After a week of speculation and rumors, pre-season All-Big West Conference forward Isaac Fotu confirmed Monday that he has left the University of Hawaii and will not return.
The 6-foot-8-inch junior says he will forgo his last two years at Manoa to pursue a professional basketball career.
Last week, UH officials ruled Fotu ineligible to play after being under investigation by the NCAA. The announcement came one day after head coach Gib Arnold and assistant Brandyn Akana were fired without cause.
On Monday, Fotu sent out a statement saying that with the program headed in a different direction, he believes it’s time to chase his pro-hoops dream.
He went on to say that his being ineligible had no bearing on his decision and has hired an attorney to clear his name if and/or when any accusations are made against him.
In his two years at UH Manoa, Fotu was a fan favorite, averaging 13 points and seven rebounds in 63 games. He revealed a similar admiration to Hawaii fans in his statement.
As for the remaining Rainbows, acting head coach Benjy Taylor and co. will host HPU in an exhibition game Thursday night.
At this time, it’s still unclear when the NCAA will reveal any findings into their investigation.
The following is Fotu’s statement in its entirety:
“After much thought and discussions with my family, I have decided to forgo my last 2 years at UH, and pursue a professional basketball career.
This was not an easy decision. I came to Hawaii to play for coach Gib and coach Akana, both were instrumental in me growing as both a person and basketball player. I believe this was going to best season yet.
I’ve turned down opportunities to turned pro every summer because returning to Hawaii was an easy decision, but now, with the program headed in a different direction, I believe it’s time to chase the professional basketball dream, and hopefully help support my family.
In regards to my ineligibility announced last week, which by the way had no bearing on my decision, I have hired an attorney to help clear my name, if and / or when any accusations are released by the NCAA.
I thank all my teammates (brothers) at UH, and mostly the fans of Rainbow Warrior basketball. The people of Hawaii have welcomed me since the day I arrived, and all that aloha made my stay enjoyable. I enjoyed every minute I got to represent the University of Hawaii and I will look back at many wonderful memories.
Aloha oe, until we meet again!”