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Gabriel Hughes to transfer from Cal

Staff Report
Wednesday April 03, 2002

The Cal men’s basketball team, already hurting for size with the probable departure of freshman Jamal Sampson, got even smaller on Tuesday when sophomore center Gabriel Hughes received a release from his scholarship. 

“It came down to playing time,” Hughes said. “This year wasn’t fully what I expected it to be. Hopefully, I’ll get that opportunity at another school.” 

Hughes, a 6-foot-10, 215-pounder from Carson, played in 21 games for the Bears this season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds. He is the second post player to transfer away from Cal in the last two years. Center Nick Vander Laan transferred following the 2000-01 season. 

The brother of departing senior Solomon Hughes, Gabriel said he plans to take several recruiting trips over the next few weeks but doesn’t have a specific school in mind. 

Without Hughes and Sampson, who declared for the draft two weeks ago and has since withdrawn from Cal, the Bears will be left with just one big man veteran next season, freshman Amit Tamir. Tamir is more of a perimeter player, however, and recruit David Paris could be forced into playing immediately. 

Cal head coach Ben Braun was disappointed with Hughes’ decision, but released the player from his scholarship obligations at his request. 

“I knew Gabe was particularly frustrated with his lack of playing time, which was understandable,” Braun said. “I felt that Gabe had made tremendous progress over the past two years, but he has expressed an interest in pursuing other opportunities with another program.”