April 12, 2002
BERKELEY, CA - Rod Benson, a 6-9, 200-pound power forward who propelled San Diego's Torrey Pines High School to a 25-4 record and CIF sectional semifinal playoff appearance last season, has signed a basketball national letter-of-intent to attend the University of California, Bears' head coach Ben Braun announced today.
Benson, named first team All-Palomar League and second team All-CIF San Diego Section, averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocks as a senior at Torrey Pines. Recruited by such national programs as UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Villanova and Pepperdine, the 17-year-old big man was rated as the No. 3 center on the West Coast by TheInsiders.com. Benson also played on his high school volleyball team.
"We are really excited about Rod's potential," said Braun. "He has got some great intangibles-he is athletic, quick and very well coached-and brings a lot of positive qualities to our program. "Rod should have an excellent opportunity to contribute next year. He is also a very fine student."
In other recruiting news, Braun also announced today that Alabama's 6-7 forward Kennedy Winston would not attend the university. Citing family health reasons, the coach said that Cal has granted Winston's request to release him from his signed national letter-of-intent.
"It was important to respect the wishes of Kennedy and his family," said Braun. "We wish him well and hope that he enjoys his college experience wherever he enrolls."