Hawaii men’s basketball: Ahmed Ali leaving for health reasons

Ahmed Ali (23) joined his Hawaii teammates in a huddle for one of the last times at practice on Tuesday. Ali is leaving for health reasons. / Photo by Brian McInnis

Guard Ahmed Ali has a health issue that will prevent him from playing for the UH basketball team this season.

Ali, who was born and reared in Toronto, played two seasons at a junior college and started 24 games for Washington State during the 2018-19 season. He transferred to UH this summer.

Ali said he was notified of his condition just before the start of the Rainbow Warriors’ third practice of training camp. Ali said he is withdrawing from UH and will return to his family’s home in Toronto.

“I was enjoying my time (at UH),”Ali said. “I met teammates I love, coaches I love. I don’t regret my decision coming here whatsoever.”

UH’s other guards are Drew Buggs, Eddie Stansberry, Justin Webster, Jessiya Villa and Kameron Ng.

Also, it was announced post player Owen Hulland will play miss an indefinite period of time because of an injury.


  1. seewhy October 17, 2019 11:57 am

    Wow, this is bad…

  2. Warrior Lifer October 17, 2019 12:12 pm

    Looks like that opens the door for Jessiya to be our backup point guard and for Webster to be our backup shooting guard behind Stansberry. Not ideal for two true freshmen to be plugged into the rotation at one of the most important positions on the court, but hopefully they’re ready for action.

  3. clyde October 17, 2019 12:42 pm

    Tough blow for Ahmed and the team. Heal up, young man and best of luck as you move forward in your life.
    Bummers about Hulland, too. Much was expected of him.
    Hopefully, Madut is staying in physical and basketball shape. They might have to burn a possible redshirt once he enrolls in January.

  4. Aaron October 17, 2019 1:15 pm

    i’m running out of ways to rationalize the recruiting efforts of this past off-season.

  5. Hoosier October 17, 2019 1:58 pm

    Aaron is on to something. So now Ali is gone, Madura is late, and Holland is a gigantic question mark. Not a god sign for recruiting. Pretty soon Ganot has to answer the question “Where’s the beef?”

  6. SailorBlue October 17, 2019 2:21 pm

    Aloha everybody ~ WAHOO! It’s T-GATE time. The Tsai-kos have reserved ***CABANA A*** at Rainbow Bay Marina. The normal routine is the early crew arrive/set-up ~9AM, grill crew fires-up ~10-10:30, eat ono grindz until clean-up around 4:30PM.

    ***Base security is supposed to open the back gate but I’m not sure what time.****

    Questions – email me at jboster(at)yahoo.com. Hope to see everybody there. Cheers, SB

  7. turfwar October 17, 2019 3:00 pm

    Matlin is to blame at this point for Ganot still being here. College coaches need to be able to recruit period. He has never been able to show any recruiting ability.

  8. Loca1boi October 17, 2019 3:12 pm

    First and foremost, Ali’s health is the priority and hopefully this condition doesn’t hinder his future in the sport. On the other hand, it has to be next man up. I still believe in this team despite the losses to health issues despite a lot of the crying going on from some posters. Glass half full, this will allow the newcomers time to hit the ground running which will be better for the program in the (hopefully short and) long run.

  9. One Villa October 17, 2019 4:16 pm

    Ali’s life may have been saved by the doctors that found this illness or by simply preventing him from playing when other doctors previously may have looked the other way. Not worth him losing his life. Remember last year, the player from HPU? That was very sad.

    As for this season, UH has 6-7 players with experience. Buggs, Stansberry, Avea, and Raimo running the show; Carver, Colina, and Hemsley providing experienced depth. I think Madut has to play now when he gets here in January. Then there are 4 freshmen that will get some valuable experience. Nothing better for their development that to get them some early battle experience and we’ll have to deal with the battle scars along the way. The cream will always rise to the top.

    Everybody needs to calm down. We play in the Big West, not the ACC. It’s way too early to panic. Our chances of seeing a line up featuring 4 Hawai‘i HS grads is better than ever now! GO BOWS!!

  10. roygbivs October 18, 2019 1:51 am

    May Ali live his life and prosper, life is short as it is. Take care, get healthy Ahmed.

    On the surface (outside, looking in) there were a lot of pukahs that this team needed to be filled and I think these coaches failed to address them, Period!
    They barely had enough bodies for the green/white game and if you don’t use your bench, you won’t have depth.
    The ‘proof will be in the pudding’ at season’s end.

    I hope the coaches prove me wrong.
    Go ‘Bows

  11. Wavehog1 October 18, 2019 6:01 am

    I agree with One Villa. Webster will have to step up and hopefully, Madut will be ready to go in January

  12. Matt October 18, 2019 7:49 am


    And yet, his conclusion to keep Trapasso for his final season at 2020 seems delirious?

  13. 808warriorfan October 18, 2019 9:03 am

    Agree with #10 … one villa … GO ‘BOWS

  14. ai-eee-soos October 18, 2019 10:54 am

    MWC article.

    Trouble in Paradise? Air Force Travels to Hawaii for a

    Showdown with the Rainbow Warriors.


