Ronnie Stevens, a highly regarded power forward at Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., confirmed tonight he’s given his oral commitment to play basketball at the University of Hawaii for the 2011-12 season.
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Stevens averaged 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.9 blocks per game as a junior in helping Serra to the CIF Division III state championship.
Stevens was one of two players to visit Hawaii during the weekend of the UH Ohana Hoopfest. He was sick the night that UH coach Gib Arnold and the UH players performed separate haka dances, but Stevens didn’t take that as a bad omen.
He said Arnold has kept in touch with him throughout high school.
His final decision came down to UH and Cal State Northridge, which he visited last weekend. He said distance wasn’t a factor.
“They (my family) were really excited, my mom was tearing up a little bit,” Stevens said. “They were happy.”
Stevens doesn’t plan on signing a national letter of intent until the spring (late) period.
“I got this little promise, me and my friends have had for a while,” Stevens said. “All of them got recruited by other schools and stuff. We want to all commit at the same time. It’ll be nice to have us all up there signing.”
He wasn’t a featured offensive player in Serra’s title run — he got many of his points on putbacks — but certainly will be this year as the team lost 10 seniors from last season.
Stevens is also an avid volleyball player. Serra coach Dwan Hurt estimated his vertical leap at 35 inches. The right-handed player often goes to the basket strong with his left hand, and can block shots with either.
“He’s very versatile, and I think he’ll be a tremendous asset to the University of Hawaii,” Hurt said. “I’m going to tell you, the University of Hawaii’s going to be very, very happy with Ronnie Stevens. He’s just a great kid, and he’s so mild-mannered. He has a lot of fight in him, that’s why I said his better days are ahead of him. And he has a lot of talent that’s untapped right now.”
Stevens is the second oral commitment gathered this fall by UH. The first was point guard Gerry Blakes of Morningside (Calif.) High.
The Rainbows currently have one scholarship remaining for the 2011-12 season.