Isaac Fotu will be missed.
Not just because of his skills as a basketball player, but because he was a marquee player in a sport that needs marquee players. His hairstyle drew attention not seen since Colt Brennan’s dreadlocks. He loved the sport so much that during a bye weekend last season, he played point guard (at half-speed) in an intramural 3-on-3 tournament. His departure, under the circumstances, is understandable.
Here are some other early departures in UH history:
> Reggie Carter was the rare point guard who was an effective rebounder. He played a season at UH and, after the program was set to go on probation, he transferred to St. John’s to finish his NCAA career. He had a brief NBA career with his hometown Knicks, who drafted him in the second round. He was an assistant principal at Mineola High School when he died of a heart attack at age 42.
> George Ornellas was one of the state’s best high school players in the 1990s. He showed his athleticism with a somersault touchdown as a UH slotback. And then mid-way through the 1995 season, he quit. In announcing his departure, he told reporters: “It has nothing to do with the coaches or the players or anything else. It’s me. I’m just tired, man. I have no fun out there, no drive. I’ve kind of lost the desire to play.”
> Quarterback Stump Godfrey transferred to UH from New Mexico in 2011, threw lasers as the scout quarterback while redshirting, went home to Texas a couple of times, then disappeared for good at the end of the semester.