POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 15, 2011
DeShawn Mitchell plans to take a second chance and run with it.
Mitchell, a high-scoring, 6-foot-5 swingman formerly of Snow College in Utah, has sent a signed National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Hawaii.
Few others were willing to give him that chance, but the Rainbow Warriors were far from a last resort for the fourth-leading junior college scorer in the country. Mitchell, who was dismissed from Snow College by his coach late in the 2010-11 season, is grateful for an opportunity to start over at UH.
"(UH was) one of my top places even before the whole situation happened," Mitchell said. "I wasn't going to have many options after the whole situation happened, so I really consider this a blessing ... like a second chance."
The sophomore is considered primarily a slasher, though his outside game is developing. He was at times spectacular through the season's first 23 games; he put up 23.8 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. But a late-season mishap cost him serious looks from several other schools.
The situation Mitchell referred to was a falling out with Snow coach Michael Ostlund.
"It was just a verbal big misunderstanding with me and my coach. I guess he didn't appreciate how it went down, so he dismissed me," Mitchell said. "It affected me a lot; I was real hurt that I couldn't finish the season."
Mitchell said UH coach Gib Arnold was his primary recruiter, though assistant Brandyn Akana also kept in touch.
He remained enrolled at Snow and said he is on track to receive his associate's degree this spring. He will transfer to UH immediately thereafter to take classes in the first summer session.
Coming to the islands will be the latest stop on a winding road.
The New Jersey native played at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, then went to UNLV, where he was a reserve his freshman season.
Though UH entered the spring signing period with three scholarships and has three signees, recruiting is not necessarily over. UH could in theory release returnees or have an unexpected departure.
Arnold said yesterday he is withholding comment until everything is completely finalized.
Dorsey (Calif.) High senior Dillon Biggs and Western Nebraska Community College sophomore Hauns Brereton are the other two signees.
Amis preparing to be a pro
Forward Bill Amis, the team's top all-around player this past season, has hired an agent and is training with UH strength coach Chris McMillian to prepare for a pro career.
Amis averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and a Western Athletic Conference-best 2.2 blocks a game, earning him All-WAC second-team honors. He figures a career overseas is likely, but is staying ready for NBA summer workouts.
Amis picked Ben Pensack as his agent.
"It's still pretty early, so I know he's going to try to get my name out there with those (NBA) guys," Amis said. "See where it goes from there. ... I talked to a team in France. I think it'd be a good country to go and play. It's a stable place and a nice place to start out."