HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors basketball team is set to open the 2020 season against Hawaii Pacific this Friday at the newly renamed SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
This will be the first time UH fans will get to see the new-look ‘Bows, a team that included seven newcomers and six returners including sophomore Justin Webster, who is excited to finally play against another team.
“We play as a team, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to defend and rebound, we’re going to do all of the little things it takes necessary for us to win.” Webster told reporters. “I feel like we’re ready, I feel like we’ve been eager to get out there and play against some new teams, so I just want us to go out there, play hard and showcase what we’ve been doing on the practice court.”
It was announced on Wednesday that Webster, along with senior transfer Casdon Jardine, were named co-captains for the upcoming season, an honor that Webster knows comes with a lot of responsibility.
“It’s a job I don’t take lightly, coming into my sophomore year I really wanted to lead by example and lead with my voice.” Webster said. “That’s something I didn’t really do last year as a freshman, so this year I was like I’m going to lead this team, we’ve got a whole lot of newcomers and I want to do everything I can to get this team prepared for whenever our first game would be.”
Webster is the first sophomore to be named captain of the team since Chris Gaines was selected in 1987, the Texas native is using this honor to get his team ready for a season that will look and feel very different.
Like many other sporting events in 2020, the Stan Sheriff Center will be without crowds for the entire season, but the ‘Bows say they will bring the energy themselves.
“Come Friday, everybody’s going to have a lot of energy, it’s our first game, everybody’s excited to play.” Webster said. “So that really shouldn’t be a big problem. Coach Ganot does a very good job about staying on us about bringing our own energy so we’ll be ready.”
In addition to bringing their own juice, Webster says that the bond of the team is stronger than ever.
“These last couple months, these last couple weeks were really starting to come together, we’re really starting to play as a team and there’s something very exciting to see.” Webster said.
Tip off between the ‘Bows and the Sharks is set for this Friday at 7:00 p.m. Hawaii time — available to watch on Spectrum.