Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, August 4, 1999

R A I N B O W _ B A S K E T B A L L

’Bows lose Czernin

The small forward, who started
18 of the last 19 games, will transfer
to a junior college closer to home

By Pat Bigold


Phillip Czernin, the Austrian-born count who started 18 of Hawaii's last 19 games at forward, will not return to the Rainbow men's basketball team next season.

Head coach Riley Wallace confirmed that the 6-foot-6, 193-pound Czernin asked him two weeks ago in California to be released from his scholarship so that he could attend Pasadena Junior College.

Wallace said that the 20-year-old Czernin was concerned about the playing time he will get with what has been termed by one national magazine the strongest Rainbow recruiting class of the decade.

The Rainbows will try to rebound from a 6-20 season.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Former 'Bow Phillip Czernin, left, and Jack Owens of
Eastern Illinois charge a loose ball in a game last season.

With Czernin's departure, the only two starters returning are 6-8 senior center Marquette Alexander (18 starts) and senior point guard Johnny White (26 starts).

"He's (Czernin) a good kid, strong student, but he's worried about playing time," said Wallace.

"We've got Savo (Predrag Savovic), (Lane) O'Connor, (Troy) Ostler, and (Nerijus) Puida, who can all play his spot (small forward)."

Czernin, who was selected to the Austrian national basketball team this year, said he will play shooting guard at Pasadena, a position at which he feels he will be more comfortable.

"I spoke with him (Czernin) in May and he said he wanted to come back, but he's done this two summers in a row (saying he didn't want to come back)," said Wallace. "Last summer he was going to go to Saddleback and this summer it's Pasadena. Then he thinks he can step up (to Division I)."

Speaking from his home last night, Czernin denied that a concern for playing time next season was a factor in his decision not to return to Hawaii. He said he simply wasn't satisfied with his play last season (he averaged 5.9 points and 3.4 rebounds).

"I had no problem with the Hawaii coaching staff and I have nothing but good words for them," he said. "The way they coached had nothing to do with my dissatisfaction about my performance."

Czernin said he had a good jump shot when he played at Palisades Charter High School but was unhappy with his shooting at UH.

"I just wanted to come back to the Pasadena area with my family, start my basketball career fresh, and pursue a business opportunity with a friend," said Czernin, who will be a sophomore.

He said he has invested in starting a record label.

Hawaii is left with 10 scholarship players. Wallace said he would like to carry 12 and hopes to have two mainland high school players in the fold later this month.
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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