The Cal basketball team got what it needed most on Wednesday — size.
On the first day of the spring signing period, the Golden Bears secured 7-foot, 280-pound center Kameron Rooks of Mission Hills High in San Marcos. Rooks oriinally committed to Cal back on Jan. 1.
Rated the nation’s No. 22 center prospect by ESPN, Rooks is the son of Sean Rooks, who played for Arizona two decades ago when Cal coach Mike Montgomery was at Stanford.
“He told me (Montgomery) is a good big man’s coach, he knows how to teach big men the right stuff,” Rooks said of his dad’s input.
“I am happy to have a Rooks on my side for a change after some great battles with his dad through the years,” Montgomery said.
Rooks will be a valuable piece in the Cal frontline. Starting forwards Richard Solomon and David Kravish return, but departing walkon Robert Thurman, who played well in two NCAA tournament games, gave the Bears their only real girth up front.
“I expect to play as hard as I can and be a dominant force inside. That doesn’t have to be scoring. I’m going to try to get rebounds, anything to help the team.”
Montgomery said Rooks “has an unlimited future.”
Rooks joins a strong four-man recruiting class headlined by Jabari Bird, a five-star shooting guard from Salesian-Richmond. Rivals.com has rated the Cal class among the top-20 in the nation.
Cal still has two open scholarships after freshman forward Kaileb Rodriguez decided to transfer. Rodriguez did not play in 2012-13.