After two years of being held out of participation in the Hawaii Collegiate Summer League, University of Hawaii basketball players will be taking part in the inaugural season of the Hawaii Development (HD) League this summer.
“University of Hawaii players, they’re a big part of Hawaii being our only Division I basketball team to follow, so they’re a huge part of our culture over here,” the league’s co-founder and director Derrick Low told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “It’s important to bring them back and it allows the basketball fans and fans in general in Hawaii to get to see them up close and personal, see what the new players coming in, kind of what’s in store for the season to come. It’s kind of like a preview.”
The green light for the green-and-white was given on June 20, just in time for the HD League draft on June 22. In the draft, six teams will be split up ahead of the five-game schedule which starts on July 2.
The league playoffs culminate with the title game on July 19.
Currently, the likes of Samuta Avea, Drew Buggs, Brandon Thomas, along with 7-foot newcomers Mate Colina and Dawson Carper have committed.
“It’s been awesome having them in the past, and I’m just glad that we were able to bring them on board again,” said Low of the UH players. “I just wanted to bring the highest level of players into one court and just kind of compete. That’s what basketball is all about. They’re going to be training. They’re going to be going through the whole summer workouts that they got to do, and so I think it’s refreshing for them to actually play in games too. It brings a little bit of bragging rights. It allows the fans to generate that buzz for the upcoming season, so I think it benefits everyone now that UH is involved.”
Joining the current ‘Bows in the HD League are the University of Portland’s Hugh Hogland and Chaminade University’s Kaleb Gilmore.
NOTABLE HD LEAGUE PARTICIPANTS
Micah Dunhour – AOP/European Pro
Jacob McEnroe – Farrington/Fullerton CC
Pi’i Minns – Kamehameha/Hawaii
Mate Colina – Hawaii
Kam Kato – Concordia
Dyrbe Enos – Kamehameha/Hawaii
Dawson Carper – Hawaii
Miah Ostrowski – Punahou/Hawaii
Justin Hemsley – Hawaii
Jayden Zariello – Creighton
Nainoa Winquist – UNLV
Derric Braziel – Tampa
Kameron Ng – Saint Francis
Geremy Robinson Jr – Moanalua
JR Broadus – European Pro
Allex Austin – Baylor
Brandon Thomas – Hawaii
Zigmars Raimo – Hawaii
Derrick Low – European Pro/Washington State
Spencer Vering – HPU
Drew Buggs – Hawaii
Kaleb Gilmore – Kalaheo/Jacksonville
Captain Whitlock – Kalaheo/Saddleback CC
Josh Ko – Kalaheo/Florida Gulf Coast
Kekai Smith – Kalaheo/Orange Coast CC
Hugh Hogland – Iolani/Portland
Samuta Avea – Kahuku/Hawaii
Leon Ballard – Hawaii Swish
Many other current and former prep, collegiate and pro-players will participate. The women’s division will also feature current Rainbows.