April 9, 1999
BERKELEY - Cal seniors Geno Carlisle and Francisco Elson have been selected to participate in the Nike Desert Classic April 13-17 in Tempe, Ariz.
The tournament features some of the nation's top college basketball seniors and divides them into four squads to participate in a week of practices and games under the guidance of NBA personnel. More than 200 NBA coaches and scouts are expected to be in attendance.
Carlisle, a 6-3 guard, finished the 1998-99 season as Cal's leading scorer with 15.9 ppg. He also paced the team in assists with an average of 3.9 per contest. Carlisle scored a season-high 29 points in the Bears win over North Carolina in December. But his biggest basket came in the NIT championship game, when his three-point play with 4.7 seconds left lifted Cal to a 61-60 victory over Clemson.
The 7-foot Elson averaged 5.7 ppg and 5.1 rpg for the Bears this past season, shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. He also led the Bears with 42 blocks - the fifth-highest total in school history.
In addition to the Desert Classic, both Carlisle and Elson have signed on with a group of college all-stars that will play a series of games against the Harlem Globetrotters. The first game will be April 25 at the Oakland Arena, while the other two contests will be in Detroit and Cincinnati. The coach of the all-star team in Oakland will be former Cal head coach Pete Newell.
"These games will delight many of our fans because they will be amazingly serious and competitive," said Mannie Jackson, owner and chairman of the Globetrotters.
Other players on the all-star team are: Melvin Levett (Cincinnati), Ademola Okulaja (North Carolina), Jelani Gardner (Pepperdine), Antonio Reynolds-Dean (Rhode Island), Peter Sauer and Arthur Lee (Stanford), Bud Eley (SE Missouri State), Jermaine Jackson (Detroit-Mercy), Lenny Brown (Xavier), Jeff Foster (SW Texas State) and Antonio Smith (Michigan State).