HONOLULU – The University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball team held its annual awards banquet, Wednesday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village as the team celebrated its 2017-18 season while handing out several player awards.
The top individual honor went to senior Mike Thomas, who was named the Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player. A team captain for each of the last three seasons, Thomas also earned the Riley Wallace Leadership Award.
Thomas led the Rainbow Warriors in both scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg) in 2017-18. He also topped the Big West in field goal percentage during league games (.588) en route to being named all-league honorable mention. A starter and team captain on UH’s 2015-16 Big West title and NCAA Tournament team, Thomas leaves UH as the winningest player in school history (87 wins).
Head coach Eran Ganot and the coaching staff handed out several other awards on the evening. Junior Sheriff Drammeh earned the Bob Nash Hustle Award for the second straight season. The native of Stockholm, Sweden, also the won Big West version of the award last month. Sophomore forward Zigmars Raimo received the Community Service Award, and junior forward Gibson Johnson earned the team’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
Brocke Stepteau was named Most Improved Player after again elevating his game. Coming off the heels of a breakthrough sophomore campaign, the junior guard proved invaluable to the team through much of the season with his consistent production and clutch play. The junior guard shot 51 percent from the floor, 81 percent from the line and 44 percent from three-point range, the third-best single-season percentage in school history.
The Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award went to Zach Buscher. Buscher appeared in just 10 games in 2017-18 but was a favorite of both fans and teammate alike. One of two Hawai‘i-bred players, he was a consummate teammate and model representative of UH basketball through his work ethic on the court, in the classroom, and out in the community, before wrapping up his three-year career with UH this season.
2017-18 Award Winners
Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award: Mike Thomas
Riley Wallace Leadership Award: Mike Thomas
Bob Nash Hustle Award: Sheriff Drammeh
Community Service Award: Zigmars Raimo
Scholar-Athlete Award: Gibson Johnson
Most Improved Award: Brocke Stepteau
Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award: Zach Buscher