November 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM HST - Updated June 28 at 9:35 AM
HONOLULU – (Hawaii Athletics) University of Hawai`i men's basketball coach Gib Arnold announced the signing of a pair of players during the early signing period. Post player Stefan Jovanovic and wing Michael Thomas each signed with Hawai'i and will join the team with four years of eligibility.
Jovanovic is a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center and native of Serbia who attends Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif. Jovanovic earned second-team all-Del Rey league honors as a junior last year after averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game and helping lead his team to a 25-4 record.
Jovanovic also had a strong showing on the AAU circuit this past summer while playing for the Pump-n-Run Elite team, particularly at the Fab 48 Tournament in Las Vegas where he averaged closed to a double-double.
"I first saw Stefan five years ago in Serbia," Arnold said. "At the time he was just 13 years old but I remember he had a great work ethic and the potential to be a very good player. In the five years since he has done a remarkable job of developing into very good high school player. He is big and strong and already has a Division I body. I'm looking forward to working with Stefan and I am confident he'll become an outstanding college player."
UH, meanwhile, reeled in another top Southern California prospect in Thomas, a 6-6, 200-pound wing player out of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, Calif.
Thomas averaged 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game as a junior. Playing a multitude of positions, the versatile Thomas helped the Conquistadors capture the City Section Division II championship last season, recording a double-double in the title game.
Thomas received interest from programs in the Pac-12, Mountain West, Western Athletic Conference and West Coast Conference, before ultimately choosing UH over Northern Arizona and UC Santa Barbara.
"Michael has the whole package," Arnold said. "He's an outstanding young man and basketball player. In high school he played most of his minutes in the post, but he's worked hard and become a very good perimeter player. I'm sure he'll have many above-the-rim highlights at UH with his incredible athleticism. He's a gifted young man and will be a joy to work with as a new member of our team."