Cal women’s basketball player Mikayla Lyles has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
A senior from Pleasanton, Lyles will receive the $4,500 Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award presented annually to one female collegiate basketball player who intends to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communications or journalism.
“I am so proud of Mikayla for earning this prestigious award, and for being recognized on a national level for the qualities that we’ve seen her display day in and day out over the course of her time as a student-athlete at Cal,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.
Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs was named to the 10-man all-Pac-12 first team on Monday. Cobbs averages 15.6 points and is second in the conference at 5.8 assists per game.
“I don’t see how you could have a first team without Justin on there,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.
Senior forward Richard Solomon was an honorable mention selection.
Junior forward David Kravish earned honorable mention on the all-defensive squad and Jordan Mathews was an honorable mention all-freshman selection by the coaches.
Regular-season champion Arizona swept the major awards, with Nick Johnson earning Player of the Year, Aaron Gordon of San Jose taking Freshman of the Year and Sean Miller named Coach of the Year.
Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski, who led the nation in blocked shots, was voted Defensive Player of the Year. Stanford’s Anthony Brown was named Most Improved Player.
Johnson and Gordon joined Cobbs on the first team, along with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell of Stanford, Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Delon Wright of Utah and Josh Scott of Colorado.
Cal freshman Missy Franklin was named National Swimmer of the Week by collegeswimming.com after leading the Bears to the Pac-12 Conference championship last weekend in Seattle.
Franklin set meet records while winning all three of her individual events — the 100-yard free (47.17 seconds), 200 free (1:42.29) and 500 free (4:35.73) — and helped Cal to wins in the 400 and 800 free relay and 400 medley relay and a runnerup finish in the 200 medley relay.
This is the second time this season Franklin has been given the weekly honor as the nation’s top collegiate swimmer.
Franklin and her Cal teammates will next be in action at the NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Minneapolis.
Cal swimmer Missy Franklin, who won a record six gold medals at last summer’s world championships, is among six nominees for the 15th annual Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year.
The freshman from Centennial, Colo., who won four gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, joins a list of high-profile female athletes nominated for the award.
Also up for Laureus honors are German soccer star Nadine Angerer, the FIFA Women’s Player of the Year; Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of three sprint gold medals at the world track and field championships; Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, winner of the world title; Slovenia skier Tina Maze, the overall World Cup champion; American tennis star Serena Williams, winner of the French Open and U.S. Open titles.
It’s the second straight year Franklin was nominated.
Sunday’s game against USC is big for Cal, coming four days after a lopsided loss to UCLA.
But the occasion is no less significant for Dr. Earl Shultz, who will be honored at halftime with the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award.
For Shultz, who played on Newell’s two Final Four teams at Cal and became a lifelong close friend of the late coaching legend, there can be bigger honor.
“For the guys who played for Pete,” Shultz said this week, “it’s the ultimate to be associated with Pete.”
Shultz was a sophomore reserve guard on the 1959 Cal team that won the NCAA title, then became a starter the next season when the Bears returned to the Final Four at the Cow Palace, losing to Ohio State in the title game.
He jokingly refers to himself and his teammates as “dinosaurs,” but these were Cal’s greatest teams. His first two seasons as a varsity player, the Bears went 53-6, won a pair of conference titles and helped Newell close out his career with the last of eight straight victories over John Wooden and UCLA.
The Bears haven’t been back to the Final Four since.
Cal’s Justin Cobbs is among four Pac-12 players on the list of 23 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard.
Cobbs is averaging 16.0 points and 6.0 assists and had the game-winning shot in the Bears’ upset of then-unbeaten Arizona.
“It’s a blessing,” Cobbs said. “Shows you what hard work can do. Just gotta keep getting better. Never be content with yourself. Keep striving for greater goals.”
Asked when he’d first heard of Bob Cousy — the Hall of Famer who retired after the 1963 NBA season — Cobbs admitted, “Bob Cousy . . . I don’t know. My Pops probably knows him.”
Cal coach Mike Montgomery was thrilled for Cobbs, who came to Cal as a transfer after his freshman season.
“It’s great,” Montgomery said. “He leaves Minnesota years ago and comes here and nobody much knows about him.
“He’s had his trials and travails and I think it’s quite an honor for him. And he deserves it.”
Other Pac-12 nominees are UCLA’s Kyle Anderson, Arizona State’s Jahii Carson and Arizona’s T.J. McConnell.
Also up for the award are Xavier Thames of San Diego State, Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, DeAndre Kane of Iowa State, Shabazz Napier of Connecticut and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.
Cal junior guard Brittany Boyd has been named to the Naismith Trophy Women’s Midseason 30 list, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced.
Boyd has also been named to the midseason lists for the Dawn Staley Award (Phoenix Club of Philadelphia), the Nancy Lieberman Award (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame) and the Wooden Award (Los Angeles Athletic Club), in addition to being included on the initial and updated Wade Trophy (WBCA) award lists.
Boyd is one of just four players in the country to be named to all five of those lists, joining Jerica Coley (FIU), Bria Hartley (UConn) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor).
The former Berkeley High star averages 15.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.1 steals for the 16-7 Golden Bears.
Cal’s Jack Clark will be inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame, the United States Rugby Football Federation announced.
To which I pose the question: What took them so long?
The induction ceremony takes place June 7 in Houston.
“I am very appreciative of the recognition,” Clark said. “I want to thank all the coaches and support staff who have so significantly contributed to this career and well as my opposition colleagues around the country and rugby world for their friendship and partnership in growing rugby.
“I am so appreciative of my old teammates and coaches for the game and teamship example they set. Mostly, I want to thank the players I have been blessed to coach.”
In his 31st year as head coach of the Golden Bears, Clark has led the rugby program to 22 national collegiate titles in 15s and, in 2013, its first collegiate 7s title in the Olympic version of rugby.
Three former Cal players will be in uniform at MetLife Stadium today for Super Bowl XLVIII.
The headliner, of course, is Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who has waited all week to let his legs do his talking.
The former Oakland Tech HS star rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season and leads all ball carriers with 249 postseason rushing yards.
Seahawks teammate Brandon Mebane and Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson help give the Bears representatives in the Super Bowl for the 12th time in 13 years.
Lynch, Mebane and Anderson all are making their Super Bowl debuts.
Three other ex-Cal players took bows Saturday at the NFL Honors show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Cal junior guard Brittany Boyd is one of 29 players named to the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced.
The award is given to the top point guard in women’s Division I basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
Boyd, who earlier was named to the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy watch lists, is averaging 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.47 steals per game for the No. 15 Golden Bears. Her 3.47 steals mark ranks second in the NCAA.
The Berkeley High grad is averaging 19.8 points and 4.0 steals through four Pac-12 games.
The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 candidates in February, with a final five to be decided by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities in April.
Other candidates include Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Amber Orrange of Stanford and Bria Hartley of Connecticut.