When it comes to finding talent we search beyond the ocean this future prospect as we travel virtually to Hawaii to get to know JJ Mandaquit a little better. Born in Hilo., HI, he currently resides in Honolulu. JJ has…
When it comes to finding talent we search beyond the ocean this future prospect as we travel virtually to Hawaii to get to know JJ Mandaquit a little better. Born in Hilo., HI, he currently resides in Honolulu. JJ has picked up some offers already from local Chaminade University in Hawaii and recently Portland State University.
City: Honolulu, HI
Club Team: Sons of Hawaiiy & Rose CitY Rebels
High School: ‘Iolani High School
Graduating Class: 2025
Height: 6’1 PG
Position: Point Guard
Here is our recent interview with Hawaii native JJ Mantaquit.
How did you get into basketball?
My dad. He use to coach at Hilo High School when I was younger and he also played in Men’s leagues when I was growing up, so I was always in the gym. I have spent my whole life in the gym.
Do you have any favorite teams?
I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite team but I do like watching the Raptors and the Warriors.
Who are some players that you try to pattern your game after?
I like to pattern my game after Chris Paul, because of the way he controls the game and how he makes his teammates better.
I also like Jrue Holiday because of the way he plays defense and the energy he brings on that side of the ball.
What are some things you are doing to improve your game?
I’m always looking to improve my shot and my dribbling. On top of all of that I am also focusing on my strength and conditioning. I am really trying to prepare myself for high school ball and a more physical style of play.
What do you like to do to get ready before a game?
I don’t really like listening to music before a game. what I like to do is take some time to focus and make sure my mindset is right heading into a game.
Is there a dream school out there for you?
I would have to say North Carolina. I love the baby blue and also because of Michael Jordan obviously. that’s what I use to think growing up, but now after having traveled all over the country I would liek to say that there are a lot of schools that I would consider dream schools.
If you could play on any NBA team right now, what team would that be?
I’d be really blessed if I had the opportunity to play on any team in the NBA, however, it would definitely be cool to play for Portland because I am currently playing with Rose City Rebels. It really feels as if Portland is a second home to me.
If you couldn’t play basketball what sport would you be playing?
I’d probably be playing football and I’d be a Wide Receiver. I really like the atmosphere and the energy in football games. Watching the NFL is also one of my favorite things to do.
What would you want to do for a career if basketball wasn’t an option.?
I would actually like to get into sports management. If I wasn’t playing myself I would like to be involved in some way behind the scenes in basketball.
If you could have dinner with 5 people dead or alive who would they be?
Kobe Bryant- Because of his mentality and work ethic.
Lebron James- Because of his ability to perform at such a high level.
John Wooden- Because of his winning mentality.
Giannis Antetokounmpo- Because of his humility.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson- Because of his movies and it is also cool that he has a connection to Hawaii.
What would your coaches say about you?
That I am a true PG and that I like to get my teammates involved., but can score when needed. On defense, they would say that I am a disruptor and that I have a high motor.
What is basketball like in Hawaii?
We’re undersized here in Hawaii, but we try to play at a high pace and we try to take pride in our defense.
Are there any local legends you look up to?
Derrick Low, he played at Washington State from 2004 to 2008. He is probably the most decorated player to come out of Hawaii. He also played overseas as well for a number of years. He is also a family friend and I really appreciate the knowledge he gives to help me play at the highest level.
JJ is as humble as they come and he is aware that Hawaii hoopers are vastly underrated. He is extremely blessed that basketball has been able to take him all over the country and the ability to meet so many people.
Thank you to my family for their continued love and support, especially my sister Jaety, who is a Class of 2024 basketball and soccer player. She has been there for me since day 1 and she pushes me to be better every day. I would also like to thank my teammates for always pushing me to be better and my coaches and trainers for guidance.