Jan. 13, 2009
BERKELEY - Former University of California center Darrall Imhoff, who helped the Golden Bears to the 1959 NCAA championship and was a member of the gold medal-winning 1960 U.S. Olympic team, will have his number 40 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony Feb. 14 when Cal hosts Stanford in Haas Pavilion.
The event will be part of a special celebration at the game commemorating the 100th season of Golden Bear basketball, as well as recognition of the 50th anniversary of Cal's national title.
The Cal-Stanford contest tips off at 2 p.m. in Berkeley. Tickets are available through the Tickets link at CalBears.com or by calling the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS.
A standout for the Bears from 1958-60, Imhoff was named a second-team All-American as a junior and a first-team All-American his senior year. He was also a two-time first-team all-conference selection and was selected Cal's Most Valuable Player as a senior in 1960.
Imhoff, a 6-10 center from San Gabriel, Calif., was a part of three conference championship squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Pete Newell. The 1958 team reached the regional final, where it lost in overtime to Seattle, before reaching the Final Four the next two years.
During Cal's magical run in 1959, Imhoff averaged 11.5 ppg and paced the Bears with 11.0 rpg. He had 22 points and 16 rebounds in the national semifinal against Oscar Robertson's Cincinnati club, and he scored with winning bucket with just 17 seconds left in the championship game, lifting Cal to a 71-70 victory over West Virginia.
The next season, Imhoff took the Bears back to the Final Four, including a second straight semifinal win over Cincinnati when he poured in 25 points and snared 11 boards. However, Ohio State ended Cal's dreams of back-to-back crowns the following night.
During his three seasons on the varsity roster, Imhoff helped the Bears to a combined 72-15 record (19-9 in 1958, 25-4 in 1959 and 28-2 in 1960). He set a school record with 371 rebounds during the 1960 season (now No. 2) when he grabbed 12.4 rpg and poured in a team-best 13.7 ppg.
Following his Cal career, Imhoff was chosen with the third overall pick of the 1960 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He spent 12 years in the league with All-Star appearances in 1966 and '67.
Imhoff was inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988 and enshrined into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor in 2005. He is the fourth Cal men's basketball player to have his jersey retired. Kevin Johnson (1984-87), Alfred Grigsby (1992-97) and Jason Kidd (1993-94) are the others.
In addition to the jersey retirement ceremony, several other activities will take place during the weekend of Feb. 13-14. On Friday night, Cal will host an alumni game in Haas Pavilion. The event, which will include an autograph session, starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. A special reception for all former players and coaches will follow the game.
During the contest against Stanford, players from the different eras of Cal basketball will be introduced to the crowd at each timeout. Halftime will be devoted to honoring the 1959 NCAA championship team, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the accomplishment this spring.
Darrall Imhoff Year-by-Year at California
Year G FG-A PCT FT-A PCT REB AVG PTS AVG 1958 16 6-17 .353 2-5 .400 23 1.4 14 0.9 1959 29 134-316 .424 61-114 .535 318 11.0 329 11.5 1960 30 154-346 .445 102-162 .629 371 12.4 410 13.7 Totals 75 294-679 .433 165-281 .587 712 9.5 753 10.0