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UH men’s basketball gets commitment from 6-7 player from Japan

The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team has secured a commitment from a multi-skilled, 6-foot-7 forward from Japan.

Roy Igwe said he will join the Rainbow Warriors on June 18.

Igwe, who was born and reared in Japan, is a 2023 graduate of St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. He spent the past academic year at St. Thomas More School, a college preparatory academy in Oakdale, Conn. He recovered from an ankle injury to move into the Chancellors’ rotation this season, with prorated averages of nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per 40 minutes.

Igwe said he received offers from schools on the East Coast. But he said Hawaii’s closer proximity to Japan factored in his decision.

“And Hawaii having a really big Japanese population,” Igwe added. “The coaching staff was really genuine, as well. I went on a (recruiting) visit last week. I talked to the whole coaching staff. They were very keen on having me. I didn’t feel that kind of love from any other coaching staff. That was a factor.”

Igwe projects to compete as a wing-forward for the ’Bows. He is noted for his aggressive defense, mid-range accuracy, quick drives, and two-handed finishes at the rim. “I’m very physical,” Igwe said.

Igwe said his AAU coach is a friend of UH assistant coach Cody Kelley, who previously worked with the Chiba Jets, a premier pro team.

Last August, Igwe played on an amateur team that scrimmaged against UH during the ’Bows’ exhibition tour in Japan. Igwe had 12 points and seven rebounds before suffering an ankle injury in the third quarter of that scrimmage.

Igwe said his father is Nigerian and his mother is Japanese. His parents met more than 20 years ago after his father moved to Japan for better employment opportunities. Igwe also is friends with UH forward Akira Jacobs, who grew up in Japan and California. “He put in a good word for me with the coaching staff,” Igwe said.

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