California Women’s Basketball Adds Two To Staff

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BERKELEY – The fourth season of California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s tenure will include a new pair of familiar faces on the sidelines as Gottlieb has announced the addition of two of her former student-athletes as members of the 2014-15 women’s basketball staff.

Devanei Hampton joins the staff as an undergraduate student coach, and Sweets Underwood joins as the operations intern. Hampton enjoyed a four-year career at Cal from 2005-09 when Gottlieb was an assistant coach while Underwood played from 2009-13 at UC Santa Barbara where Gottlieb served as the head coach from 2008-11.

“Honestly, this is one of my proudest moments as a Head Coach,” Gottlieb said of the hires. “One of my core values as a coach, and a huge part of our mission with Cal women’s basketball, is to prepare these young women to succeed both while they are student-athletes playing for us, and in the many, many years that follow. Whether she wants to play in the WNBA, get into coaching, go to law school or be a CEO, our coaching staff takes seriously our responsibility to help each player achieve her goals. In bringing Sweets and Dev onto our staff, I have the wonderful opportunity to help advance their careers while also benefiting our program by exposing our current players to some incredible young women with important experiences to share.”

Hampton, who is currently finishing her undergraduate degree at Cal in social welfare, will assist pre-, during and post-practice and primarily focus on working with Cal’s post players.

Per NCAA rules, returning former players who are working toward their undergraduate degree can be used as on-court staff but are prohibited from off-campus recruiting. Hampton enjoyed a stellar career at Cal and currently sits in the top 10 in the California record books for career points (8th, 1588), rebounds (5th, 876) and blocks (8th, 78). The first four-time all-conference selection in Golden Bear history, Hampton was also the first Golden Bear to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors when she was selected for the conference’s top honor as a sophomore in 2006-07. She was a two-time Associated Press and WBCA All-American (HM). 

“I met Devanei over nine years ago, and she quickly became family,” Gottlieb said. “She had an accomplished playing career at Cal and helped to elevate this program. However, any stats and awards will pale in comparison to the moment she receives her degree. I am committed to seeing her make that happen, and am very proud that she’s working hard towards that end. She will have such a positive influence on our players, and her expertise with the post players in particular is something I’m especially excited about.”

Underwood joins as the operations intern after spending last season playing professionally in Germany for Gruner Stern in the Keltern, Germany. She played for two seasons under Gottlieb at UC Santa Barbara where she finished her career with 1,022 points to become the 26th member of the 1,000-point club. Underwood led the Gauchos in scoring, rebounds and field goal percentage as a senior in 2012-13 with 12.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and a .481 shooting percentage en route to earning All-Big West First Team honors. She earned three all-conference accolades in her career, debuting on the All-Freshman Team in 2010 and earning honorable mention honors in 2011 in addition to her first team selection.

“Sweets was my first recruit at UCSB, and it has been an absolute pleasure to witness her growth and development over the past several years,” Gottlieb said. “She is a resilient, smart, charismatic young woman that has so much to offer. Sweets excelled on the court, in the classroom and in the community, and I always knew she would be a success in whatever fields she pursued. I am happy that she’s interested in the various aspects of collegiate basketball, as she will be an asset to our program and the women’s basketball community as she begins her post-playing career.”

California opens the fourth year of Gottlieb’s tenure at Pacific on Sunday, November 16 in Stockton, Calif. 

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