A top high school guard from San Diego has accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii basketball team.
Beon Ja Riley of Cathedral Catholic High told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser he will sign a 2020 letter of intent with the Rainbow Warriors. The NCAA’s early signing period begins Nov. 13.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Cathedral head assistant coach Steve Wade said. “He’s a big-time player. He’s a punishing guard. He’s out-played tons of kids going to Pac-12 schools.”
Riley said he is 6 feet 6 inches tall and 230 pounds. He was named San Diego County’s Freshman of the Year in 2017. He was selected to the All Metro League first team as a Mater Dei Catholic High freshman and sophomore. Riley did not play this past season in accordance with CIF rules after transferring from Mater Dei to Cathedral.
Wade said Riley is a versatile player who “stuffs the stats” on offense — scoring, distributing and rebounding. Wade likened Riley to Andre Miller, a Utah graduate who played 17 NBA seasons.
Riley is “a punishing, physical, tough, downhill, you-can’t-guard-me big guard,” Wade said. “He’ll punish you on the boards.… He’s probably the most versatile player you could want. He guards one through four at an extremely high level.”
Riley had several offers, including from Washington State and San Diego. But he said he chose UH because of its upward trend and family atmosphere.
“Being with the coaches and players, I could really sense they’re actually a family,” Riley said of his recruiting visit. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I could tell it was really legit. Everybody showed love. It exceeded my expectations, for sure.”