Hawaii Basketball Team Withdraw From Christmas Day Game Due To COVID-19 Concerns
Citing health and safety concerns, the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team will not participate in Saturday’s game against northern Iowa in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
COVID-19 infections and injuries are leaving the Rainbow Warriors with an insufficient number of players available for the seventh place game. Kick-off was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. for the nationally televised game.
The Warriors entered Thursday’s consolation game with three players injured and a fourth, center Mate Colina, in health and safety protocol. Today, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser learned that there were undisclosed additions to the protocol.
“We’re extremely disappointed not to make it to tomorrow’s game, but it’s absolutely the right thing to do,” UH coach Eran Ganot said in a statement to the media. “Our program has not had any positive cases of COVID in the past 21 months and now we are affected like so many programs across the country. It is an unfortunate situation, but the priority remains to protect our student-athletes as well as those against whom we are competing.
The decision to withdraw came after consultation between the staff, the medical staff and the administration.
It looks like UH will not be credited with a forfeit or loss. This week, the Big West, of which UH is a member, declared a canceled game as a “no contest” rather than a forfeit. The Big West felt it was aligning itself with NCAA standards for a team that cannot participate due to certain circumstances, such as illness.