Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Hawaii lures prep shooting guard from Los Angeles

By Brian McInnis


Brandon Jawato's quick turnaround shot landed across the Pacific Ocean.

Jawato wasn't considering the Hawaii men's basketball team among his final college basketball options when he graduated from El Segundo High School in Los Angeles about two weeks ago.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound shooting guard's fortunes swiftly changed upon a conversation with UH coach Gib Arnold, and he became the latest addition to the Rainbow Warriors this week.

"I just graduated on the 24th of June, so it's been a quick move," Jawato said. "It's been a crazy summer so far.

"Coach Gib was always looking at me throughout last summer and stuff, the fall, but then he picked up some other players. ... Hopefully it works out here."

Jawato has joined his new teammates in workouts and open gym settings since his arrival. He prides himself on outside shooting and hustle.

The L.A native adds some depth on the perimeter after junior college guard DeShawn Mitchell, one of six UH signees for next season, was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA.

He earned MVP honors of the Pioneer League and first-team All-CIF 4A honors as a senior after averaging about 21 points, 10 rebounds and three assists per game.

Jawato was on and off the radar of UH coaches for at least the past two years. He had some visits lined up at Idaho State and Northern Arizona until the UH opening manifested.

The sudden change was jarring for him; he was still finding his bearings around campus. Jawato had never been to Hawaii before. He lived on the Indonesian island of Bali for three years as a child, but moved back to Los Angeles from his school years on.

Jawato has something to look forward to early in his UH career; he said Arnold told him he can travel with the team on its international tour to Asia next month.

But whether he'll be a scholarship player or a walk-on for the 2011-12 season is unclear. UH currently has one scholarship available, Mitchell's, but Arnold may choose to make other additions before the start of the fall semester. The spring signing period has long passed, so any scholarship agreement would be non-binding.

"We're still working it out on that," Jawato said.

Three other Los Angeles-area prep players who signed with UH, Gerry Blakes, Dillon Biggs and Ronnie Stevens, have some academic hurdles to clear before they can join the team in August.

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