Recruit remains committed to Rainbows


POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2010

This fall, Jordan Coleman will still be a Rainbow Warrior.

The Calabasas (Calif.) High School senior reaffirmed his commitment to the Hawaii men's basketball team yesterday following a meaningful face-to-face meeting with new UH coach Gib Arnold on Wednesday night.

Coleman's parents and Calabasas assistant coach Clint Parks were also at the gathering, at which Arnold laid out his plans for the future of the program. Coleman was the lone signee for next season under then-UH coach Bob Nash.

“;The meeting went real well. It went a lot better than I thought it was gonna go,”; Coleman said. “;Me and my parents got along with him real well. He said he wanted me. ... I want to be there in Hawaii still, yeah.”;

The 6-foot-4 Coyotes guard exploded during his senior year. He was named the co-MVP of the Marmonte League after averaging nearly 20 points per game, up from 11.9 as a junior. He went for a career-high 38 against rival Thousand Oaks in January.

Although he will enter the program at just 17 years of age in the fall, he offers an intriguing mix of shooting and athleticism. Arnold was somewhat familiar with Coleman's game, having recruited teammate Evan Smith to USC for last season when he was an assistant there. Arnold and Coleman hadn't spoken in person before Wednesday, however.

Parks was impressed with the new coach's vision and attention given to Coleman within days of Arnold's hire on Saturday.

“;Oh, that was big. I mean, it just shows us that he was really a priority, know what I mean?”; Parks said. “;I've heard stories of coaches getting hired and taking a week to get back to a kid. He wanted to make Jordan a priority. He wants you. (The message was) 'We want you to be a part of what we're building here.' “;

Coleman was recruited to Hawaii by assistant Eran Ganot, who still might have a job with the reassembled UH coaching staff. Nash's other two assistants, Jackson Wheeler and Larry Farmer, were not retained by Arnold.

Coleman said he's ready to join the new-look Rainbows regardless. He could have requested a release from UH and possibly played elsewhere without sitting out a year because of the head coaching change.

“;At one time I was thinking I didn't know if I was going to play for Hawaii and everything,”; Coleman said. “;(Arnold) just came out and wanted me and said that he's trying to build the program up, trying to recruit more high school guys instead of just going the JUCO route.

Yesterday was the earliest that Arnold could name his associate head coach, but no decision was announced.