Sunday, May 12, 2002
It was, Michael Kuebler says, the proverbial icing on the cake.
Kuebler coming in
Kuebler received a phone call yesterday morning from Hawaii assistant basketball coach Jackson Wheeler, letting the Clackamas (Ore.) Community College guard know he would be given the Rainbows' fourth and final scholarship for 2002-03.
Last Tuesday, Kuebler verbally committed to Hawaii, saying he would walk on if no scholarship was available. Yesterday, it became available when Weatherford (Texas) College forward Emigijus Lukosius turned down Hawaii's offer and signed with Southwest Missouri State.
The Hawaii coaches had expected to lose the 6-foot-6 JUCO All-American to the Bears if the Lithuanian's girlfriend signed with the Bears. Weatherford guard Emily Nash, who also made a recruiting trip to Hawaii, signed with Southwest Missouri State on Friday.
The Rainbows lose out on Lukosius' averages of 23 points and 11 rebounds. But they gain someone who wanted to be a part of the Hawaii program so badly that he was going to pay his own way.
"I'm really looking forward to being part of the team," Kuebler said yesterday. "I want to get out there and give it all I've got.
"The coaches were great all along. They kept me informed of the (Lukosius) situation. I knew it would work out in the end. I was coming anyway and getting that call from Jackson was definitely an added bonus."
This past season at Clackamas, Kuebler averaged 25 points and five assists as a point guard/wing. He was also named the conference MVP, a year after his former Clackamas teammate -- and new Hawaii teammate -- Mark Campbell won the award.
The Rainbows signed one Lithuanian via Weatherford last week in 6-6 guard Vaidotas Peciukas, who will have three years of eligibility.
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