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Basketball: PG Chauca officially signs

Cal announced the official signing of point guard prospect Brandon Chauca to a national letter of intent.

“We are excited for the opportunity to have Brandon join the Cal Family,” new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said. “He has the ability to distribute and score the basketball. In high school, he displayed excellent range with his shot. Brandon also has the foot speed to be a good on-ball defender.”

Chauca averaged 23.1 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 3.7 steals this season for 22 Feet Academy at Shannon Forest Christian Schhool in Greenville, S.C. The 5-foot-9 native of Alexandria, Virginia, had a pair of 40-point games.

Chauca played his freshman year at Stonewall Jackson High in Manassas, Va. where he was an all-district selection in his first scholastic season. Chauca also played one season at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., and at Christian Faith Center Academy in Creedmoor, N.C., before enrolling at 22 Feet Academy.

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Football: Brother of 49ers lineman joins Bears; defensive tackle seeks immediate eligibility

Cal has signed the brother of 49ers guard Joe Looney to a financial aid agreement, becoming the 24th member of the 2014 recruiting class.

James Looney, transferring from Wake Forest, has filed an appeal for immediate eligibility with the Bears.

A 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle from Lake Forest, Florida, Looney played in six games as a true freshman for Wake Forest last season, contributing three tackles and a fumble recovery. He did not start a game.

Looney has four seasons to play three at Cal, but whether he is cleared to participate next fall or must sit out as a transfer has not been determined, a Cal spokesman said. He was projected as a starter for the Demons Deacons before leaving the program at the end of spring practice.

Defensive tackle is perhaps Cal’s biggest position of need. Both starters left after last season, and Jacobi Hunter, who played in all 12 games last season as a true freshman, took a leave from the team late in spring ball to attend to personal matters. His status is still up in the air.

Also uncertain is redshirt junior Mustafa Jalil, a former four-star recruit, who missed all of last season and spring ball due to a knee injury.

“We are excited that James is joining the Cal football program,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue to recruit and develop players in the trenches to improve on both sides of the ball.

“James will help us do that on the defensive line and is also an excellent student that will fit into our program nicely both on the field and off.”

Looney, who turns 19 on Thursday, is the younger sibling of Joe Looney, who was a fourth-round draft pick out of Wake Forest by the 49ers in 2012.

James Looney was a four-year starter at Lake Worth High School in Florida and an Associated Press Class 7A all-state performer as a senior in the fall of 2012. He was a consensus three-star (out of five) prospect in high school.

Cal’s 2014 recruiting class includes players from California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Washington.

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Basketball: Domingo’s arrival is official

Cal formally announced the signing of Stephen Domingo, a transfer wing from Georgetown.

The news was first reported a week ago, but new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin was unable to comment on Domingo’s arrival until the paperwork was complete.

“We’re very excited to have Stephen come home and join our basketball family,” Martin said. “Stephen has the skill and length to be a good all-around player at both ends of the floor.”

A graduate of St. Ignatius HS in San Francisco, the 6-foot-7, 207-pound junior-to-be must sit out next season before becoming eligible. He will have two seasons to play at Cal.

Domingo graduated from high school a year early and enrolled at Georgetown in the summer of 2012 after averaging 13.3 points his final season at St. Ignatius. He played in 39 games for the Hoyas.

He also helped the U.S. U17 national team to a gold medal at the FIBA U17 World Championships in Lithuania in 2012, averaging 7.8 points. He scored 17 in a win over Australia on the way to the title.

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Basketball: Georgetown guard transfers to Cal

Georgetown sophomore guard Stephen Domingo announced he will return home to the Bay Area and continue his basketball career at Cal.

Domingo, who starred at St. Ignatius High in San Francisco, totaled 29 points in 39 games over two seasons at Georgetown. Scout.com rated Domingo as a four-star (out of five) prospect as a high school senior.

The 6-foot-6 wing, who must sit out next season as a transfer, said he is excited to play for new Cal coach Cuonzo Martin.

“Georgetown was just not the right basketball opportunity for me,” Domingo said in a phone interview. “I’m going forward and Cal will be a place I can flourish and show what I can do.

“Coach Martin said I’ll be able to use my length and athleticism on the defensive end and I can be a matchup problem on offense.”

Domingo said Cal was among his finalists when he first chose a college out of high school.

Domingo is the second player Martin has added to the Cal roster since being hired last month. A week ago, he signed incoming freshman Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-1 center from England.

1

Football: Bears add DT to 2014 incoming class

Cal added depth and size to a position that needs both, signing 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle Chris Palmer of Lawrenceville, Ga., to a financial aid agreement.

Palmer played high school ball at Collins Hill High School in the Atlanta in the fall of 2011 and 2012 and is attending the Naval Preparatory School this year.

As the Bears finished spring ball a week ago, the team’s top four defensive tackles have never played in a major college game. Junior Mustafa Jalil, who sat out spring ball, is expected back in August after missing last season due to a knee injury. And sophomore Jacobi Hunter’s status is in question after he took personal leave from the team a couple weeks ago.

