be a mini Alika later) plus Madut can handle some (much better than Purchase or Stansberry from the video clips). Some options. Might not be as bad as you think. Shooting too. Not going to be this bad unless really bothered defensively. Rose colored glasses. Nice.

  14. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 12:35 am

    Beon Ja brings another dimension to the collection of different skillsets on this roster. Diverse and versatile this roster. Able to match up all kinds of different ways. Awesome….. BTW Fotu was much more physical (just judging by the video) and a little bigger than Beon Ja. Fotu was co freshman of the year then All-Big West first team as sophomore. He was also a fan favorite. Big shoes to fill if you want to make a comparison this early. But you never know. (Hopefully) Maybe one and done?… Rose colored glasses. Buy a pair.

  15. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 1:38 am

    BTW (again) Chevan had no chance on that 3rd then 4th and goal red zone first drive. No separation and /or rub routes to get guys open. He had to throw darts. Could have used a TE

    Byrd is a real good open field receiver. However he lacks the physicality to excel at underneath routes where he needs to make a catch with (or even anticipated) contact. Thus the free ball deflection interception. Could have used a TE.

    Trips to the wide side vs iso coverage with no safety help. Mc Donald reads it pre snap. Byrd flattens his route horizontally taking the safety initially lined up on Sarsh causing what looks like a (designed?) switch. Sarsh sees this and hesitates for a split second. Cole tossed a perfectly placed pass with NO hesitation at all. The hesitation shortens Sarshs’ catch radius (Sarsh has an uncanny waist to shoe-top catch radius though, weird) and he drops a sure TD, A flex TE like say Clark Evans or Makoa Camanse-Stevens would have had a larger catch radius. So (long story short) could have used a TE.

  16. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 2:15 am

    Watching the condensed game videos (too lazy to change program) Sacramento St’s defense is way faster than ours. And pretty physical too. I think this is how Batoon wants his defense to look like once all the parts fit. Fresno’s O-line never “flatten” these guys. Very fast D-line for Sac St. Template?

  17. One Villa November 5, 2019 8:00 am

    #12 Buggs redshirted. That’s not a true freshman year. And after his redshirt season, UH still had Brock for 2 years as a crutch, and they needed that big time both years. We don’t have that luxury this year or next year to redshirt these freshmen. Coaches are in a tough spot, but they’ll get it done. Every player needs to buy in to the program and their roles. Be surprised what can be accomplished with 100% buy in.

  18. One Villa November 5, 2019 8:21 am

    Keep an eye on Captain Whitlock (Tes) at Saddleback JC. He’s a sophomore and coming off a great freshman year. In their first league game this year played a couple days ago, Captain went 9-15 from the floor and finished with 22 and 12. Lots of former ties between Saddleback and UH Manoa.

    Also Brian Washington who went to Maryknoll, then finished up at Cimarron HS in Vegas, then did a prep year, and played in the same Dream aviation program as Beon Ja Riley. He’s a freshman at Navarro JC in Texas (Coach Chris’s territory) and holds an offer from Nevada. I’m pretty sure he’d love a Hawai‘i offer.

    We add those two dudes to the 2020 recruiting class and we’re looking good. I would guess we get 5000-6000 a game with all them Hawai‘i guys playing for the home team!!

  19. One Villa November 5, 2019 8:23 am

    Dream Vision…iPhone…🤦🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️ This is why AI ain’t all that great. Different discussion for a different kind of website

  20. cappie the mortgage money lending dog November 5, 2019 9:45 am


    This is why some people, well actually, I, think that Alika Smith should have redshirtted as a freshman.

  21. NorthShoreFan November 5, 2019 11:11 am

    One Villa….our local boyz CAN BALL. Not worried here.
    I like the mix of guys we have on the team. The hard part is to mix them into a cohesive unit. Difficult when trying to get everyone on the same page.
    Will be a challenging season.

  22. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 2:03 pm

    When I watch the videos of the defense I think if Batoon makes just a couple of adjustments this defense will be more reliable.

    First and most important adjustment would be Padello rushing every play. Yeah they might run at him but he really messes the long pass capability. Last year I don’t remember him schemed as LB this much. He needs to rush. He either commands double team or forces “hot” secondary progression. You can see it. So obvious.

    Second thing I wish they would do is have the LB’s set further back so they can read better. They move in so close (in an MMA fight the quicker guy needs to create some distance to produce an advantage). Hard to make side to side reads for them. Forces them to have to take on blockers straight up. Just not big and physical enough to execute vs size. They are quick though. They can get better for sure. Except for Paul Scott, which brigs me to the next adjustment.

    Paul Scott needs to attack. Yeah he misses (whiffs a lot) because of over aggression but he IS aggressive. It looks unreal when he is let loose (his physicality is awesome). He just needs to focus more as he approaches the ball carrier is all. He can do it. Special if you let him loose. Any gap, even from edge. Unreal ability. That’s why he so good on special teams I think. Needs to go downhill.

    And lastly I think they (the box defenders) need to use their hands more. Tackling and rushing. Grab, grab, grab. Grab and pull, grab and twist, grab and wrap, grab and toss, grab and punch, but grab. Scott had a mean grab toss tackle forcing Fresno to punt. Hand usage. important. Just don’t grab the facemask. Can do.

  23. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 2:36 pm

    Instead of running interior “twists” and “stunts” to create pressure up the middle just use Paul Scott. Attack (blitz?) using him at any angle. Move him from any gap and angle rush him. Angle rush him from edge (twist) with DE. Angle rush him as Will LB (stunt) with Taala or Hune through A gap. Angle rush him off Vega (cross) from edge into B gap. Or even let him angle and take out the OG and twist Hune or Vega off the created gap. Paul Scott is awesome. Got to use him right. He is a weapon for sure. Just not in space yet.

