ESPN’s No. 1 basketball recruit to play in Hawaii

Xavier's Lavance Fields passed off against Monteverde's Luc Moute in a 2004 'Iolani Classic game. The Eagles will return to play in the 'Iolani Classic in 2017. Star-Bulletin photo by George F. Lee.

Montverde (Fla.) Academy, which features ESPN’s No. 1 recruit in the class of 2018, 6-foot-7 small forward R.J. Barrett, is one of seven mainland schools that will compete in the 16-team ‘Iolani Classic next month.

Barrett, who recently reclassified from the class of 2019 to ’18, is originally from Ontario, Canada, and holds scholarship offers from Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and UCLA among others.

The Eagles also have a 6-foot-4 point guard, Andrew Nembhard, who is the 46th-rated recruit among seniors. Nembhard, who also is from Canada, has committed to Florida.

Another senior point guard for Montverde, 6-foot-3 Mike Devoe, is ranked No. 56 in the senior class and has committed to Georgia Tech.

Fairfax (Calif.), Rainier Beach (Wash.), Greensboro Day (N.C.), Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.), Taft (Calif.) and Jefferson (Ore.) will join host ‘Iolani, Pearl City, Lahainaluna, Kamehameha, Leilehua, Maryknoll, Kalaheo, Kapolei and Moanalua in the field.

Rainier Beach boasts 6-foot-5 senior small forward Kevin Porter (ESPN No. 65), a USC commit, and Jefferson has a 6-foot-9 power forward, Kamaka Hepa, who is rated No. 62 in the senior class and has committed to Texas.

The talent doesn’t stop with the senior class. Montverde’s 6-foot-9 power forward Makhi Mitchell is the No. 28 overall prospect in the class of 2019 and has committed to Maryland. The Eagles also have a 6-foot-7 small forward, junior Jordan Mitchell (ESPN No. 50), who is uncommitted and holds offers from Florida, Illinois, Ohio State and West Virginia.

The boys portion of the ‘Iolani Classic runs Dec. 15-20. The eight-team girls tournament is Dec. 7-9 with host ‘Iolani, Maryknoll, Kalani, Centennial (Calif.), Oregon City (Ore.), Miramonte (Calif.), Southridge (Ore.) and Naha Senior making up the field.


  1. Loca1boi November 1, 2017 7:02 pm

    So… Kahuku places THIRD in last year’s ‘Iolani Classic beating 3 out of four out-of-state teams AND wins last year’s state championship and no invite?

  2. Orange November 1, 2017 10:27 pm

    Kahuku was invited for 2015 & 2016. Should give a chance to other OIA school to participate.

  3. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 1, 2017 11:16 pm

    That’s nothing, Saint Francis who spanked Kahuku in Manoa @StFrancisGymnasium which was the only lost Kahuku had in 2017 and also won the HI STATE CHAMPIONSHIP didn’t get invited?!

  4. BeauTosaka November 2, 2017 4:49 am

    Definitely Kahuku and St. Francis got jipped. Smh.

  5. Sim Sima November 2, 2017 6:29 am

    Spanked lol. Their state championship would be the equivalent of winning the N.I.T. Beating those mainland teams surely made up for that loss Kahuku took.

  6. Vince November 2, 2017 7:59 am

    Let’s be real. Kahuku basketball this year is not even close to last year. Unless a couple more recruits are coming just for basketball season?

  7. Telling It Like It Is November 2, 2017 9:34 am

    Kahuku is once again bringing in outside recruits for basketball. They harp on everyone that people go in to Kahuku to steal their football players but they don’t say anything when it comes to basketball.

    This year they bringing the NZ player again and he will leave right after season is over. They also bringing in a big cat from the mainland.

  8. Lil Pump November 2, 2017 11:08 am

    Heard there is a big Samoan kid that moved to Laie with his family before school even started this year. He has been and will continue to attend class at Kahuku the entire year. He has offers already and, after watching his highlight video, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the POY. Good chance for a Red Raider repeat.

