JJ Mandaquit’s basketball reputation continues to grow and his career options have expanded by the week.

Following a productive junior season in Utah, Mandaquit on Tuesday was named one of 31 members of the high school class of 2025 to be invited to the USA Men’s Junior National Team minicamp at the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix from April 4 to 7.

What You Need To Know

  • Hawaii native JJ Mandaquit was invited to the USA Basketball Junior National Team minicamp at the NCAA Final Four coming off a productive junior season against a national slate of competition at the Utah Prep Academy

  • Mandaquit, who left Iolani School after his freshman season to pursue greater exposure and opportunities, was named Offensive Player of the Year by the Grind Session, the league in which Utah Prep competes

  • He told Spectrum News in December that he has about 16 Division I scholarship offers and that he plans to be committed to a school before his senior season

  • His offers include schools from the SEC, Big Ten, Big East and Pac-12, as well as the University of Hawaii

Mandaquit, one of the highest-profile basketball prospects to ever emerge from Hawaii, burst onto the national scene last summer as a member of Team USA’s Under-16 squad at the 2023 FIBA Championships in Mexico. He backed it up this winter at Utah Prep by being named the Offensive Player of the Year by the academy’s league, the Grind Session. 

The consensus four-star prospect spoke to Spectrum News in December while he visited home during the Iolani Prep Classic at his former school. It was a welcome opportunity to connect with friends and former teammates that he left behind when he decided to move to the mainland for greater opportunities. Athletes at Utah Prep, formerly known as Real Salt Lake Academy, attend school at the Mount Vernon Academy near Salt Lake City.

At the time — midway through his second season against a national slate of opponents — he estimated he had 16 Division I scholarship offers.

 “Just showing my development,” Mandaquit said of his objective for the season. “That was a big, big reason why I moved up there. I felt it was best for me to develop and grow my game. So just showing everyone I'm getting better overall as a leader. And then I'm expanding my game as well.”

The 6-foot-2 guard showed off an increased ability to dunk to go with his shooting and playmaking at the point.

Utah Prep went 19-10 in the Grind Session and EIBC seasons, and reached the Grind Session playoffs second round as the fifth seed before losing to Royal Crown of Canada. Mandaquit was one of three players at Utah Prep invited to the Team USA camp.

His season included stat lines like 21 points, five assists and three steals against the Academy of Central Florida; 12 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists against West Oaks (Fla.); 22 points and 11 assists against Winston Salem Christian (N.C.); and 29 points and eight assists against Fort Erie International (Canada).

Mandaquit told Spectrum News he wants to be committed for college before his senior season.

“(I want to) get through the summer. But definitely after that, really start taking into consideration and factoring in what's really important to me and narrowing down my list,” he said.

He’s posted on Instagram while in uniform for Stanford, Washington State and Hawaii, and over the last year has shared on social media his offers from Arizona State, Utah, Utah State, Tennessee, Cal, USC, Santa Clara, Creighton, VCU, San Diego State, Illinois, LSU and Mississippi State, among others.

“I'm definitely in a very fortunate position to get these offers. But, you know, I have a very great support system around me who keeps me humble,” said Mandaquit, who expressed particular gratitude to his father, Jason. “So, it means a lot, and it's definitely special. But … it's not everything. Obviously, it's just another steppingstone. I haven't made it yet. It's great to have these opportunities, but I just need to stay humble and keep working and perfecting my craft.”

Brian McInnis covers the state's sports scene for Spectrum News Hawaii. He can be reached at brian.mcinnis@charter.com.