Rainbow Warrior Basketball inks two more for 2016-17

Eran Ganot // Hawaii Athletics

The University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball team inked two more to its 2016-17 recruiting class with the signing of UCLA transfer Noah Allen and Latvian National Team member Zigmars Raimo, head coach Eran Ganot announced.

Allen and Raimo join guards Drew Buggs, Leland Green, and Matthew Owies for the upcoming season, as the Rainbow Warriors must replace four starters from last season’s record-breaking squad.

Allen, a 6-foot-7 wing, played three seasons at UCLA and was a member of two NCAA Sweet Sixteen teams. The Pacific Grove, Calif., native played in 71 career games for the Bruins with totals of 84 points (1.2 ppg), 88 rebounds (1.2 rpg), 44 assists, 10 steals, and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.7. The 2014-15 season was Allen’s most productive in Westwood with career-high averages of 1.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 11.4 minutes played per game.

Noah Allen during his time at UCLA fighting for a rebound against Oregon (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
Noah Allen during his time at UCLA fighting for a rebound against Oregon (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

A four-year varsity letterwinner at Palma High School in California, Allen was an all-state performer during his senior year in which he averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds per game. Allen is a graduate transfer who majored in political science at UCLA and will have one year of eligibility at UH.

“We are very excited to be adding a great player, and committed student to our program,” Ganot said. “Noah is a high character person with a great work ethic. We feel that his versatility as a player is his biggest strength – he can defend, rebound, pass, and score. He is committed to getting better and is very excited to be joining our program.”

Raimo, a 6-foot-7 forward, has been a fixture with Latvia’s youth national program having competed for both the U16 and U18 teams. During last year’s FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece, Raimo led his team in rebounds and steals and had the third-highest offensive rebound average (3.7) and fifth-most steals (2.3) among all players in the tournament. He finished the tourney with three double-doubles and averaged 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.

As a member of the VEF Riga club team, considered the best in Latvia, Raimo helped his team to the Euroleague Adidas Next Generation Tournament finals, where he was the team-leader in rebounds, second in assists and third in scoring. In addition, this past weekend Raimo helped his club win the Latvian U19 Championship. In his first game, he recorded 17 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists and in the finals, posted another double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.

“Zigmars is a leader and brings a wealth of international experience to our program,” Ganot said. “He has played at the highest level in Europe and for one of the most respected clubs in Latvia – VEF Riga. He brings great versatility to our program with the ability to pass, defend and rebound from different positions.”

2016-17 Signees

Name                      Pos      Ht     Hometown (Last School)

Noah Allen              G/F      6-7   Pacific Grove, Calif. (UCLA)

Drew Buggs              G        6-2   Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly HS)

Leland Green            G        6-3   Redondo Beach, Calif. (Redondo Union HS)

Matthew Owies         G        6-0   Melbourne, Australia (St. Kevin’s College)

Zigmars Raimo          F        6-7   Madonas, Latvia (VEF Skola)

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