Salter gives UH quick fix
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team added a small but necessary ingredient to its mix of recruits for next season.
A dash of Anthony Salter.
The 5-foot-11 point guard fulfilled his commitment to Hawai'i by signing a national letter of intent yesterday to play for the Rainbow Warriors next season.
"The least depth we had at any position was point guard," Hawai'i head coach Gib Arnold said. "So to get a player on the level of Anthony is really big. For this time of the year, it's a huge get."
Salter averaged 12.6 points, 2.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Iowa Western Community College last season.
Arnold said he was pleasantly surprised that Salter chose the 'Bows over such programs as Charlotte, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
"When I first met him, he was leaning toward Iowa, and Indiana was starting to call him," Arnold said. "But I still wanted him to at least come and see Hawai'i and what we had to offer, so I told him 'there's no need to rush greatness.' Fortunately for us, he agreed to come on a visit and he fell in love with the place."
Salter made an official visit to Honolulu last weekend and committed to play for the 'Bows before the trip was over.
He now gives Arnold three options at point guard.
Salter will be a junior next season and have two seasons of eligibility.
Hiram Thompson, who will be a senior, is the returning starter at point guard.
Bobby Miles, who will be a freshman, signed with the 'Bows last month.
"Anthony is on the smaller side, but he's a great athlete," Arnold said. "Hiram is taller and obviously has the experience. Bobby is stronger. Anthony is quicker. We can go to a lot of different looks. There will even be times when we have more than one point guard out there."
Several recruiting websites ranked Salter among the top junior college point guards in the country.
"He's got quickness — the kind of quickness that's hard to teach," Arnold said. "He has an ability to get by his man without a ball screen, and that can be very valuable in a point guard."
Salter signed a letter of intent to play for Auburn during the early signing period in November. But when head coach Jeff Lebo was terminated in March, Salter requested and received a release from Auburn.
Arnold said he started recruiting Salter in late-March.
"Word was out that he was getting released by Auburn, and I started looking at him as part of the process of trying to find the best players available," Arnold said. "We were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Had there not been a coaching change, he'd be at Auburn right now."
Salter still has to complete summer school classes to become eligible next season.
He is originally from Tallahassee, Fla., but played the past two seasons at Iowa Western. He was the starting point guard for two seasons, and was a second-team all-conference pick both years.
Salter is one of eight new recruits signed to play for the 'Bows next season. Seven of the eight were signed during the current signing period, which started April 14 and ends tomorrow.
"Because it's such a big group — and a young group — we hope it builds a foundation for future years," Arnold said.
The 'Bows currently have the maximum 13 players on scholarship for next season, including five returnees — Thompson, Bill Amis, Zane Johnson, Douglas Kurtz and Dwain Williams.
ARNOLD TO HOST FIRST CAMP JUNE 21 TO 24
The 2010 Rainbow Warrior Basketball Camp is scheduled for June 21 to 24 at the UH-Mānoa athletic complex.
It will be Gib Arnold's first camp as head coach of the 'Bows. Current and former Hawai'i players will assist with the activities.
The camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 17. Instruction and activities will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Entry fee is $250 per child.
For information, contact Johnny White at 956-6502 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.