For the first time since their son played his first college game as a freshman during the 2008-09 season, Jorge Gutierrez’s parents are traveling from Chihuahua, Mexico for both Thursday’s game against Oregon and Saturday’s Senior Night ceremonies prior to the Oregon State game.
“My whole family’s coming,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez’s family last was able to watch him play in person last season at Arizona. His parents, Fernando Gutierrez and Bertha Cardenas, have not been at Haas since their son became a star player.
Gutierrez was an untested rookie on Nov. 9, 2008, when he played 13 minutes and scored two points against Pacific in Mike Montgomery’s first game as Cal’s coach. Now he’s an all-conference player and fan favorite, generating cheers of “Hip, hip, Jorge!” from the crowd.
“I don’t even know what to expect. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a different experience, something they have never seen before,” Gutierrez said. “Hopefully, a lot of people come to the games.”
While the experience will be a new one for his family, Gutierrez acknowledged he’s not sure how he’ll react, either.
“I am an emotional guy. I can’t tell you how I’m going to react because I just don’t know what to expect,” he said. “It’s going to be great.”
Gutierrez spent two years at Lincoln High in Denver, then attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nov., for one year before coming to Cal.
“I didn’t have a Senior Day in high school because I moved to Findlay . . . at Findlay, it’s not one of those things they do,” Gutierrez said. “It’s going to be my first Senior Night.”
Meanwhile . . .
— Washington guard Tony Wroten Jr., is among five finalists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Waymon Tisdale Award, given to the nation’s top freshman.
Kentucky teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Duke’s Austin Rivers and Indiana’s Cody Zeller are the other candidates.
Past recipients of the award include former Cal star Jason Kidd.