FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii is applying for a medical hardship for guard Matt Gibson, which would allow him two more seasons of eligibility.
Gibson finished for year
Hawaii guard Matt Gibson will sit out the remainder of the Rainbow Warrior basketball team's season and will apply for a medical hardship, UH coach Riley Wallace announced yesterday.
Wallace said the decision was made based on the advice of medical personnel. He didn't go into specifics of the ailment. If the medical hardship is granted, Gibson will have two years of eligibility remaining when he returns next season.
Gibson, a junior who has missed UH's last 10 games due to suspension and a staph infection, was able to participate in the team's practice yesterday and worked with the scout team.
Wallace said Gibson won't travel with the team on road trips this season and will practice when he can.
"We have to see about his condition whether he can practice or not, how much time he can spend at practice," Wallace said. "Right now he just has to get healthy and we'll go to next year."
"This is the best for everybody," Gibson said after the workout at UH's Gym II.
The Rainbows (8-4, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) leave tomorrow on their first conference road trip of the season and face Louisiana Tech on Thursday and New Mexico State on Saturday.
Gibson will be the second UH player to apply for a medical hardship after the season. Junior guard/forward Bobby Nash will also sit out the rest of this season due to a shoulder injury.
Senior center Milos Zivanovic left the team to return home last month.
Gibson transferred to UH as a sophomore last season and averaged 13 points per game to lead the Rainbows in scoring.
He played in two games this season. He scored eight points off the bench in UH's season-opening win over Michigan State and had one point in a loss at UNLV.
Gibson was then suspended for three games following a heated exchange with Wallace at a practice leading up to the Rainbows' game against Saint Louis. But both Gibson and Wallace said there are no hard feelings in their relationship now.
"It has nothing to do with me and Coach," Gibson said. "That guy, besides my parents, has been the most patient guy with me out of anybody in my whole life."
Following the suspension, Gibson returned for practice for a day before being sidelined again after having removed from his chest a cyst resulting from a staph infection.
Gibson said he's been able to stay in shape and hopes to help the Rainbows by playing on the scout team while continuing to learn the Rainbows system.
"This year I'm trying to make the transition to two (shooting) guard and now I have time to work on the point-guard mentality, " he said.