HONOLULU — University of Hawaii men’s basketball coach Eran Ganot announced the signing of small forward Samuta Avea to a national letter of intent for the 2017-18 season. The 6-foot-6 Avea joins the Rainbow Warriors as a freshman and will have four years of eligibility.
Avea, originally from Hauula, Oahu, played his first two seasons at Kahuku High School, before transferring to Bingham High School in Utah. He’s rated as the top player out of Hawaii and a three-start recruit by ESPN. 247Sports also ranks him as the No. 5 player out of Utah.
“We’re thrilled to have Samuta join our basketball program,” Ganot said. “He’s been a key recruit since the day I was hired at UH. He’s a tremendous person and has a great work ethic.”
Avea averaged 10.1 points-per-game and 7.0 rebounds-per-game during his junior season at Bingham. He also added 2.0 assists-per-game, 1.6 steals-per-game, 1.7 blocks-per-game, and shot 47 percent from the floor. In doing so, Avea helped Bingham to the Utah 5A state championship as the team finished with a 24-2 overall record and an unblemished 12-0 conference mark. Avea also displayed his skills for the Exum Elite Utah Prospects AAU team.
Prior to Bingham, Avea was a standout player on a Kahuku squad that advanced to the state semifinals during his sophomore year. During that season he averaged 12 points per game and was one of the state’s top shot blockers, while also showing the ability to play on the perimeter.
Avea returned to Kahuku this past year for his senior season.
“We absolutely love his versatility,” Ganot added. “He’s a tough athletic wing, who can rebound, score, and defend multiple positions. He comes from a great family and is very proud to return to Hawaii and represent this state and university.”