Washington State on offer board for ‘Iolani’s Jason Mandaquit

After five games in ILH play, freshman JJ Mandaquit of third-ranked ‘Iolani was averaging 21.2 points per game. Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Two days after receiving a scholarship offer from Hawaii, JJ Mandaquit has a new one from Washington State.

“Truly excited and blessed to have received a Pac-12 offer from Washington State University,” Mandaquit wrote on Instagram Sunday morning. “Thankful and grateful to coach (Kyle) Smith and the rest of the coaching staff for believing in me.”

Mandaquit’s father, Jason, was elated.

“I’m super happy for him. It’s a great Father’s Day gift,” he said.

The high-scoring guard from ‘Iolani now has offers from Portland, UH and Wazzu in addition to one from Division II Chaminade. Meanwhile, ‘Iolani completed play in the Section 7 (Arizona bracket) tournament in Arizona with a 2-2 record. Coach Ryan Hirata said the Raiders defeated JSerra (Calif.) and Smoky Hills (Colo.) to complete the three-day tournament at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

“JJ had 30-something (points) today. He was unbelievable,” Hirata said.

The Hawaii offer may be the first by the men’s basketball program to any prospect prior to his sophomore year. The offer came on Friday morning as the Raiders prepared for their opening game at Section 7.

“I’m super grateful and honored for this offer. I’ve grown up watching UH sports and the chance to represent my home state is something that I’ve dreamed of,” Mandaquit said. “I’ve talked with a couple of assistants in the past, but last weekend in the UH team camp I got to meet and talk with them there. When coach Ryan called me to his room I was actually nervous not knowing what was going on. When he told me that coach (Eran) Ganot wanted to talk and offer me a scholarship, I was surprised, but more overwhelmed with joy knowing all my hard work and our family’s sacrifices to earn this opportunity was paying off.”

Even at a young age, Mandaquit is conscious of what the UH offer — and all offers — mean to the local basketball community.

“I do know there’s been great local players that have come out of Hawaii. I’ve been fortunate to grow up around some of them like Derrick Low, Aukai Wong and Micah Dunhour just to name a few. Although they didn’t go to UH, I feel this offer is not only for me, but for all of the people who have shaped and helped me throughout the years,” he said. “Getting to do drills and play games at the camp last weekend gave coach Ganot and his staff the chance to really see my work ethic and communication skills, which he said he liked. My family and myself got to have personal conversations with coach Ganot throughout the weekend.”

Mandaquit treasures those opportunities to bond with coaches.

“It’s not only what I can do on the court, but also what kind of person I am off the court,” he said.

The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 16 points per game as a freshman, including an 18-point performance against national powerhouse Sierra Canyon (Calif.) at the ‘Iolani Classic. He was voted No. 3 in the Star-Advertiser All-State Fab 15, the only underclassman among the top nine. Kailua junior Jonny Philbrick was No. 10 and Raiders teammate Aaron Claytor, a sophomore, was No. 13. Claytor’s family since moved to California.

Like his offseasons in previous years, Mandaquit has been a globe trotter like few others. Here is his basic schedule so far in 2022 and more, including EYBL (NIke circuit) play with the Rose City Rebels.

Mar. 26-27 — Sacramento West Warmup

Apr. 8-10 — Orlando EYBL 1

Apr. 22-24 — Indianapolis EYBL 2

June 3-5 — Hilo tournament (hosted by Hoop Dreams)

June 11-12 — UH camp

June 17-19 — Section 7 tournament (Ariz.)

July 7-10 — Kansas City EYBL 4

July 14-17 — FIBA RSL Academy

July 20-24 — EYBL Augusta (Ga.), Peach Jam

“There’s four sessions (of EYBL), then the top 12 teams make the Peach Jam,” he noted. “We did the first two sessions, skipped the third in Louisville because it was during a dead period when college coaches couldn’t be there. We’ll do session 4. As of now, we’re in the top 12 and should qualify for Peach Jam.”

As for future offers, there are a few schools making connections with Mandaquit.

“I’ve had conversations with Pepperdine and Virginia assistant coaches. Recently, LMU has contacted coach Ryan and I’ve had some other D-I schools come to watch me play during my EYBL games to tell me they’ll continue to follow my progression,” he said. “We had a lot of coaches at our game (on Friday), including a lot of Pac-12 schools, which is really exciting. Just got to keep on working hard and get better every day.”


  1. Stacey June 20, 2022 6:51 am

    Wish he’d stay home but I understand

  2. TheTruthShallSetYouFree June 22, 2022 2:14 pm

    JJ bailing on Iolani. Understandable though.


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