Basketball: Pac-12 honor to Shareef

Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who debuted at Cal in 1995-96 by scoring 33, 29 and 32 points in his first three games, has been chosen to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.

Abdur-Rahim and 11 other former players and coaches from the league’s 12 schools will be honored in ceremonies at halftime of the March 16 championship game of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

I’ve covered a lot of Cal hoops over the years and Abdur-Rahim, without question, was the most ready-made scorer ever to arrive on the Berkeley campus. Better than Lamond Murray, who was very good. Better than Ryan Anderson. Better than anyone.

He led the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.1 points per game and was the first freshman named conference player of the year. After just one season at Cal, he went onto a sucessful career in the NBA, played in the 2000 Olympics and now serves as an excecutive with the Sacramento Kings.

Aside from Jason Kidd, Abdur-Rahim was the best player I’ve ever seen at Cal. Were these the old days and he had to stick around for four years, the guy would have scored 3,000 career points. No doubt.

Previously Cal players and coaches named to the Hall of Honor: Pete Newell (2002), Kevin Johnson (2003), Jason Kidd (2004), Darrall Imhoff (2005), Andy Wolfe (2006), Russ Critchfield (2007), Charles Johnson (2008), Nibs Price (2009), Earl Robinson (2010), Bob McKeen (2011) and Lamond Murray (2012).

Also set to be inducted this year: Jason Gardner (Arizona), Dennis Hamilton (Arizona State),  Cliff Meely (Colorado), Chuck Rask (Oregon), Charlie Sitton (Oregon State), Ron Tomsic (Stanford), Lucius Allen (UCLA), Forrest Twogood (USC), Keith Van Horn (Utah), Nate Robinson (Washington) and James McKean (Washington State).

Click here for the full Pac-12 release.

Jeff Faraudo