May 23, 2013
BERKELEY - Cal Water Polo standout Collin Smith, who last year as a junior earned first-team America honors, will join former Golden Bear star and 2012 Olympian John Mann on the United States National Team for this weekend's FINA World League Prelim Tournament at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Base.
Team USA will play Canada at 1 p.m. and Brazil at 7:20 p.m. on Saturday, May 25 at 1 p.m.; and Canada at 8 a.m. and Brazil at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 27.
"This is a great achievement for Collin," said Cal coach Kirk Everist, a former member of the U.S. National Team who competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics for Team USA. "Making your first Senior National Team selection is always very exciting."
In 2012, Smith led the Bears (17-8) in scoring with 61 goals in 23 matches (2.65 gpg, fifth in the MPSF) and had a team-high 31 assists, with 31 steals, 10 field blocks and 11 ejections earned. He tallied three goals in Cal's MPSF Tournament first round victory over Pepperdine and was twice named MPSF Player of the Week during the regular season - Oct. 20 when he scored six goals in a Big Splash victory over Stanford, and Sept. 10 when he had 19 goals in five matches at the Princeton Invitational. Smith was an honorable mention All-American in 2011 as a sophomore and currently owns 103 career goals.
Mann had a spectacular career at Cal, helping the Bears to the 2006 NCAA title and was the recipient of the Peter J. Cutino Award as the nation's top collegiate player. Mann and sophomore Aleksa Saponjic, who helped Serbia to the Olympic bronze at 2012 games, were the first Cal Olympic men's water polo players since four Bears - Gavin Arroyo, Chris Humbert, Sean Nolan and Chris Oeding - were members of the 2000 United States National Team at the Sydney Games.
In other water polo news, Oeding - the 1992 NCAA Player of the Year for the Bears - has been named Assistant Coach for the USA Water Polo Women's Senior National Team. The longtime head coach at Long Beach City College and captain of the 2000 Olympic Team, Oeding joins the staff of the defending Olympic gold medalists in London.