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Golden Nuggets: Darrall Imhoff “brought pride to Cal’s teams” years after leaving

A look at Imhoff’s impact on the Bears.

Haas Pavilion new Pete Newell Court

Not only was Darrall Imhoff integral to bringing the NCAA Championship to the California Golden Bears, but he did so with blue and gold coursing through his veins.

More than 20 years after that magical 1959 season—and after a dozen years in the NBA—Imhoff still made it a point to leave a positive impact on the Cal program, as discussed by Steve Kroner in the SF Chronicle.

Ben Braun certainly appreciated Imhoff and what he represented for Cal. Braun, who spent 12 seasons (1996–2008) as the Bears’ head coach, often saw Imhoff at Cal games in the Northwest; Imhoff lived in Bend, Ore.

“He found a way to get to our games,” Braun said Sunday night. “Darrall was always so gracious to me. He was always kind. If he had any advice, he was always kind about his advice. Respectful. He just cared a lot about the Cal basketball team and the players.”

Imhoff also made it a point to talk with Mark McNamara (Cal’s starting center in 1980–82); the latter viewed him as a hero and Imhoff imparted several important life lessons to McNamara.

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