Juan Munoz was ready to step up and be a leader on the court for the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team prior to the 2021-2022 season. Munoz, a graduate transfer from Longwood, provided experience at the point guard position when the program sorely needed it last year.
A knee injury prevented Munoz from taking the court right before the season. In addition to wing Samuta Avea, the Rainbow Warriors lost two projected starters before even playing a game but still went on to go 17-11 overall and 10-5 in Big West Conference play. The ‘Bows also won their first conference tournament game since 2016.
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Despite the departures of Junior Madut, Jerome Desrosiers and Mate Colina, the Rainbow Warriors still return the majority of their scoring production. With Munoz and Avea both ready to re-enter the fold in the 2022-2023 season, the Rainbow Warriors appear primed to make another run in the top half of the Big West standings.
Munoz says he’s grateful for the silver lining the extra year prevented. Were to have played in 2021-2022, he likely would still not be on the islands.
“The love that the island has given me has been tremendous, especially the hard times that I was going through this year” Munoz told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “The community, the people, the kids, my teammates, coaches, everybody around has given me a great time and it’s been a blessing and I can’t wait to get on the court for the island next year.”
Munoz is finishing out his final summer as a collegiate athlete by giving back and serving as a coach during UH’s summer youth camps. The next session runs from Aug. 2-5. Registration can be found here.
“It gives me memories back in the day. As a kid, I loved coming out to camp, seeing the college players interact with us, the coaches interact with us too so that made my day, that gave me a set of memories and hopefully I can make a lasting impact on these kids, too,” Munoz said.
“Basketball is fun. We don’t want to make it serious all the time. That kind of burns kids out, so as long as we throw in the fun aspect for them and show them how to love basketball the right way, then that can go a long way.
“I think I have too much fun. I can’t wait to show the island how much I’m going to have on the court this year and how much fun the team is going to have too.”