Jan. 10, 2000
BERKELEY, CA - Sean Lampley, Cal's 6-7, 225 pound junior forward from Chicago, IL, is the Golden Bears team captain this season and for good reason. Lampley is coach Ben Braun's lone returning starter from last year's NIT championship squad, where Lampley was named the NIT Tournament MVP. So far this season, he is doing an outstanding job of leading the extremely young Cal team by example. Below is a question and answer session with Cal's elder statesman-Sean Lampley (for more information on Sean Lampley, go to page 18 of the program).
Do you enjoy being one of the few veterans on a team that regularly plays up to five freshmen? How is that going?
"It is going pretty well. We started off the season with the exhibition games and I was pretty impressed with their (the freshmen) play. The season has started off well, we lost two tough games on the road, against Oklahoma and at Colorado. But, the young guys have been playing well. I have taken a leadership role. I'm excited about taking a leadership role and I'm still learning. I'm trying to help the young guys along as the season progresses."
Being in the leadership position, is it helping your game?
"Yes, it is helping my game. It kinds of puts pressure on me throughout the season to perform and to lead. If I'm not performing well then the young guys have no one to look to. So, it puts the pressure on me to play well every single game and in practice...every time I am on the court."
"When you play, it looks like you are enjoying yourself. You smile a lot and you seem like you are having fun out there. Is that true?
"Yea, I'm having a lot of fun with the young guys. The team is much closer than it has been the last couple of years I've been here. The chemistry is going well. The guys from Rockfish (AAU team-Brian Wethers, Shantay Legans, Nick Vander Laan) had already been playing together so they just came in and fit into the mix with the other guys. The chemistry is great. I'm having fun with the young guys and I'm looking forward to playing the rest of the season with them."
How good can this team be?
"This team can be very good, but we still have a lot to learn. We have got to play much harder...myself, as well as the rest of the team."
Last year winning the NIT and being named the tournament MVP, was that a career highlight for you?
"Yes, definitely. I had never won a championship before in my life. Maybe AAU ball, but as far as high school, grammar school and college, I had never won a championship. Then we won the NIT, and basically winning the MVP was just icing on the cake."
What other highlights have you had in your college career?
"Knocking off North Carolina (78-71 during the Pete Newell Challenge last season at the New Arena in Oakland) was a highlight for me, as well as the team. Also, setting some records last year for attendance against North Carolina (19,657) and setting a Pac-10 attendance record against UCLA (15,676). Those were also some highlights."
You are seen watching a lot of the other Cal athletic events. Do you enjoy watching the other athletes compete and are you all friends?
"Yea, pretty much. I've always enjoyed women's volleyball. I watched it in high school and now I support the team here. Baseball, I have a few friends on the baseball team, Xavier Nady and Mike Tonis. The main reason I go is to see my friends, but I also want them to support us when our season comes around."
What are your thoughts facing the Arizona schools, including the University of Arizona, one of the top teams in the country this season and a top program year in and year out?
"It is always good to play a nationally ranked team. Getting a shot to knock them off is always something our team is looking to do...I have always kind of played well in my three or four games against Arizona. Hopefully I can keep that streak going when they come visit us and hopefully we can do something against this year's team. They (Arizona) are a young team that is doing well right now. They are nationally ranked second in the country. They have some young players who are doing well, some All-Americans with the return of Michael Wright, and they also come in with Loren Woods (7-1 center). It should be a good game."