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Golden Nuggets: Brandon Chauca discusses what brought him to Berkeley

How a point guard from South Carolina ended up committed to a school that was basically a detour for his trip to Washington State.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

As we all know, a place like the Bay Area is considered by most to be just a little pit stop after a lovely trip to a perfect vacation spot like the Palouse.

Brandon Chauca and the Chauca clan felt just this way and lukewarmly moseyed on down to Haas Pavilion after the point guard's official visit to Pullman. Somehow, they found a nice little school in the city of Berkeley. And let me tell you, as soon as they stepped foot on our campus, they were blown away a small, but noticeable, amount. But, thanks to a campus tour with Mohamed Muqtar, they somehow found desirable traits at Cal. Chauca explained:

"[Muqtar] basically told me that every great mind has been through the Bay Area. You can't beat statistics. Statistics don't lie. He was telling me how Einstein and everyone made the first atomic bomb behind the football stadium. He was telling me about the engineering program and about the libraries and about the halls. Basically, the way he described everything to me, was what I wanted. It had everything I wanted."

Not only did they love the combination of academics and athletics, but they were also strongly drawn by the incredible diversity at Cal.

The trio also found something else out about Berkeley, something comforting for Chauca, whose mother is Filipino and whose father is a native of Lima, Peru.

"I looked it up, and it's more than 50 percent Asian," Chauca said. "That tells me that they're going to come out to the games. I feel like I can bring a different type of environment to the game, because I feel like more people will want to come because I'm Filipino, and I'm only the 10th Filipino to play Division I, and only the second Filipino to play high-major Division I. My Hispanic side, I'm the first Peruvian to ever play NCAA basketball, in any division. It's kind of like making history. I think it'll be kind of cool, and it'll also help out Cal Basketball, in general, just getting people out to the games."

Maybe we should consider replacing "Berkeley: Represent" with "Berkeley: Visit if you happen to be in the area."

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