RAINBOW WARRIOR BASKETBALL
Rainbow Warriors recruit played with champs
Todd Follmer had more than just a passing interest in last night's NCAA championship game.
As a prep standout in California, Follmer shared the court with several current Florida and UCLA players while making the rounds in various camps and tournaments. And watching them play on the season's biggest stage only heightened his anticipation for a return to Division I basketball with Hawaii.
"I can't wait until I'm playing in that arena, that'll be really exciting," Follmer said. "That's the whole reason I want to play basketball, the excitement of it."
Follmer, a 7-foot center at Irvine Valley College, is planning to continue his basketball journey with the Rainbow Warriors when the late signing period begins next week.
Follmer earned All-California Interscholastic Federation honors while at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and played with Florida forward Al Horford in a Nike Camp and against Gators big man Joakim Noah in a tournament in Las Vegas.
He also played AAU ball with current UCLA players Jordan Farmar and Lorenzo Mata and worked out with Bruins guard Arron Affalo.
"It's exciting, I'm real happy for them," Follmer said after watching his former teammates make a run at the national crown, which Florida claimed with a 73-57 win last night.
UH will be Follmer's third college stop. He started his career by redshirting at UC Santa Barbara and transferred to IVC last year, where he averaged 10 points and 4.2 rebounds and blocked 38 shots as a freshman.
Though Follmer, who was also recruited by Pepperdine and SMU, played with notable players in the past, it was his future teammates who convinced him to commit to UH.
He said hanging out with the current Rainbows during his recruiting visit sold him on the prospect of playing in the islands.
"That's the part I was really worried about. I really want to know how the team is and that kind of stuff," said Follmer, who will have three years of eligibility left. "Basketball is basketball anywhere, but it's the people who you play with that's really important."
"He's kind of a fun-loving guy, his teammates love him," IVC coach Jerry Hernandez said. "He's very social, he's a very personable guy on campus."
The late signing period begins April 12. UH signed junior college forward Alex Veit in the fall. Todd Lowenthal, a guard from Poway High in California, has also committed to the Rainbows.