HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Saturday night, the University of Hawaii Men’s Basketball team will play its final home game of the 2019 season.
Three seniors will be honored following the game against Cal State Northridge, but six-foot-eight forward Jack Purchase’s name will stay in the Rainbow Warrior record books long after he concludes his career in Manoa.
The sharpshooter didn’t start his career in Hawaii, and his journey here definitely wasn’t as smooth as the jumper that 'Bows fans have come to adore.
Purchase was born in Melbourne, Australia and starred as a member of the Australian U17 National Team as a teenager. After averaging more than 20 points per game, big time college programs came calling. He ended up accepting a scholarship from Auburn University.
He played just one season as a Tiger before he decided to transfer.
“I left Auburn, put my release out, and then 20 minutes later Coach (Eran) Ganot was calling me," said Purchase, recalling his first conversation with Hawaii’s head coach. "I sat out two years, and you kind of lose your love for the game at that point.”
Ganot knew that if Purchase could get to Hawaii, he’d regain that passion for basketball — and knew Manoa was the perfect place to do it.
“He needed to get his confidence back, his love for the game back," said Ganot. "I thought it could happen here, and I think it was almost a perfect fit for what he had been going through. The aloha spirit is real.”
The move would ultimately pay off for both Purchase and the Warriors. In his three seasons, Purchase has hit more three point shots then any other player in program history.
He broke Zane Johnson’s record of 181 made three’s last week against U.C. Riverside.
“It is definitely special being, in the same sentence as guys like Zane, Savoc (Predrag Savović), and Carl English," said Purchase. "I just catch it and shoot it. Really, it’s my coaches, my teammates, they put me in the right positions at the right times.”
Basketball has been a journey that has taken Jack Purchase around the world. Despite being 5,000 miles away from home — which is still much closer than Alabama was — he found a family with the Warriors.
“There’s nothing better then playing on a team with a close knit group of guys," said Purchase. "We’re all brothers, everyone can talk to everyone, and that’s what I’ll miss the most.”
Purchase will graduate with a degree in human development and family studies and hopes to continue his playing career as a professional basketball player overseas.
The U.H. Men’s Basketball team will take on Cal State Northridge this Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.