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Familiar Faces Abroad

Jan 29, 2021
Former Cal standouts Harper Kamp (left), David Kravish (center) and Jorge Gutierrez (right) have crossed paths with one another in the German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL).

GÖTTINGEN, Germany – As the the Cal men's basketball team travels to Tucson today and makes its final preparations to face Pac-12 foe Arizona on Saturday, a pair of former Golden Bear standouts will be going head-to-head on the hardwood halfway across the world.
A clash between BG Göttingen and Brose Bamberg of the German Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) will pit pro Bears Harper Kamp ('12) and David Kravish ('15) against one another. The Cal reunion almost featured three former Bears; Jorge Gutierrez ('12) was Kamp's teammate on BG Göttingen earlier this season before recently landing in Greece with Peristeri GS Athens.
The anticipation of Friday's reunion, though brief, brought laughs and excitement from Kamp and Kravish, who played together at Cal for one season in 2012 when Kamp was a senior and Kravish was a freshman. The two Bears are both members of Cal's 1,000 Point Club and have their names throughout the school record book; Kravish is the program's all-time leader in blocks (226) and games played (135) while Kamp is tied for third in games played (133).
"Going against a guy like Dave is special," said Kamp, who helped Cal to the 2010 Pac-10 title. "He was just a young guy when I was on my way out of Berkeley. I worked with him a lot back then, and now I'm worried – he's a big Bear these days and a really solid player. I think getting to play against Dave over here says a lot about Cal as a university and as a basketball program. A lot of great people have gone through there."
Kamp is back on the court for BG Göttingen this season after stepping into a coaching role for the club for a limited time. Nagging injuries were what pushed him away from playing for a time, but once his health improved, Kamp was able to return to action around the same time Gutierrez arrived in Göttingen. While coaching remains a future interest of his, Kamp said he's thankful to be playing once again.
Kravish, who is averaging 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds with Brose Bamberg this season, echoed Kamp's words and reflected on how small the basketball world can be.
"Playing against Harper on Friday is a reminder of where basketball can take you," Kravish said. "I've played professionally in six different countries in six years and have had the opportunity to see the world. I've played with and against some guys from the Pac-12, but to see Harper will be different. He was a captain and leader on that 2012 team when we played together, and now to see him almost 10 years removed, it's just cool."
Gutierrez, who made his Greek debut on Jan. 23, was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American as a senior in 2012. He helped the Bears to 2010 Pac-10 title and four postseason berths during his college career, and later spent time with three NBA organizations before transitioning his pro career to Europe.
Gutierrez has played in Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece. At 32, Gutierrez said the slower pace and the "technical play" in Europe better suites him at this point in his career. Playing with Kamp in Germany brought back strong bonds that were built in Berkeley.
"The team struggled a bit during our time together in Germany, but aside from that it was really cool to see those little connections we had with one another start clicking again," Gutierrez said. "Those little things, like knowing where he was going to be and what decisions he was going to make, they never really go away."
All three pro Bears also have their memories of clashing with Arizona, which Cal faces at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday. Kamp scored a career-high 33 points against the Wildcats in 2011 while Kravish called Cal's upset win over top-ranked Arizona in 2014 "his fondest basketball memory."
For Gutierrez, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico, Cal's road games at Arizona presented the opportunity for his extended family to see him play.
"It was a great memory," Gutierrez said. "I was able to show my family what college basketball was all about, they were able to see me in action during my time at Cal. Those games are always tough at Arizona, but it's a reminder of how fun college basketball was and still is."
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