Cal in the Pros
- My previous Golden Nuggets put the spotlight on Jaylen Brown’s interview with the Guardian. Here is a take by Dave Zirin on the piece.
Roughly 18 months ago—as Colin Kaepernick was peeling back people’s eyelids—I was told by a friend at Cal-Berkeley [sic] that there was an NBA rookie—yet to play a single minute of pro ball—who was going to rock the sports-politics landscape. “He’s NBA talent, no question,” I was told, “But he’s also like those political athletes you write about. A lot of the same professors and lecturers at Cal who have been dialoguing with Kap [Colin Kaepernick] rave about this kid.”
He told me the young man’s name, Jaylen Brown, and I immediately put it out of my mind for two reasons. First, Kaepernick was setting the sports world on fire, and NBA rookies who impressed their college professors was not at the forefront of my mind. Secondly, he had been drafted by the Boston Celtics, and I am some combination of genetically or behaviorally conditioned to ignore anyone doing anything while wearing that cursed Celtic green. I had too many young memories of Larry Bird tearing out my heart and felt too set in my ways to change.
But damn, was I wrong. Jaylen Brown, now in his second year and already a budding star, just gave an extensive interview with The Guardian, and everything that those professors pointed out were on display: a sense of history, a belief in resistance, a systemic critique of racism and poverty, and a contempt for a certain orange demagogue who uses race to rule. People of course should read the entire interview, and all the props in the world to Donald McCrae for uncorking an article called “Jaylen Brown: ‘Sport is a mechanism of control in America.’”
- Now for the headliner, this article’s a week old but for whatever reason it didn’t get much attention from Cal social media, and I found it by accident (EDIT: It was actually boomtho who @’d GoldenBlogs with the link, sorry I forgot). Jerome Randle posted an article in the Australian Player’s Tribune about how he believed he got a raw deal by NBA scouts and agents.
That window has shut on me now. I know I’m never going to play in the NBA. I’m 30 years old. It ate away at me for five or six years while I thought it still might happen, but I started coming to terms with it about three years ago.
I can’t say I’ve fully gotten over it. I probably never will. But at least I can live with it.
I still think about it today when I watch the NBA. I boycott the games until the playoffs because it’s just too hard to look at it all the time.
I know guys from the NBA because I played against them in college and when I talk to them they say, ‘Man, you should be in the NBA.’
It gets to you because if someone like that knows, then it’s like, damn, why didn’t anyone else see it.
- FB: Justin Wilcox’s vision was “evident” during recruiting season.
The newest Golden Bears give Wilcox the opportunity to further build the program in his vision.
”They have to have a ‘figure-it-out’ factor to be successful here,” Wilcox said. “We are here to support them and help them, and we will hold them accountable, but there is a ‘figure-it-out’ factor to going to school here and existing here. That’s a good thing because you have to do that on the football field.”
The academic challenges that are presented at the No. 1 public university in the world are obvious. The task of navigating through the rugged Pac-12 Conference is also clear.
But what about living, studying and competing on a campus unlike any other? The culture, diversity, activism and eclecticism at Cal make every day a unique one.
- MBB: Justice Sueing is the latest new Bear to be highlighted in the “Fast Break” feature.
As a left-handed basketball player, Sueing likes watching a variety of NBA players play. Among them is All-Star and fellow lefty James Harden.
”I try to take away from a lot of players,” Sueing said. “I try to take little things that can work with my game, but I watch a lot of James Harden because he’s left-handed, knows how to create space, get to the rack and also create for everyone around him. I like that.”
- A pair of articles about Mikayla Cowling’s family history came out this week. One from Cal Sports Quarterly (written before this season started) and recently the San Francisco Chronicle (posted before the UW win). I honestly had no idea she was a Cal legacy, some cool nuggets can be found in two articles.
- Find out how Coach G is balancing family and coaching, sometimes even combining the two. This is the only one of these articles that is up to date, published Saturday, before the WSU game.
- Kristine Anigwe made it onto the Wooden Watch midseason list.
- Cal’s season began last night, here is a preview of the season from Jonathan Okanes.
- Learn more about how Alex Chansky went from Cal gymnast to a stuntman in big-name films.
- Congrats to Jose Carrera-Garcia and Josh Morton who were invited to the MLS Combine.
- Guro Bergsvand will return to her native country of Norway as the recent graduate signed with the Stabaek Fotball Kvinner, one of the top Norwegian teams in the country.
- Learn how current and former Cal Baseball players helped out the victims of the North Bay fires (which includes Andrew Vaughn and his family who were displaced in Santa Rosa).
The Vaughns were among thousands of residents displaced by the fires, including 63 families of the Rincon Valley Little League, and 110 members of the Mark West Little League, where their grandson Andrew -- the 2017 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year -- learned to play baseball. On Friday, Jan. 5, Vaughn joined nine former Cal players and coaches in running a clinic to benefit those displaced young ballplayers at The Epicenter, just blocks from Coffey Park, where some of the worst damage was done.
The clinic was put on by a pair of Santa Rosa natives -- Kasey Olenberger and Tony Arnerich, the latter of whom recruited Vaughn while serving as Cal’s hitting coach, catching coach and recruiting coordinator from 2010 to 2014. Arnerich, himself, nearly lost his home in the Tubbs fire.
- Cal Softball have begun training camp. Here is a preview of their season.
- Lacrosse: The team captains have been named: Meredith Haggerty, Elizabeth Koehler and Alexandra Robertson.
- Beach VB: Inanna Eshoo, who played for the team in 2015, will return as a volunteer assistant coach.
Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. Go Bears!