The University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball team held its annual awards banquet, Tuesday night at the Hilton Hawaiian Village with several players earning recognition on a squad that defied expectations in 2016-17. The top honor went to senior Noah Allen, who was named the Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player.
Allen proved indispensible to UH in his only season as a Rainbow Warrior. The native of Pacific Grove, Calif., led the team in points (15.7 ppg), rebounds (5.8 rpg) and steals (35). Allen also topped the Big West in scoring (18.5 ppg) during league games and earned a spot on the all-Big West first team. The 6-7 forward was unstoppable at times and led a resurgent Rainbow Warrior squad in league play. He became the first UH player in 21 years and just the fifth in school history to score 30 or more points four times in a season—all of them coming during Big West play.
Head coach Eran Ganot and the coaching staff handed out several other awards on the evening. Sophomore Sheriff Drammeh earned the Bob Nash Hustle Award, sophomore guard Zach Buscher received the Community Service Award, and junior forward Gibson Johnson earned the team's Scholar-Athlete Award.
The Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award went to Leland Green, who was a key contributor during his freshman campaign, a campaign highlighted by his game-winning three-pointer in a dramatic come-from-behind win over CSUN.
Meanwhile, sophomores Jack Purchase and Brocke Stepteau shared Most Improved Player honors. Purchase, who was named all-Big West honorable mention after sitting out last year as redshirt, was one of just two players to start all 30 games and developed into one of the top three-point marksmen in the entire league. Stepteau went from seldom-used freshman reserve to starting point guard less than halfway through his sophomore campaign. The Dallas native led the team in assists (90, 3.0 apg) and free throw percentage (.807) and was among the Big West leaders in assist/turnover ratio (1.7).
2016-17 Award Winners
Community Service Award: Zach Buscher
Scholar-Athlete Award: Gibson Johnson
Bob Nash Hustle Award: Sheriff Drammeh
Ah Chew Goo Most Inspirational Award: Leland Green
Most Improved Award: Jack Purchase & Brocke Stepteau
Art Woolaway Most Outstanding Player Award: Noah Allen
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