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UH basketball team gets commit from ex-Missouri forward

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The Hawaii basketball team got a midseason commitment from former Missouri forward Stefan Jankovic Saturday.

Jankovic, a 6-foot-11 sophomore born in Serbia and raised in Ontario, Canada, transferred out from Mizzou on Nov. 22. He played briefly against UH on Nov. 16 in Kansas City, grabbing a single rebound.

He visited the Manoa campus this week and said he notified UH coach Gib Arnold of his decision this afternoon.

"In talking to my family today, I decided I wanted to commit to Hawaii and come to Honolulu," Jankovic said in a phone interview Saturday. "The deciding factor was definitely the opportunity to come in and play. I had a good two-hour convo with Coach while I was there, just talked to me about using my versatility and playing how I like to play. Another big thing was the family atmosphere."

Jankovic will enroll at UH for the spring semester and be eligible to play in mid-December of 2014, giving him essentially a little more than two and a half years of eligibility. 

For his freshman season of 2012-13 at MU, he averaged 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He was up to 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in three games as a sophomore, but his playing time dropped sharply after posting nine points and five rebounds in the first game of the Tigers’ season.

His strong ties with UH sophomore Negus Webster-Chan, himself an ex-Mizzou player and Ontario native, put the Rainbow Warriors on his radar, he said.

UH has another Serbian-born big man in freshman center Stefan Jovanovic.

"One of us needs a nickname," Jankovic said.

UH (7-2) opens play in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Sunday night against Boise State (8-2) at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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