Not long ago, ‘Iolani’s Hugh Hogland was a tall, gangly kid who could barely make a shot.
Then came years of a repetition, growth spurts and a love for basketball that has been exceeded by only one thing: his accomplishments. The 6-foot-9 senior and last season’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State Player of the Year will get a chance to play at the college level, he said.
“I pretty much committed to UC Santa Barbara,” Hogland said after the third-ranked Raiders toppled No. 2 Punahou 49-38 on Wednesday night. “They had some academic issues with their bigs, so I might be getting a scholarship.”
UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams heard about Hogland and got to see him play recently.
“Coach Williams has been coaching for 20 years. They liked what they saw, and they said they liked what they saw even more live than on video,” Hogland said.
On Wednesday, it was a typical night for Hogland, who had 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks. His court vision and passing skills have grown, he can hit the open 3 and go coast to coast with the rebound. Defense, however, is still his bread and butter.
“We’ve played some big guys,” said Punahou coach Darren Matsuda, whose team played in the ‘Iolani Classic and Punahou Invitational recently. “But Hugh is a special shot blocker. He’s athletic and he’s a better shot blocker than all of them.”
Hogland’s background in volleyball is visible on the basketball court, and he has gotten stronger battling in the post. He doesn’t have any other offers, but it doesn’t matter at this point.
“I’m so far under the radar,” he said. “I’m super stoked. I’ve wanted to play basketball all my life.”