Oct. 26, 2011
BERKELEY - Heading into the 2011-12 basketball season, the Golden Bears have added four new freshman faces to a team that will look very familiar, having lost only one senior - center Markhuri Sanders-Frison - from last year's team. This week, Brandon Singer of CalBears.com caught up with freshman Raffi Chalian to get to know him a little better through The Freshman 15.
A 5'11' guard from Whittier, Calif., Chalian set a school record for assists (5.5 apg) while playing at Sonora High School in the Freeway League. In his senior campaign, in addition to his excellent assist totals, Chalian averaged 15 points per game en route to being named the Freeway League MVP. A first-rate player on the court, Chalian gave the same amount of effort on his schoolwork and graduated with an amazing 4.8 GPA to go with an SAT score of 2350 as a Principal's Honor Roll student. Chalian also played one year of varsity football and spent two years on the track team while at Sonora.
1) What is your favorite NBA team?
Lakers, because I'm from LA and grew up a Lakers fan, watching Kobe and Shaq in their prime. My dad was a Lakers fan and he watched Showtime so it just passed down to me.
2) Who is your favorite NBA player?
3) What is your favorite movie or TV show?
I like Ocean's Eleven and Snatch. For TV shows: South Park, Entourage, Lost and Weeds.
4) What is your favorite food?
Baby back ribs.
5) If you did not play basketball, what other team at Cal would you want to be on?
Football. I played running back and corner back in high school.
6) What is your favorite thing so far about Berkeley?
The overall environment. Everyone you meet is really similar to you and down to earth, and obviously smart because we have a good school. Everyone is just going in the same direction and doing things with a purpose. From the coaches, the students, the teachers, they all have that positive vibe that they are trying to go somewhere and achieve big things.
7) What is your favorite subject or what do you want to major in?
Probably biology. Integrative biology or molecular and cell biology.
8) What music is playing on your iPod?
Renegades of Funk by Rage Against the Machine. That's my song.
9) What is the hardest class you are taking so far?
10) What is the best meal that you can cook?
A turkey melt. That's about as far as I go.
11) Do you have any hobbies?
I guess video games, now that I room with [the other freshman]. Also, snowboarding, wake boarding and water skiing.
12) Who is the funniest guy on the team?
Justin Cobbs. He is always telling jokes and making me laugh.
13) Who inspires you or is your hero?
My grandpa and my dad inspire me. In my community, they are well-respected and it makes me proud when people say `Oh, you are his son or grandson'. It makes me want to be successful and earn that respect as well.
14) What was your first job?
I refereed football games during high school for 8th grade and younger. It made me really respect refs a lot more.
15) What is the best prank you have pulled or had pulled on you?
In high school, my friend and I took our girlfriends' keys and moved their cars to the next street over and put the keys back without them noticing. At lunch, we had practice and they were freaking out that they couldn't find their cars. My girlfriend started crying, and called her mom, but then I went down the street and got her car for her.