Cal Signs Rod Benson to Basketball National Letter-Of-Intent

April 12, 2002

BERKELEY, CA - Rod Benson, a 6-9, 200-pound power forward who propelled San Diego's Torrey Pines High School to a 25-4 record and CIF sectional semifinal playoff appearance last season, has signed a basketball national letter-of-intent to attend the University of California, Bears' head coach Ben Braun announced today.

Benson, named first team All-Palomar League and second team All-CIF San Diego Section, averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocks as a senior at Torrey Pines. Recruited by such national programs as UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Villanova and Pepperdine, the 17-year-old big man was rated as the No. 3 center on the West Coast by Benson also played on his high school volleyball team.

'We are really excited about Rod's potential,' said Braun. 'He has got some great intangibles-he is athletic, quick and very well coached-and brings a lot of positive qualities to our program. 'Rod should have an excellent opportunity to contribute next year. He is also a very fine student.'

In other recruiting news, Braun also announced today that Alabama's 6-7 forward Kennedy Winston would not attend the university. Citing family health reasons, the coach said that Cal has granted Winston's request to release him from his signed national letter-of-intent.

'It was important to respect the wishes of Kennedy and his family,' said Braun. 'We wish him well and hope that he enjoys his college experience wherever he enrolls.'

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