Vulcan Men Shorthanded Against Academy of Art

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UH-Hilo freshman Patrick Ball dribbles through a pair of BYU-Hawai'i defenders. UH-Hilo photo.

UH-Hilo freshman Patrick Ball dribbles through a pair of BYU-Hawai’i defenders during a game earlier this season. UH-Hilo file photo.

Add another setback to an already injury-plagued season for the University of Hawai’i at Hilo men’s basketball team heading into Thursday night’s home matchup against Academy of Art University.

According to UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach GE Coleman, freshman guard Patrick Ball has left the team, citing personal reasons.

Ball’s departure is a key one for a team that has called on nine different players to find a spot in the starting lineup over the Vulcans’ first 10 games. Ball started in six of those games and was fourth on the team with 12.2 points per game. He was second on the team with 2.4 assists per night and had shot 42.1 percent from the floor.


Also out for Coleman’s Vulcans is Nate Walker, who will miss his fourth consecutive game after coming down with an illness prior to the team’s California road trip earlier this month. Walker ranks fifth on the team with 11 points per game, and is second with 5.9 rebounds.

Already this season, five different players have battled injury problems. One of them is Darius Johnson-Wilson, who played in the first two games of the year before suffering a leg injury. Coleman told Big Island Now that surgery was successful and that they are targeting Jan. 30 as Johnson-Wilson’s return to game action.

Thursday’s game tips at 7:30 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. It can be heard on ESPN Radio AM 850, AM 790, and


Prior to the men’s contest, a key women’s college basketball matchup between UH-Hilo and Academy of Art will get underway at 5 p.m. The Urban Knights enter the game with a 7-0 record in PacWest Conference play.

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