Most of the following appears on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news.
An elite-level point guard from Australia has pledged to join the University of Hawaii basketball this summer.
Biwali Bayles, who is 6 feet 1 and 180 pounds, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he has accepted a scholarship offer from the Rainbow Warriors for 2020-21 season.
His commitment comes on the heels of UH’s 76-75 win over UC Davis on Saturday night, in which guard Eddie Stansberry hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left to cap a night celebrating the program’s 100-season history.
Bayles completed his high school studies in December — his country’s summer — and will train and compete with Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence until he enrolls at UH.
UH’s starting point guard is redshirt junior Drew Buggs, who is on pace to break the program’s career assist record by the end of the season. Buggs’ last year of eligibility is in 2020-21. Freshman Justin Webster has played as a converted point guard as Buggs’ backup in a pinch — or Buggs has played entire games. The Rainbow Warriors’ other options at the position are freshman walk-on Kameron Ng and freshman Jessiya Villa, who’s in line to redshirt this season.
“He’s very competitive and energetic and really athletic,” said Adam Caporn, head coach of the Centre of Excellence, of Bayles. “He has really good point guard qualities. He’s an elite ball defender. He’s a leader on the floor with more than just his vocal ability. … He cares about his teammates. He plays hard for them. He picks them up. He has genuine charisma and competitiveness.”
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Mad excited to announce my verbal commitment to the University of Hawaii. Firstly I’d like to thank the man upstairs.My coaches, family and friends for all the support couldn’t of done it without them. Special shoutout to my mum without her I wouldn’t be in this position. Can’t wait to get over there. #gobows💚🖤
Caporn said Bayles, who has been involved with the Centre’s junior program, will participate in international tournaments this spring.
A scout noted that Bayles is a Pac-12-level point guard.
Bayles took an official recruiting visit to Hawaii two weeks ago, and based his commitment largely on the support for the program.
“I love the culture over there,” Bayles said. “It reminds me of my culture over here. When they were talking about how they have aunties and uncles and stuff like that (supporting the program), I felt it was something I could really relate to. … It’s that family vibe, man.”
Bayles’ first name means “Elegant” in Birri Gubba, one of the indigenous languages in Australia.
UH currently has three Australians on its roster in sophomore center Mate Colina, sophomore center Owen Hulland and junior wing Junior Madut.
Bayles is the second player to announce a commitment to UH for the 2020-21 season, along with 6-foot-6 guard Beon Ja Riley, who signed in the fall.