  9. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 2, 2017 12:33 pm

    Sim Sims It don’t matter who you beat from the mainland, Saint Francis small little private ILH school with 400 total from preschool-12th grade with a class of 70+ Seniors and 2 started against the 400+ Senior class alone with 3 seniors starters had their lunch eaten by the Saints basketball team, that has been done and no makeup games against any ranked mainland teams is going to wipe that off Kahuku’s record! They don’t want to invite Saint Francis because they still going to eat everyone’s lunch weather you like it or not! I hate people with made up reasons why they better then they not!

  10. Telling It Like It Is November 2, 2017 12:56 pm

    The tourney isn’t for D2 teams, only D1. Also, Iolani and Nike own the tourney and basically only Nike sponsored basketball programs are invited from the mainland. Iolani is sponsored by Nike.

    Trust me, Iolani has an invitation ready for STF only if they change course and declare D1 for basketball. Kahuku didn’t get an invite because Iolani and Nike wants to give an opportunity for other schools to get an invite.

  11. Jet_Wavy November 2, 2017 1:41 pm


    Idk who your source is that told you the “NZ kid” (no act you know his name) is coming back. He committed to St. Mary’s about a month ago. That would be the dumbest, ill-advised move to come back and risk injury. He won a state title already whats left to prove? Plus, Kahuku brought in a stud already committed to a D1 idk if he got help tho all the studs from last year graduated.

  12. Bo Tosaka November 2, 2017 1:57 pm

    Theres a rumor going around, tell me is it true my friends…

    The SF guard is way older than his grade level indicates (kinda like Kahuku’s QB). Heard he couldve been a senior last year and wont be eligible to play his senior year because of his age?

  13. Sim Sima November 2, 2017 2:13 pm


    You know damn well if Kahuku and St. Francis met again once all Kahuku’s pieces were in place, the score wouldve been similar to Kahuku-Anuenue.

    I give very little clout to schools who play D2 but wanna talk “D1” game. About a decade ago, in order for SF to even have thought about a state tournament, they would’ve had to play their way in during the ILH D1 playoffs. The way you hype SF, you probably wouldve had them beating Iolani and Punahou. Word?

  14. Don't be mad, we just doing what you do November 2, 2017 2:56 pm

    First of all, get your facts straight please…..It was barely a loss for Kahuku to St. Francis (a private school) that has the NG brothers that are actually older then their grade. Also, Kahuku played without Codie Sauvao, Kekaula Kaniho, and Daniel Fotu. Don’t make it seem as if they beat Kahuku’s full squad. Play that game just one week later and they would’ve smashed St. Francis, which is about the same timeframe when they beat those teams at the Iolani Classic. Pre season ain’t crap… any sport, at any level……isn’t that why all the Kahuku haters dismiss all the Iolani classic wins against mainland teams? Because it was pre season….You want St. Francis in, tell them stop sandbagging in the D2…..move the hell up and play where you belong….until then, you get treated like D2……

    On another note, Mckinley had a player come in from Chicago, Kalaheo had a brother of a former UH player from another country 6’9″, Kapolei’s whole squad isn’t from Hawaii……No one saying nothing about that…oh, and your beloved St. Francis had foreign players too….

    Let’s just move on, Punahou and Kapolei be a problem for everyone. Kahuku lost too much. One guy ain’t going to do anything….

  15. HBoy November 2, 2017 3:00 pm


    Kahuku barely has over 200 per class and has never fielded a 300 member class. We are a small OIA school and congrats for beating us in a game, live it up because that may be the only time you beat us in anything. Rugby…nope, football…nope, jump rock…nope. It doesn’t matter anyways because lots of other fish to fry. Enjoy that memory though.


  16. Telling It Like It Is November 2, 2017 7:05 pm

    I don’t know the kid’s name from NZ. Anyway, he ain’t even that good. If he was why come to Hawaii to test his skills?

    You saying that any underclassmen that receives an offer shouldn’t play their senior year if they win states the previous?