  15. winning October 18, 2019 11:46 am

    Often times it seems UH is being led by 2 coaches when they supposedly have 3 Offensive ones. The saying goes that “two heads are better than one” well then 3 heads should be better than two. Perhaps some changes should be considered in the near future to help identify what defensive schemes opponents have devised.

  16. winning October 18, 2019 11:50 am

    As far as hoops goes UH doesnt have a a whole lot cream that can rise to the top. Looks like another mediocre season coming up.

  17. NorthShoreFan October 18, 2019 11:56 am

    “….would have given the advantage to Air Force without thinking as Hawaii throughout my whole life has just been a fun place where teams go to play and get a mini vacation.”

    No respect….Warriors…take notice and come prepared. Focus, position discipline and execution
    Catch and clip them birdies!

  18. Andrew October 18, 2019 12:00 pm

    This game is almost a must win. If they were to lose, they would be at two conference losses. San Diego State and Nevada currently have 1 conference loss. Nevada plays @ Utah State this weekend so that’s another potential loss plus they still have to play @Fresno and @SDSU. San Diego State still needs to play Fresno at home and of course @Hawaii. Fresno still needs to play Utah State at home and of course @ Hawaii and also Nevada at home. Neither SDSU Nevada or Fresno play Boise though so we can’t count for that would be likely loss. It looks like if Hawaii loses to Air Force, they will have to run the table. If SDSU and say Fresno only have two loses along with UH and UH beats them, I think we would get the tie breaker right? It’s safe to say though that the West champion will probably have no more than two losses.

  19. sackkabooya October 18, 2019 12:47 pm

    I think where Matlin has failed (maybe disappointed would be a better description) is in the management of the marketing for the 2019 season (Football mainly). Its hard to fire mediocrity when you don’t have a solid past history in that sport or maybe have conduct problems that embarrass the University to validate dismissals. Baseball had that kind of success so firing Trapasso would be more comprehensible than firing Ganot (or even Beeman, Ah Mow?). But I think its the “culture” of the programs that Matlin may be comfortable with, thus accepting mediocrity. You seen what happened when McMackin was fired and replaced with Norm Chow. Disaster for 4 years. Lost a large fan base that hasn’t been recovered yet (YET). You really have to have some plan in place first (like Yoshida?) or its a crapshoot (literally with Chow). If you do have an alternative coach lets see it. Maybe you (we, all of us) have the right solution. Lets find out.

  20. sackkabooya October 18, 2019 1:16 pm

    UH Football needs to take it one game at a time. No need to worry about what is in front yet. Just the big picture, which is way down at the end of the road but getting larger and clearer every week.

    Against Air Force the offense will have to pass protect efficiently. if that happens they will be unstoppable. Just don’t fumble. Athletically this UH team may be hard for Air Force to match up with. They will have to press Ward and Byrd with one deep so if the protection holds up, unstoppable. If Hawaii can get an early lead the Falcons may press.

    Defensively I think the key is to play with “heart and passion”. To outdo what Air Force does best (Play harder than you). We have better athletes but Air Force has players that play hard every play. I don’t think they (the defense) have done that yet this season (maybe Nevada game). Too much on their minds (scheme assignment focus) maybe. But once the play for each other (pass rush synched with coverage synched with gang tackling) this defense will be complete and unstoppable too. Soon it will happen. You can see it. Things will click in. They will play as “ONE” unit instead of the “individual” mismatches Boise exploited. Can do…… BTW Gaudion needs to punt better. Longer and higher. He has to do it. Practice. We are weak there (punting game). Got to figure that out soon.

  21. ai-eee-soos October 18, 2019 3:14 pm

    old news …

    LS Noah Borden to Seattle Dragons

    OG DeJon Allen to St Louis Battlehawks

    Do you know of any other Warriors in the XFL Draft?

  22. Andrew October 18, 2019 4:56 pm

    UNLV – 10
    Fresno State – 7

    Let’s all hope UNLV wins

  23. Hank October 19, 2019 7:35 am

    I’m hoping Hulland returns in mid-January. If we’re still in the race, we should activate Madut.

  24. A-House October 19, 2019 8:07 am

    my take: in UH 2 losses, receivers kept dropping the ball on crucial downs, receivers and QB seemed out of sink ( phonetically ), OL was porous, DL had great difficulty penetrating

    Reno game seemed to be a “perfect storm” of what UH can achieve IF coaches and players can plan and execute plan well

    defending the triple option: use a 3-5-3 defensive scheme — DL pinch in — LBs fill the gaps — OLB tracks a RB if hey go in motion to either side — CB play WR tough — and safety is the ‘catch-all’ player — be about 7 – 10 yards off the LOS and track the QB to see if pass or dive-play or pass

  25. Kev-1 October 19, 2019 10:23 am

    Man I miss the Warrior Beat of old where there were topics posted for discussion allowingvfans a place to share and debate their opinions. Yes, there were many who brought those conversations down, but the activity is missed.

    No hype around our good football team this season here.

    And this is not a shot at ST, as I am sure there are reasons blog posts have been reduced. Just expressing my wish to have a forum for thought. I dont particularly care for some of the others out there.

  26. Kev-1 October 19, 2019 10:24 am

    Its game day people. GO WARRIORS!

  27. sackkabooya October 19, 2019 12:23 pm


    Good analysis and game plan. Plus crowd should affect the result tonight. Go Warriors.

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