Gabriel Hughes to Return to Basketball Team

Aug. 19, 2002

BERKELEY - Gabriel Hughes, a 6-10 center who announced last spring that he planned to transfer from Cal, will return to the Golden Bear program for his junior season this year, head coach Ben Braun announced Monday.

'We are happy to have Gabriel back in our program,' said Braun. 'I am particularly pleased for Gabe because of the opportunities he has here at Cal. He knows he has a lot of support here. Gabe's experience and desire to contribute are great assets for our program.'

Hughes said he made the decision to return to Berkeley late last week.

'I looked at the path I wanted to take in my life and asked 'What do I want to do?'' Hughes said. 'I decided I wanted to come back home. I have a lot of fans and friends here, and I have two years invested here. I have maintained a lot of friendships at Cal. The players and coaches never gave up on me.

'I wanted to play this year,' added Hughes, who would have had to sit out one full season under NCAA rules had he transferred to another Division I school. 'I knew I could play here. Sitting out would not have been such a bad thing, but you never know what tomorrow will bring. There are no harsh feelings between Cal and I.'

Hughes averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds last season, while blocking 10 shots and shooting 70.4 percent from the floor. His best game came in a win at Washington State when he scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. As a freshman in 2000-01, Hughes averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.6 rpg in 19 games.

Cal, which added 6-9 forward Jordi Geli Vilardell from Spain to its roster last week, has now filled its compliment of 13 scholarships.

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