The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team held its annual awards banquet, Thursday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel, celebrating one of the best seasons in program history.
The event featured speeches and several tear-jerking highlight videos, which chronicled the teams’ historic run in the postseason – winning the Big West Conference Tournament in Anaheim, Calif., and posting the program’s first-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament with a win over California in a first round game in Spokane, Wash.
Head coach Eran Ganot and the coaching staff handed out several awards, including newly created awards – the Bob Nash Hustle Award, which was presented to junior forward Michael Thomas and the Riley Wallace Leadership Award, which went to senior guard Quincy Smith. Thomas and Smith were the only two ’Bows to start all 34 games this season. Thomas recently announced he would return for this senior year in 2016-17 after finishing his junior season with averages of 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Smith, who also received the team’s Most Improved Award, averaged 8.1 points, 2.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. He finished his career with 126 steals, ninth best in program history.
The Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award was shared by junior forward Stefan Jankovic and senior guard Roderick Bobbitt. Jankovic, who earlier announced his intention to declare for the NBA Draft, was an honorable mention Associated Press All-American and the Big West’s Player of the Year. The Mississauga, Ontario native led the team in points (15.6), rebounds (6.6), field goal percentage (54.3) and blocked shots (40). Bobbitt, a two-year starter at point guard, was a first-team all-Big West selection and second-team NABC all-District 9 honoree. The Oakland, Calif., native finished his career as the program’s all-time leader in steals (125) and became the first player in Big West history to lead the league in both steals and assists in consecutive seasons.
Sophomore guard Niko Filipovich received the Community Service Award while senior forward Sai Tummala earned the team’s Scholar-Athlete Award. The Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award went to the UH bench, nicknamed “Hawaii 5-O,” which made a name for themselves for their choreographed cheers.2015-16 Award Winners
Community Service Award: Niko Filipovich
Scholar-Athlete Award: Sai Tummala
Bob Nash Hustle Award: Michael Thomas
Riley Wallace Leadership Award: Quincy Smith
Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award: Hawaii 5-0
Most Improved Award: Quincy Smith
Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award: Stefan Jankovic & Roderick Bobbitt