Hawaii men’s basketball selects new captains

Of all the paths to the University of Hawaii basketball team, here are three of them:

• Guard Noel Coleman grew up in Belgium, graduated from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, played 24 games as a freshman at the University of San Diego, and transferred to UH in July 2020.

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• Born and reared in Brazil, center Bernardo da Silva attended Wasatch Academy in Utah for three years, made and then rescinded a commitment to BYU, and signed with the Rainbow Warriors in 2019.

• Point guard JoVon McClanahan, who grew up in Northern California, was in his junior college’s dorm room in Sheridan, Wyo., (population 19,005 ) during the pandemic when he made his commitment to UH. Because of the travel restrictions, he pledged without taking an official UH-sponsored recruiting trip.

After a vote by teammates, the three seniors are the ’Bows’ co-captains for the 2023-24 season.

“A lot of things in life are so many different variables,” said McClanahan, referencing the captains’ diverse backgrounds. “It can go so many different ways. … Being around basketball, you meet so many different people. I don’t think (the selections are ) a surprise to me. It’s really cool.”

On being a captain, McClanahan said: “it’s just an honor to represent Hawaii in general and also be a captain of the Hawaii men’s basketball team. My job is to make sure all things are rolling correctly. I think I’m up for it.”

Da Silva has developed into a inside presence of the one-in, four-out offense and an active rim protector. “It’s been a journey for me, especially being hurt my first year, having to overcome a lot of things,” da Silva said. “The coaching staff stuck with me. They kept believing in me. I feel good about myself and the team, as well.”

Da Silva said he has spent the offseason improving his strength and endurance.

“I’m trying to be healthier and available for all games and practices,” said da Silva, who played in 31 of 33 games in 2022-23 after being available for 65.8% of games in his first three seasons. “From our summer workouts (in June ) and up until now, I’ve been at every practice.”

Coleman earned his bachelor’s degree in May, and briefly considered pursuing a pro career. But the plans changed following the’Bows’ opening-round loss in the Big West tournament.

“It was a weird way the season ended,” Coleman said. “So short. I feel there’s a little bit of unfinished business here.”

Last season, Coleman’s passing and off-the-ball work produced more scoring opportunities for teammates. “It makes it easier for everybody,” Coleman said of the balanced attack. “Other guys stepped up in a scoring role. It makes it harder to guard for the other teams.”

The ’Bows play host to Saint Mary’s on Friday in the Stan Sheriff Center. Tickets are priced at $20 (adults ) and $10 (ages 4 through high school), with proceeds benefiting Maui relief.

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