'Dynamic' guard signs on with Hawaii men's hoops
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
On the day of its 2009-10 season opener, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team got a start on 2010-11 with the signing of a "dynamic" high school guard.
Jordan Coleman, a 6-foot-4, 175-pound guard at Calabasas High in California, completed a national letter of intent to play for the Rainbow Warriors.
He is about to begin his senior season of basketball at Calabasas. He will be a freshman at Hawai'i in the 2010-11 season, and will have four seasons of eligibility.
"He is a dynamic young guard with significant upside and has really come into his own over the past year," Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said. "We feel really good about the way he's performed on the court, in the classroom and generally speaking, how he handles himself."
Coleman averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a junior at Calabasas last season. He has a vertical jump between 35 and 40 inches, and is expected to be a featured player as the starting shooting guard for Calabasas this season.
"I just feel like Hawai'i is the best place for me — once I got to meet the coaches and the players, they all made me feel comfortable," Coleman said. "Now (the signing) is out of the way and I can focus on my season and getting ready to come out to Hawai'i next year."
He is primarily a shooting guard, but also has experience at point guard.
Hawai'i assistant coach Eran Ganot was the primary recruiter of Coleman. Ganot said he noticed Coleman's talent at an AAU tournament over the summer.
"Just from the start of July to the end of July, his development was just incredible," Ganot said. "He was only 16 at the time, so I knew if he could keep improving, we would have a chance at getting a really good player by the time he got to the Division I level."
Coleman is now 17, and will be 18 when his freshman season at UH starts in 2010.
"His strength is in the open floor, and he's worked really hard to extend his range," Nash said.
Ganot added: "He's a bigger guard, which is what we need, looking at next year. He has a ton of upside and is great off the court, so we feel good about this one."
Coleman made a verbal commitment to play for Hawai'i last month, and also made an official visit to Honolulu last month.
"The trip out there made me realize I was making the right decision," he said.
Coleman is the only recruit expected to sign with the 'Bows during the early period, which ends Nov. 18. Hawai'i has six seniors on the 2009-10 roster, so will likely have to fill five more scholarships for 2010-11.
Godwin Okonji, a 6-9 forward at Findlay College Prep in Nevada, will wait until the next signing period in April to sign a letter of intent. He is being recruited by Hawai'i, New Mexico and TCU, among others.
Findlay won the high school national championship last season, and is the top-ranked team in the country this season, according to several publications.