California Opens Practice Saturday, Oct. 18

Oct. 17, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. - The California women's basketball team officially begins preparation for the 2003-04 season on Saturday, Oct. 18, with the Golden Bears' first official practice.

Cal returns 11 letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's squad and welcome two talented freshmen - center Emmelie Geraedts and shooting guard Keanna Levy. The returning starters are senior shooting guard Nihan Anaz (10.1 ppg), junior point guard Kristin Iwanaga (7.3 ppg) and junior power forward Leigh Gregory (9.2 ppg). Nine of the 13 players on the roster are upperclassmen.

Geraedts, who hails from Weert, The Netherlands, is the youngest member of the Dutch national team and has led three different amateur club teams to division titles. A product of Waterloo, Iowa, Levy was the 2003 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year.

Fans have the opportunity to get better acquainted with this year's Cal team at the annual Meet the Bears event on Saturday, Nov. 8, at Haas Pavilion. The festivities run from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and include a continental breakfast, watching the Bears practice, a fundamental skills clinic for students 12th grade and under and an autograph session.

Over the last several weeks, Cal also has reached out to the community by doing clinics at local elementary and junior high schools. All told, the Bears will have conducted approximately 20 clinics prior to the first exhibition game on Nov. 2. Each school receives 250 complimentary tickets to attend a Bears' women's basketball game this year.

Cal opens the season at home at Haas Pavilion with exhibition games against a Bay Area Pro-Am team on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. and against Team Concept on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. The regular season tips off on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. against South Carolina State at Haas Pavilion.

In 2002-03, Cal posted a 10-19 overall record and a 5-13 Pac-10 mark, giving the Bears three more total and conference wins than they had the year before. Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer also earned her 250th-career victory with her team's first-round victory over Arizona State in the Pac-10 Tournament.

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