Palmer earned preseason All-State honors prior to his senior season and played in the Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Football Game. He was a second-team All-Region selection in 2011.

“We are excited to have Chris as part of the Cal football program,” coach Sonny Dykes said. “He’s a good fit for us both academically and athletically. On the field, he will give us some size inside. We were fortunate to find him.”

Palmer’s addition boosts Cal’s 2014 class to 23 players, class 13 of them on the defensive side of the ball.

 

3

Football: Bears get commitment from 3-star WR but lose elite QB prospect to Arizona State

Cal got its third verbal commitment in the class of 2015 when three-star wide receiver Greyson Bankhead of Centennial-Corona picked the Bears over SMU and Arizona, according to Scout.com.

A 5-foot-9, 155-pounder, Bankhead caught 73 passes for 1,031 yards on the same Centennial team that is sending running back Tre Watson to Berkeley this fall.

Meanwhile, Cal recruiting target Brady White, rated the nation’s No. 9 quarterback prospect in the class of 2015 by Scout.com, announced he will attend Arizona State. 

White, from Hart-Newhall — the same high school that produced Joe Kapp — had narrowed his choices to ASU, Cal and Oregon before choosing the Sun Devils.

White passed for 4,535 yards and 41 touchdowns while rushing for 320 yards and nine more scores as a junior last season.

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Basketball: Cal signs 7-foot-1 Kingsley Okoroh; Point guard Ahmaad Rorie asks for release

New Cal basketball coach Cuonzo Martin signed his first recruit, adding center Kingsley Okoroh, a 7-foot-1, 260-pound native of England, to the Bears’ roster for the 2014-15 season.

Okoroh played last season at Westwind Prep in Phoenix, where he averaged 16 points, 12 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists.

“I like Kingsley’s ability to block shots and protect the rim,” Martin said. “He continues to make great strides with his offense. I think he has a bright future in front of him and has a chance to be really good.”

Meanwhile, the Bears lost four-star point guard Ahmaad Rorie of Tacoma, Wash., who asked to be released from the letter-of-intent he signed in November. Cal still has four available scholarships.

Okoroh, unrated among  the nation’s top high school prospects, nonetheless provides the Bears with size they badly need.

A native of Derby, England, Okoroh originally attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., where he played alongside current Cleveland Cavaliers forward and 2013 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett. Okoroh then returned home to England to complete high school before enrolling at Westwind Prep for a post-graduate year.

Okoroh is ranked as the fifth-best prospect in Europe by ESPN’s recruiting services.

Okoroh also has four years of international playing experience as a member of England’s junior national team. In nine games at the 2013 U18 European Championship (Division A) in Latvia, he averaged 8.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game. His best outing was a 16-point, 15-rebound performance during a 71-58 win over Ukraine.

At the 2011 U16 European Championship (Division B), Okoroh earned All-Tournament Team honors after leading the tournament in both rebounding (11.4 rpg) and blocks (4.3 bpg).

In March 2011, Okoroh was one of 40 elite European players to receive an invitation to the Jordan Brand Classic event in Surrey, England.

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Football: Cal lands 1st two commits for 2015 class

Wide receiver Austin Aaron of Napa HS became the first member of the 2015 graduating class to commit to Cal. Then safety Malik Psalms of Chino Hills also said he will accept a scholarship from the Bears.

Rated a 3-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com, Aaron is 6-foot-5, 200 pounds. Rivals lists him as the No. 62 overall prospect in the state.

His father played baseball at Cal, according to Rivals, and his grandfather also attended the university.

Aaron picked Cal over offers from Utah, Washington State, Duke, Harvard, Penn, Nevada and San Jose State.

Psalms, from Ayala HS, is a 6-1, 174-pound prospects who picked Cal over San Diego State and San Jose State. He is not rated by either Scout or Rivals.

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Women’s basketball: Bears ink New Zealander

The Cal women’s basketball team has signed Penina Davidson, a 6-foot-3 forward who plays for the New Zealand national team.

A native of Auckland — the same hometown as former Cal player Sean Marks — Davidson joins a Cal recruiting class that already was ranked among the top 20 in the nation.

“We are thrilled to add a person and player of Penina’s caliber in the late signing period,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “Nina comes from a ‘basketball family’, and that’s evident in her versatile game and high basketball intellect. She’s big and strong and will provide a solid post presence, but also has an array of skills facing the basket.”

Davidson is a member of the New Zealand women’s national team where she most recently competed at the 2013 FIBA Oceania Championships, scoring five points and pulling down eight rebounds for the Tall Ferns in the championship series against the Australia senior national team that was coming off a bronze medal finish at the London Olympics.

Davidson also competed for New Zealand at the 2012 Four Nations Challenge in China where she averaged 15 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in nine total games against China, the United States and Australia. She was named to the final all-tournament team, one of just two non-Americans selected.