Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, December 7, 2001



NCAA clears UH’s Vebobe

By Cindy Luis


A free 3-minute psychic reading from Miss Cleo might give better answers, but at least one question was cleared up yesterday for the Hawaii men's basketball team.

Yes, junior transfer Luc-Arthur Vebobe is now eligible, courtesy of yesterday's ruling by the NCAA. After sitting out the first six games of the season, the French native will debut in a Rainbow uniform Monday night against Alcorn State.

As for the other responses:

No, there is no word on the status of freshman Tony Akpan of Nigeria.

And, maybe there will be a ruling on senior guard Predrag Savovic of Yugoslavia today. Likely, an eight-game penalty will be assessed for his participation in a pro league, making him eligible for Hawaii's Rainbow Classic opener against Portland on Dec. 19.

"It's good that we're narrowing down to where we are," said Hawaii coach Riley Wallace. "We should know about Savo (today).

"Luc brings a lot of athleticism, is one of the few players we have who plays above the rim. At the start of the season with Phil (Martin) and Mindaugas (Burneika) out with injuries, Luc was going to be a starter. It's a perfect time to have Luc back so he can start getting his minutes in before the Rainbow Classic."

Vebobe learned of his reinstatement yesterday and said, "I'm really excited. I can't wait to finally put the jersey on.

"At first, I thought it was going to be just three games and I was having a vacation in Hawaii. Then when it started getting longer and longer, I got a little mad.

"I am a little behind and have to catch up. I hope to bring whatever I can to this team, whatever the coaches need."

After a process that has dragged on for more than a month, what the Rainbows need is a ruling on Savovic and Akpan. Akpan's paperwork regarding who paid for his high school expenses is still being scrutinized and may take awhile to sort out.

As for Savovic, UH officials expected word today.

"When I know, I'll know," said Savovic, Hawaii's leading scorer and all-conference selection last season.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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