  24. One Villa November 5, 2019 2:54 pm

    Who is sackabooya talking to? This is a basketball story man haha

  25. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 3:33 pm

    One Villa

    I think I heard one time that it was a “nine hour rule (suggestion)” before you can go off topic. But just comment on anything (even iphones). Gotta get as many posts possible. Everybody post when you have time. Stadium, Matlin, MBB, attendance, recruiting, tailgates, Marketing, Fan Phones, Beon Ja’s vs Fotu’s hairstyle, Batoon, Ganot. anything. Until the topic changes.

  26. sackkabooya November 5, 2019 3:45 pm

    One Villa

    BTW I really like Brian Washington. I knew him as youngster up until he said he was leaving Hawaii for Las Vegas. Polite, humble, quiet and smart. To me he needed to get more passionate. He was too nice on the court (and off it too). He was working on his mid-range/distance last time I saw him (HS sophomore year here). I hope Ganot will consider him. Maybe little undersized for a big. Good guy. Good player.

  27. SteveM November 5, 2019 4:58 pm

    RE: #25
    Nostalgia Warning:
    In the early years of this blog, when we had 100-400 comments on the average day, we established the “5 F’s” of the blog: Football, Food, Friends, Family, and Fun on February 7, 2007. We were heavy into football, food, and fun. The Tsai-kos were born.

    We ran rampant, and ST was told to curb it. As a compromise, he offered the “9:00 pm Rule”: “4/08/2007 @1531:
    ST: “So here’s my new, new, new rule: Free talk between 9 p.m. and the next day’s post, as long as we abide by the no-name-calling, no-asking-anyone-to-be-fired rules.”

    …but it was always 9:00pm somewhere in the world at any given moment and we had legendary bloggers. 🙄 After a lot of drama, even ST’s bosses began to realize The Warrior Beat blog had a national and International audience and the blog was bringing thousands of visitors to the Advertiser website. Hundreds of comments but thousands of visitors who read this 5 F community center,

  28. haka November 5, 2019 6:35 pm

    It’s 9 o’clock somewhere! Beers up! Go Warriors! Cheers!

  29. Bigwave96744 November 5, 2019 6:56 pm

    UH 41 – SJSU 38

  30. Bigwave96744 November 5, 2019 6:58 pm

    I wonder what the creative marketing team will do to get the students out. I don’t think many skipped the game to go to the backstreet boys. Maybe their parents did 🙂

  31. Andrew November 5, 2019 8:00 pm


    There was a rave in Kapolei also sat night. I don’t think getting destroyed by Air Force the other week helped either.

  32. Bigwave96744 November 5, 2019 8:05 pm


  33. Bigwave96744 November 5, 2019 8:07 pm

    Will there be any D.I.C.K. Tomey tribute this weekend?

  34. One Villa November 5, 2019 8:55 pm

    You a OG! I never knew about that rule lol.

    Brian Washington is a great kid. Humble, coz his mom would sasa dat muli lol. He abandoned his outside game once he realized he could dunk on EVERYBODY. Dream Vision’s Twitter claims he’s holding an offer from Nevada (Reno). He’s a freshman in juco. Getting him after this season and having him for 3 years would be awesome.

  35. Booyahwho November 5, 2019 10:41 pm

    Lol why is that one faka talking about football? Sistah stay talking to herself, rambling on and on while everyone talking about basketball.

    Anyways hopefully this means Ganot finally knows how to recruit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have local boys on the team but when you have 4, that really says how bad you are at attracting talent. Maybe he gotta he like gib and go after guys with talent who’s rough around the edges. Rather choosing from the church choir and looking for model citizen with questionable basketball skills. I know he’s traumatized by Fleming and probably swore to never recruit boys from the hood but he can start looking for another job after this season. It’ll be 4 years since sanctions ended and that’s more than enough time to show progress.

  36. wafan November 6, 2019 3:43 am

    Pomai/SteveM . . .

    51 us – 24 them

  37. wafan November 6, 2019 3:45 am


    Miss those fun times. Goofy comments made by good friends.

  38. ai-eee-soos November 6, 2019 10:12 am

    ST’s column: QB’s Cole & Chevan have solid support for each other.



    BEAT UP them sam jose SPARKIES !!!

  39. Derek November 6, 2019 11:06 am

    Trust your eyes. The UH defense can’t stop a decent offense. Unless our team cannot put up at least 45 points we will lose. San Jose State can score. San Jose State 45, Hawaii38.

  40. ai-eee-soos November 6, 2019 11:10 am


    Home team -7; -7.5.

    opened at -6.5 in some places.

  41. sackkabooya November 6, 2019 12:16 pm


    I tried to wait the nine hours (ends up from 9:00 was the deal) before I posted stuff that was on my mind after watching a lot of Football videos. Sorry. Sounds like you have strong opinions (a good mouth) in/on you so post when you can. McInnis has good, exactly similar blog dedicated only for Basketball so if MBB is your thing post there anytime. Need strong opinions like yours. Just lay off the name calling maybe. Some got thin skin here. Post when you have time.

  42. cappie the mortgage money lending dog November 6, 2019 12:17 pm

    hawaii shot 6-31 from 3-pt. range. here is the spin: the 7 turnovers allowed them to put up 31 shots from 3-pt. range.

  43. sackkabooya November 6, 2019 12:28 pm


    BTW I think we do need one “from the Hood” type player. As long as the player is a good fit “culturally” with the existing roster. Combo guard, semi-flashy, athletic, tough, someone that rattles the cage a little so we don’t seem so soft. Like Drammeh but “from the Hood”.

  44. islandman November 6, 2019 2:18 pm

    Ganot taking temporary medical leave of absence

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