Hawaii basketball freshman forward Sammis Reyes has become the first player casualty of the uncertainty surrounding the embattled program.
Reyes said Friday afternoon he has requested a release from the team. He will remain for the rest of the fall semester in Manoa then seek a new school.
Former head coach Gib Arnold was fired on Tuesday. Associate head coach Benjy Taylor has been the acting head coach since that time.
“The fact that (the university) did that two weeks before the season is a little messed up,” Reyes said. “I was excited to play out here. I liked it. I like Coach Gib a lot. Yeah man, it’s just what’s best for me right now. I’m in a good position to leave. I just hope the best for the team. I’m going to miss them.”
Taylor declined comment until next week.
After it was announced Friday that Taylor will coach the entire 2014-15 season, Reyes affirmed his decision.
Reyes, a 6-foot-6 power forward with experience on the Chilean national team, gained entry to UH just before the fall semester out of North Broward Prep in Florida.
He was expected to compete for a starting job alongside all-conference forward Isaac Fotu.
Reyes missed most of the preseason to this point with a broken pinkie toe, but had more recently participated in practices prior to Tuesday’s announcement.