Nash No. 1 draft pick for UH scrimmage
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
If anybody should have some inside information on the status of Bobby Nash, it's Bob Nash.
So based on the results of yesterday's draft of University of Hawai'i men's basketball players for the upcoming Twilight 'Ohana intrasquad scrimmage, Bobby Nash is apparently better than ever.
Bob Nash made his son Bobby the No. 1 pick in yesterday's draft.
When informed that he was the No. 1 choice, Bobby Nash said with a smile: "Well, even though it comes from my dad ... I mean Coach Nash, sorry, I'm sure there's no favoritism there."
Twilight 'Ohana — the official start of practice for the men's and women's basketball teams at UH — is scheduled for Friday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Festivities, which include carnival games and live entertainment, will begin at 6:30 p.m.
In what has become an annual tradition, the basketball players will dress in Halloween costumes for their introductions. The basketball events, including a 3-point shootout, slam-dunk contest and intrasquad scrimmages for the men's and women's teams, will start around 9:15.
Bobby Nash, a 6-foot-6 junior, sat out most of last season because of a shoulder injury.
"The rehab is done; I'm ready to play," he said. "But I know that I still have a long way to go and this team has a long way to go. It's going to be a long season, and this is only the first step."
Associate coaches Bob Nash and Jackson Wheeler will be opposing coaches for the men's intrasquad scrimmage.
Nash won a coin flip to select the first player, and he immediately picked his son.
Wheeler picked returning starter Matt Lojeski with his first pick, and then Nash countered with Matt Gibson.
"I don't think I need to explain myself," Nash said. "But when you choose first, you have to skew things in your favor, and I think I did. I got the two (players) I wanted with my first two picks."
Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace will be an impartial observer.
"There's no real structure to games like this — it's more for the fans," Wallace said. "But it usually goes up and down, so you want good guards, and I think both teams picked good guards."
Bob Nash said he thinks the advantage for his team will be in the low post. He drafted 7-foot Todd Follmer, 6-11 Stephen Verwers and 6-8 Alex Veit.
Wheeler's team has 6-8 P.J. Owsley and 6-8 Ahmet Gueye, who will probably only be able to play limited minutes due to a knee injury.
Gueye, last season's starting center, underwent surgery on his right knee in March and has been in rehabilitation.
"Ahmet is cleared to play, but I don't know how much he can do," Wallace said. "He's still not 100 percent."
Lojeski said: "For pride, and for trash-talking with your teammates, it's nice to win. But at the same time, it's just a scrimmage, and it's early in the year."
Wallace said he is attempting to get Duane "Dog" Chapman from the "Dog the Bounty Hunter" reality series to be a guest coach.
MEN'S INTRASQUAD ROSTERS
White team: Bobby Nash, Matt Gibson, Stephen Verwers, Todd Follmer, Alex Veit, Todd Lowenthal, John Wilder.
Green team: Matt Lojeski, Riley Luettgerodt, P.J. Owsley, Dominic Waters, Jared Dillinger, Ahmet Gueye, Marquez Jackson, Jack Miller.
WOMEN'S INTRASQUAD ROSTERS
White team: Janevia Taylor, Pam Tambini, Saundra Cariaga, Amber Lee, Tanya Smith, Megan Tinnin, Shannon Nishi.
Green team: Amy Kotani, Brittany Grice, Dalia Solia, Dita Liepkalne, Iwona Zagrobelna, Cassidy Chretien, Leilani Galdones.
LOJESKI READY TO DEFEND DUNK TITLE
Matt Lojeski was a surprise winner of last year's Twilight 'Ohana dunk contest, and he said he'd be surprised to win it again on Friday.
"I'm going to try again, but I think it's going to be hard this year," he said.
According to Lojeski, senior guard John Wilder and new recruit Alex Veit have been displaying the best dunks in recent workouts.
Hiram Thompson, a freshman point guard on last season's UH team, recently started a two-year mission for the Mormon church in Des Moines, Iowa. "It's a Spanish-speaking mission," his father, Matt Thompson, said. "We won't see him for two years, but the plan is still for him to come back and play for Hawai'i after that."
Former 'Bow Julian Sensley has left his professional team in Italy, according to Wallace. "He's back home and said he's going to look at some different options," Wallace said.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com.