April 17, 2000
BERKELEY, Calif. - Gabriel Hughes, a 6-10 center and younger brother of Cal sophomore center Solomon Hughes, has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Golden Bear basketball program, head coach Ben Braun announced today.
Hughes is from Carson, Calif., and attended Bishop Montgomery HS in Torrance before transferring New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire this past year. While at New Hampton, he averaged 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks and earned honorable mention All-New England honors for the Class A Prep League.
During his final season at Bishop Montgomery in 1998-99, Hughes averaged 12 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and three assists while leading his team to a 26-5 record and the finals of the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
Following that season, Hughes was rated the No. 8 center prospect in the country by Recruiter Online and the No. 11 center by USA Today.
"I think Gabriel has a lot of potential to be a presence in the post," Braun said. "He's an active 6-10 player who can run the floor. He has good shot-blocking and rebounding abilities, so he's further along on the defensive end than the offensive end. With Shahar Gordon's departure, Gabriel will add depth to a thin front line."
The addition of Hughes gives Cal three post players for the 2000-01 campaign. The others are his brother Solomon, who averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg as a sophomore last year, and 6-10 Nick Vander Laan, who averaged 8.5 and 6.7 ppg as a freshman in '99-00. Gordon, who completed his sophomore season in March, returned to his native Israel to fulfill his military obligation.
Cal, which finished 18-15 and reached the quarterfinals of the NIT this past season, still has four scholarships available to offer.