comscore Reyes' injury dampens 'Bows' fitness fun | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Reyes’ injury dampens ‘Bows’ fitness fun

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Some well-intentioned preseason exertion might have cost the Hawaii men’s basketball team one of its big men for an extended period.

Freshman forward Sammis Reyes suffered a possible broken toe on his right foot while competing in the team’s annual "King of the Beach" fitness competition in Waikiki on Saturday morning. During one of a dozen-plus endurance events in the sand of Queen’s Beach, Reyes, a 6-foot-6 native of Chile out of North Broward (Fla.) Prep, came up hobbling and said aloud he thought a toe was broken, a comment he reiterated later on social media. He watched the final few events of the competition won by Aaron Valdes.

Reyes finished runner-up in points.

"I came out second and broke my toe but it was all worth it lol..Got to get better now!" Reyes wrote on Instagram.

If the injury comes back officially as a broken toe, Reyes — one of three signees for the 2014-15 season — could miss several weeks. UH is a little more than six weeks out from its regular-season opener vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 14.

Full practices begin nationally on Friday, but UH coach Gib Arnold said his team will have its first practice Saturday morning, then put on its Green & White scrimmage festivities for fans that night after UH volleyball at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Other than Reyes’ possible setback, the beach outing came off as refreshingly familiar for the team.

A week out from the start of full practices, it was just like old times. Despite a still-unresolved NCAA investigation that dragged out over the offseason, the only uncertainty most of the morning was which Rainbow Warrior would come out on top of Arnold’s annual beach title.

Valdes, a third-year sophomore, came away with the perpetual koa bowl winners’ trophy after recording the most points across all events meant to test endurance and teamwork. Valdes outlasted the newcomer Reyes and senior Garrett Nevels to inherit the prize won by departed forward Christian Standhardinger the past two seasons.

"It feels great," Valdes said. "I wasn’t even sure if I would get top three, but coming here I told myself I was going to try hard, try to win it this year."

"It’s a great atmosphere this year," he added. "I’m really excited. Isaac (Fotu), Sammis … we all want to win, and that’s what’s important."

UH will rest up some in the coming week in preparation for the grind to come.

"We’re going to do just some light conditioning this week," Arnold said. "I’m going to give them a few days off; these guys have gone real hard this preseason, let them rest up, and practice really gets going (Oct. 6), when we’ll have a full week of practice."

A few ‘Bows can seemingly use the time until then to rest up. Apart from Reyes, returning All-Big West Conference forward Isaac Fotu — fresh off competition with the New Zealand national team in the FIBA World Cup — did some rehab work on an ailing back while watching his UH teammates sweat out the beach drills.

Missouri transfer Stefan Jankovic also watched most of the action from the side for unknown reasons. And junior guard Brandon Jawato, who has rehabbed from ankle surgery in the offseason, was not present. However, new combo guard Roderick Bobbitt was cleared to be in the thick of things coming off a broken arm suffered in the spring.

Reyes’ effort before being sidelined was appreciated by his coach.

"When you have a guy of that size also (contending) in a lot of the quickness workouts, being in the top two or three is pretty impressive," Arnold said. "He gets it, he knows how to compete, he wanted to win. And I thought he did a great job."

Mostly, though, Arnold lauded Valdes, a role player for the ‘Bows last season,

"As a basketball player he’s matured and is kind of fulfilling more of a leadership role on this team, which is great. Had a good summer, he’s been looking good in the workouts and he’s got the respect of all his teammates. He’s doing really well."

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