  17. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 2, 2017 8:03 pm

    Hahaha you can say whatever your poor EXCUSE is for LOOSING to a smaller school, bottom line is St. Francis OWNED Kahuku and went 13-0 to win THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! So did Kahuku but they lost to SAINT FRANCIS the STATE CHAMPS! Nobody is loosing sleep for not playing in Iolani Classic, Iolani didn’t win Kahuku or State Champions! I hate your poor excuses for why you got your lunch eaten by a small school, I know Kahuku was just out coached!

  18. Sim Sima November 2, 2017 8:53 pm

    TellItLikeItAint said “I don’t know the kid’s name from NZ. Anyway, he ain’t even that good. If he was why come to Hawaii to test his skills?”

    Yeah, you right he must not be that good.. Only an offer from St. Mary’s in the WCC and named as a non-contracted development player for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL as an 18-year old. That happens all the time, right?

  19. Mr. Okada November 2, 2017 9:52 pm

    What SF did to Kahuku was not “own” them. It was win by 5 at home against a team playing only their second pre-season game together missing 2 key starters. On a neutral court SF lost to both Kamehameha (who lost to Kahuku) and Lahainaluna (who lost to Punahou) by double digits. If I didn’t realize you were trolling, your SF cheerleading would be much less comical. Every article or write-up about SF since that day has mentioned that they won that game. SF people give themselves much more credit for the pre-season Kahuku win than they do their own D2 title for good reason. Bottom line is SF wouldn’t and couldn’t have done what Kahuku did in the 2016 ‘Iolani Classic or beaten ‘Iolani and Punahou on back-to-back nights for that matter. To me, that proved that that pre-season loss was a matter of a team still finding their way to gel and missing 18 free throws in the process. I wish they did play at the end of the season just so that people still questioning who was the better team could be snapped “back to life, back to reality”. But that game wasn’t necessary. Everybody and their mother knew what the outcome of that game would’ve been.

  20. Loca1boi November 2, 2017 10:33 pm

    @PlayerHaterAnonymous is a clown. That kid from NZ was on the 16-under and 19-under New Zealand national teams and was just named to the pool for the senior national team Tall Blacks for the upcoming Basketball World Cup Qualifiers along with his older brother.

  21. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 2, 2017 11:35 pm

    Mr. Oka your poor EXCUSES is the best one, only two games played, like they didn’t know how to dribble? They all dribbled! And your right WE ALL know who WINS St. Francis WON Kahuku, there’s no doubt about it because it happened just like how St. Louis kicked Kahuku’s but in Football! I hate stupid people with stupid ideas like Mr. Oka!

  22. PlayaHatersAnonymous November 2, 2017 11:38 pm

    Let’s not talk about over aged players because Kahuku was disqualified for that no one else has been disqualified except for Kahuku for using older players, that’s what I thought Mr. Oka!

  23. Greg Shamon November 3, 2017 12:34 am

    I give more props to Mid-Pac and St. louis for finishing last in ILH D1 boys bball last season than Saint Francis winning a D2 state championship. Thats the equivalent of Iolani sandbagging D2 or whatever division theyre in for football. Lets see if your D2 state player of the year is still around his senior season playing in hawaii or not.

  24. BoToichi November 3, 2017 4:38 pm

    The NZ kid is ineligible because he’d be a fifth year senior after playing in nz. But kahuku still housing new recruits anyways

  25. Telling It Like It Is November 3, 2017 7:25 pm

    Iolani sandbagging football with 150lb linemen? Hahahahah! Dumbest comment of the year.

  26. Sim Sima November 3, 2017 8:05 pm

    Let Mid-Pac send their boys back down to D2 and let’s see who runs the show after that. SF small enrollment is not a factor to be impressed by regarding what their bball team does. At least few years back small school AOP when they were ILH contenders were playing at the D1 with the recruits they were bringing in.

  27. Bandit November 5, 2017 12:19 am

    Kahuku should just stick to football.

  28. Jet_Wavy November 5, 2017 7:28 pm


    Nonsense. Obviously Kahuku is a football powerhouse but they are consistently among the top 4-5 best finishers in rugby, girls’ volleyball, boys’ basketball, wrestling, and their girls’ waterpolo team is on a 8-year OIA championship win-streak. So no.

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