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Golden Nuggets: Family Reunion at Haas on Saturday

Awards for Cal Bears in the NFL and NCAA!

NCAA Basketball: Cal St. Fullerton at Southern California
Kianna Smith’s brother Jamal (center) will take on the Cal Men’s team on Saturday.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Had a mostly bad start of the week, so I took the day off on Tuesday. (I’m fine) Luckily, I didn’t miss all that much, but will nonetheless have about a week’s worth of cool stuff here.


  • An extensive biography of Wyking Jones was published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday. Check it out.

Now Wyking Jones is 44, early in his first season as Cal’s head coach. And, given his eventful path to this point, he’s really not intimidated by the monumental challenge he inherited.

Jones’ hiring in March generated understandable skepticism. Cal promoted him after Cuonzo Martin bolted for Missouri, and it was natural to wonder if athletic director Mike Williams — facing lingering budget problems — took the cheap option.

No question, Cal saved money by tapping a mostly unknown, unheralded assistant with zero head-coaching experience. Maybe Jones will be a resounding hit, or maybe he will quickly fizzle. Either way, he brings plenty of fascinating life experience to his new position of prominence.

  • Saturday there will be a doubleheader at Haas Pavilion as both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams play. But it will be an interesting day for the Smith family. Kianna Smith will play for Cal WBB in the nightcap, but her brother Jamal Smith will be playing for Cal State Fullerton in the day game... with father John Smith as one of the team’s coaches.

But her father, Cal State Fullerton Associate Head Men's Basketball Coach John Smith, says the decision who to root for is a simple one.

"She better be rooting for me," he said with a laugh. "She knows how this business works."

John Smith and Kianna's older brother, Jamal, will be in town Saturday as the Titans take on the Bears at 1 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Jamal is Cal State Fullerton's starting point guard.

The Titans will then stay to watch Cal's women's game against BYU at 5 p.m.

"I know a lot of guys on (Cal State Fullerton) because I was always around last year," Kianna Smith said. "They are all my friends. Just to have them in the gym, and then have them watch my game, it's going to be fun."

  • After great games against San Diego and Pacific, Kristine Anigwe was named Pac-12 Player of the Week.
  • But that is not all! Rick Nixon of named Anigwe to his Starting Five of the week.
  • A look at how Penina Davidson started her career in a game at Pacific and now has a career day in her return there.
  • Congrats to Layshia Clarendon for making the US WNT pool, which makes it possible she could play for them during the World Cup. Will post more about this another day, as I just saw it before my deadline and couldn’t read the article.
  • Remember Saturday is Star Wars day! Get your tickets and watch this cool video.


  • Could Isaiah Johnson leave UCLA (He recently decommitted) for Cal? Time will tell...

A few schools have already gotten in touch with him.

"I just got in touch with California and Nevada and a few other coaches just followed me," said Johnson.

Johnson is interested in a handful of Pac-12 schools.

"I’m interested in Colorado, Arizona, Washington State and Cal," said Johnson

Johnson can play on either side of the ball and he's open to playing any position

  • Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 team includes some Cal players. Devante Downs made the second team while James Looney and Patrick Laird made the third team.
  • 18 Cal Bears in the NFL are on the Pro Bowl Ballot. See the tweet below to learn how to vote them in! Once you learn how to do so... then do it!


  • Congrats to Cal Hall of Famer Heather Petri who was named an full-time assistant coach to the Women’s Water Polo team beginning this season. Last year she was a volunteer coach.

"My experience last year really ignited my passion for helping this program," Petri said. "Having this new opportunity is just another way that I can give back to them and be part of the great coaching staff, and see these girls be successful."

Hope to see everyone on Saturday!