Jan. 20, 2000
BERKELEY - Cal sophomore center Shahar Gordon, a native of Tel Aviv, Israel, will not return to the Golden Bear basketball team next year due to his required service with the Israeli military.
As an Israeli citizen, Gordon must serve a two-year commitment with the Israeli military. He has already received two one-year exemptions, which have allowed him to play the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons at Cal. Gordon's military service begins April 2.
Once his military service is completed, Gordon said he would look into the possibility of returning to Cal. "A lot of things can happen in 2-3 years," Gordon said. "I don't know what I'm going to be doing in three years. It (coming back) would be something I would love to do. I'm hoping to be able to study while I'm in the army and hopefully get my degree in 2-3 years in Israel. So, I don't know what's going to happen. For now, I'm taking it like this is my last year, and I'm going to try to get the most out of it."
This season, the 6-10, 250-pounder is averaging 1.3 ppg and 1.3 rpg in nine games of action. Gordon, who missed five games with a knee injury suffered in December, tied for team honors with six rebounds at Oregon State last Saturday.
"We knew this was a possibility when Shahar enrolled at Cal," head coach Ben Braun said. "We hoped he could extend his stay, but understand that he needs to return home to Israel after the season. Shahar knows that we would welcome him back, and we're sure he'll make the best decision."
Gordon is registered for a full course load in school this term and will attempt to complete as much of his spring semester course work prior to leaving. It is Gordon's hope that he can receive full credit for his sophomore year by taking remaining exams while abroad.