Five years ago, Theo Robertson was part of Cal’s first conference basketball title in 50 years ago.
In a couple weeks, he hopes to share in the Warriors’ first NBA crown in 40 seasons.
“It’s been amazing,” said Robertson, who serves as a video intern for the Warriors. “To be at this level is a dream come true. And to have a part in what we’re doing here has been just a phenomenal experience, one that I couldn’t have imagined.
“Hopefully, we can continue this thing and really do something special here the next couple weeks.”
Robertson, 28, is a Bay Area native, so you can imagine his excitement as the NBA Finals approach. He played at De La Salle High, then averaged 14.2 points as a senior in 2010 when Cal ended a championship drought that extended back to coach Pete Newell in 1960.
He landed an administrative fellowship with the Pac-12 office after graduation, and thought he was on track to someday becoming an athletic director or conference commissioner.
Then Robertson returned to Cal to work two seasons as then-coach Mike Montgomery’s director of basketball operations, and he was hooked. He quickly knew coaching was his calling. “This is something I’m fully committed to,” he said.
His job with Golden State involves splicing together videotape of opposing teams so the coaching staff can prep for each game. It’s long hours – spent working at the Warriors’ facility and at home – but Robertson believes it’s the perfect introduction to the pro game.
“It’s really a job I wanted to do coming into the league,” he said. “I think it’s the best way to get an understanding of the NBA game and coaches’ philosophies.”
The sports apparel company Mitchell & Ness, on behalf of ESPN.com, has compiled a list of the best NBA players to wear each uniform number.
For instance, Oscar Robertson was named the top player to wear No. 1 (and No. 14), Bill Russell won at No. 6 (over LeBron Jones) and Pete Maravich was tabbed for No. 7.
How many former Cal players made the list?
Jason Kidd, right?
Nope. Kidd wore No. 2 (Moses Malone), No. 5 (Kevin Garnett) and No. 32 (Magic Johnson). He certainly wasn’t going to beat out Magic, but you could make an argument he was just as deserving at Garnett.
Cal’s season-opening non-conference home games against Grambling State (Sept. 5) and San Diego State (Sept. 12) have been set for 2 p.m. kickoffs on the Pac-12 Networks.
The Bears will then hit the road for the first time for a Sept. 19 game at Texas. Kickoff will be 4:30 p.m. PT on Fox.
Host Texas A&M sent Cal home after a 3-1 loss in the finals of the College Station NCAA regionals on Monday night.
The Bears beat the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday night, but lost to them Sunday and Monday, sending A&M on to the Super Regionals.
Chris Paul homered for the Bears’ only run.
Cal finishes its season with a record of 36-21.
Top-seeded Texas A&M avenged a loss to Cal a day earlier, posting a 4-3 victory in 12 innings on Sunday evening to force a showdown Monday that will send one of them to the Super Regionals.
Monday’s game between the Bears (36-20) and Aggies (48-12) will be played at 4:30 p.m. PT.
Cal topped the Aggies 2-1 in 14 innings on Saturday after a walk-off home run by Mitchell Kranson.
The third-seeded Bears advanced to the finals of the Texas A&M Regional when Mitchell Kranson delivered a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning for a 2-1 win over the host Aggies on Saturday.
Cal (36-19) will play Sunday night against the winner of the game between top-seeded A&M (46-12) and Coastal Carolina.
The Bears would need to be beaten Sunday night and again Monday to deny them their first Super Regionals berth since 2011. Freshman left-hander Mike Ladrech (7-4, 2.72 ERA) is expected to start Sunday night’s game.
“Win or lose, that was probably going to be one of the greatest games in program history,” Cal coach David Esquer said afterward. “Thank goodness, it turned into one of the greatest wins in program history, but that was two teams really going at it. It hinged on every pitch and there were so many heroes throughout the day.”
Cal starter Ryan Mason allowed just one run on six hits over eight innings, and relievers Dylan Nelson, Chris Muse-Fisher and Erik Martinez combined to surrender only five hits in six scoreless innings.
A&M scored its lone run in first inning, then was blanked the rest of the way by the Bears’ pitchers.
Devin Pearson went 4 for 7 including a double for Cal and Kranson had three hits.
The third-seeded Cal baseball team got off to a good start in the NCAA tournament, riding a strong starting pitching performance by sophomore Daulton Jefferies to a 9-3 win over Coastal Carolina on Friday at College Station, Texas.
The Bears (35-19) face top-seeded host Texas A&M (46-11) on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Aggies defeated Texas Southern 5-0 on Friday night at Blue Bell Park.
Junior right-hander Ryan Mason (6-3, 3.18) is expected to pitch for the Bears against A&M right-hander Grayson Long (9-0, 2.62).
Saturday’ game is not televised but fans can follow @Cal_Baseball on Twitter for updates.
The Bears picked up their first NCAA tournament win since beating Texas A&M at the 2011 College World Series, thanks for a sharp effort by Jefferies and a big day at the plate by his batterymate Mitchell Kranson.
Jefferies limited the Chanticleers (38-20) of the Big South Conference to one run on three hits over seven innings. He struck out five and won his sixth game of the season.
Kranson was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Aaron Knapp and Devin Pearson each had run-scoring doubles in the fifth inning as the Bears took the lead for good.
Zion Echols, a three-star “athlete” prospect from Charter Oaks High in West Covina, had offers from seven Pac-12 schools and announced Saturday he will attend Cal.
A 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, Echols also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State in the Pac-12, along with Boise State, BYU, LSU and San Jose State.
Cal got its third oral commitment from a defensive back Wednesday when cornerback Traveon Bell of St. John Bosco-Bellflower chose the Bears.
Bell announced his commitment on Twitter: “Well it’s official ! … I’m so happy and blessed to say I have committed to being a Cal Bear !! #CalGang2016 !!!”
Bell is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder chose Cal over Arizona State, Washington, Wisconsin and San Jose State, among others, according to Rivals.com.
He is Cal’s eighth 2016 commitment, joining safeties Marquel Dismuke and Shurod Thompson.
The long wait is over, presumably.
On the day before the spring signing period ends, five-star center Caleb Swanigan committed to Purdue, alma mater of his legal guardian and former Boilermaker football player Roosevelt Barnes.
Cal went hard after the 6-foot-9, 265-pounder from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who last month de-committed from Michigan State. Top-10 recruits and Cal signees Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown — Swanigan’s teammates on the postseason high school all-star circuit — tried to get him to Berkeley.
Instead, he stayed home and, in the process, likely kept peace in his family.
Commitments are not binding until a letter-of-intent is signed.
Here’s the story posted by Evan Daniels of Scout.com, who first reported the news Tuesday morning. Here’s more, from ESPN.com.