Heading into Senior Night, Eddie Stansberry has put together a solid senior campaign. Averaging 15.9 points per game, the University of Hawai‘i guard has improved his point total by four from last season.
He and forward Zigmars Raimo will be honored on Feb. 29 at their final home game at the Stan Sheriff Center vs. UC Riverside.
“This game has slowed down for him. He is playing a more efficient brand of basketball and he is a two-way player now which has been great,” head coach Eran Ganot said of Stansberry.
Stansberry ranks in the top 25 in the country in minutes played per game at 36.6.
“He is in way better condition, he sacrificed a lot this off-season to get in the best shape of his life and has put himself in the best position to have his best year,” Ganot said.
Stansberry runs at the Warrior Recreation Center daily on the treadmill.
“I run 2-3 miles a day. It’s my cardio for the day, if I don’t do it I feel like I wasted a day,” Stansberry said.
This is Stansberry’s second year on O‘ahu. The former junior-college standout spent his first two post-high school years at the City College of San Francisco.
City College, or “City” as Stansberry, a San Francisco Bay Area product, likes to call it, has been a very successful basketball program over the last few years.
“I don’t think I would’ve been the player I am today if it weren’t for the coaches over there,” Stansberry said. “Going to City helped my game mature and really was the place where I became a knockdown shooter.”
Stansberry shot 43% from 3-point range in his two seasons at City.
“In high school (Archbishop Riordan) I could shoot, but not like I do now. My game was more mid-range. But now I’m able to score at all three levels and it puts my defenders at a disadvantage,” Stansberry said.
Coming out of high school, Stansberry was highly recruited by several schools, including Hawai‘i, Gonzaga, USF, San Diego and USC.
But unfortunately, bad timing altered Stanberry’s recruitment, forcing him to attend City in hopes of keeping his hoop dreams alive.
This ended up being Stansberry’s lowest moment in sports, being forced to go the JC route because of the unforeseen circumstances.
But at least he was close to home.
City was a familiar spot for Stansberry. It was within walking distance from his high school, Archbishop Riordan in San Francisco.
“It was like one big triangle. City, my house, and Archbishop were like a five minute walk from each other so there really wasn’t a big adjustment. I just had to go out there and hoop,” Stansberry said.
Living up to his word, Stansberry led the Rams to a 33-1 season and a State Championship in his last year at City.
Hawai‘i coaches Ganot and John Montgomery were in attendance as Stansberry scored 21 points in the championship game.
“That year was unforgettable. I still have the ring we got, in my room. That is probably my greatest sports moment. We should’ve been 34-0 but a team got lucky in a tournament and caught us on a bad day,” Stansberry said.
Ultimately, Stansberry’s decision to go to City led him to where he is today, as one of the star players on UH men’s basketball.
“Hawai‘i was recruiting me for the longest and honestly who wouldn’t want to live in Hawai‘i?” he said.
Stansberry is a good player but an even better teammate.
“Eddie always knows how to keep the guys smiling in the locker room whether he’s doing impersonations or making a funny joke. He is a fun guy to be around,” junior Samuta Avea said.
The story is still being written for this senior guard.
As UH nears the postseason of his senior campaign, Stansberry hopes to make the most out of his short time (for now) left on the island.
“NBA or overseas is the goal but I can’t look that far. Right now, I’m focused on winning the Big West and getting to the NCAA tournament,” he said.
The ‘Bows are currently 15-11 (6-6) and tied for fourth in the Big West. They will host Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and UC Riverside for senior night on Feb. 29 at 7 p.m.