Sports Hungry for more By Jason Kaneshiro Oct. 4, 2013 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Jamm AquinoHawaii wide receiver Chris Gant (9) runs for big gain during the second half of a college football game between the Fresno State Bulldogs and the Hawaii Warriors on Saturday Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Handed a painting by a young fan, Chris Gant planned to post the beige piece of construction paper in the University of Hawaii football team’s locker room as a gift from a visiting family and a reminder to focus on the big picture. Gant had just taken a photo with the Koehn family — Wyatt (age 5), Faith (11) and their mother Martha — who’d stopped by Ching Field for Wednesday’s practice. All three have endured multiple surgeries to deal with a rare genetic disorder affecting bone development, with Wyatt a few weeks removed from his latest procedure. ("None of our joints fit into our sockets the way we need them to," Martha explained. "A lot of surgeries, breaking bones and that kind of stuff.") Even so, Wyatt just finished soccer season and is looking forward to joining a flag football league at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where the family is stationed. So as Gant accepted Wyatt’s artwork — a football with a UH logo — on the team’s behalf, the Rainbow Warriors wide receiver saw more than paint on paper. "You get up in the morning and you’re like, ‘gosh, I gotta do this, I gotta do that.’ Not so much, ‘I’m blessed to do this. I’m blessed to do that,’ " Gant said. "I’ll probably put it in the locker room for everybody. Maybe you’re having a bad day, you see that picture, that picture can change your day. I know I woke up this morning and I’m like, ‘it’s 5:30, I’m tired, my body hurts.’ Then I come out to practice and I hear about this kid." Gant’s renewed perspective comes as the Rainbow Warriors work to change the outlook for their season. UH (0-4, 0-2 Mountain West Conference) enters Saturday’s matchup with San Jose State (1-3, 0-1) coming off a 42-37 loss to Fresno State in which UH scored 34 unanswered points to almost get the win. Gant caught four passes for a career-high 133 yards during the comeback attempt, 60 coming on quarterback Sean Schroeder’s first throw after entering the game in the third quarter. Gant’s contributions were part of a frantic final 21:11, during which UH generated 319 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. But Gant hardly had a look of satisfaction when he emerged from the Aloha Stadium locker room that night. "I kind of got that feeling of ‘finally, but not there yet,’ because it’s not like we won the game." Gant said of the UH offense’s outburst. "We tasted it, but we want the full plate. We want the full serving and we’re hungry. We’re ready to go out this week and just give back. Everybody’s given so much to this football team and it’s time to give back to the fans and the people." MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL >> Saturday: UH vs. San Jose State, 6 p.m. at Aloha Stadium >> TV / Radio: PPV / KKEA, 1420-AM Gant’s total ended UH’s 17-game drought without a 100-yard receiving performance, and he finished the night with a game-high 238 all-purpose yards. That figure included a 47-yard kickoff return in the third quarter, as Gant produced in a role he nearly lost two games earlier. In the fourth quarter of UH’s loss at Oregon State on Sept. 7, Gant chased down a kick drifting toward the corner of the end zone. His momentum carried him out of bounds as he caught the ball at the UH 1 and the Rainbows gave up a safety on the next play. The position of kick returner was re-evaluated over the ensuing bye week. "In fact, he was on a very short leash at that point," UH head coach Norm Chow said. "We can’t afford that. He realized it, he understood he made a huge mistake and he’s come back hard from that." Gant managed to hang on to the job going into the following game at Nevada and he averaged 35 yards on three returns against Fresno State. "My coaches stayed with me, my teammates stayed with me and that’s all I needed," Gant said. "It’s not just on me. Without those blocks, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. So I think it’s the whole kickoff return unit that stepped it up." As Gant works to help the UH offense sustain the momentum of its second-half performance last week, he continues to grind through the fall semester with graduation approaching in December. He’s on track to finish up his degree in sociology and is looking forward to having his family visit for senior night and to see him pick up his diploma. "Just the fact I come out here and play football and I get a free education. … I think I’m very blessed and fortunate," Gant said. Previous Story High school football scoreboard Next Story Yankees star sues MLB and commissioner, citing 'witch hunt'