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SoCalHoops College Recruiting News

Donte Smith Reported As Signing At Cal;
No Official Announcment Yet; Other Cal Stuff--(April 28,1998)

Several internet recruiting sites are reporting that Donte Smith (6'-2" Sr PG) from Washington D.C.'s Anacostia High, has signed with Cal. This would have to move Cal up a few more notches, perhaps into the top 10 of recruiting classes this year. There has been no official word from the Cal Athletic Department, and until the school actually receives the signed Letter of Intent, Cal is prohibited from commenting or making any announcement.

In other Cal news, the Daily Bruin reported that the Cal men's basketball team hosted Connecticut prep school product Shahar Gordon (6'-11" SF) over this last weekend. Gordon, from St. Thomas More Prep School in Oakdale, Conn., is yet another piece to the Cal recruiting puzzle, and if Cal doesn't sign Dirk Nowitzki, the Shahar will be the best big man signed by the Golden Bears this year. A native of Israel, the 245-pound Shahar boasts exceptional passing ability for a player his size along with decent three-point range. "Shahar Gordon is going to be a fascinating kid," said St. Thomas coach Jere Quinn. "He's a young adult who has grown up to almost 7-foot by the age of 17. He will get stronger, and he will get more physical."

Gordon, who is currently considering Cal, GW and Virginia, is thought of as a "project" but one of the most talented "projects" in this year's recruiting class.

Cal has already signed Chicago high school star Dennis Gates and Porterville (CA) College juco transfer Carl Boyd, and are still reported to be in contention for Solomon Hughes (6'-11" Sr. C) who visited Cal with his first official campus visit two weeks ago. And word is still being circulated that Cal is the top pick for German player Dirk Nowitzki (6'-11" F) although many are saying that his advisors want him to either stay in Europe or jump directly to the NBA.

Hughes, who played last season at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va., visited Florida State early last week before making a trip to Duquesne in Pennsylvania this past weekend.

"(Solomon) hasn't eliminated any of the schools yet, and he'll visit Florida (tomorrow)," Recruiting USA's Mark Mayemura, (Rockfish!) told the Daily Cal. Mark is also one of Hughes' Rockfish coaches. "It all has to do with the coaching staffs and where he feels most comfortable." Hughes may or may not decide to take a fifth and final campus visit, and is still fielding interest from UCLA. Hughes originally played at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance. His sister reportedly attends UCLA, and that might be either a positive or a negative according to several sources.

According to the Daily Cal, Mayemura wouldn't either confirm or deny whether the Bears were frontrunners for Hughes. He was reportedly also looking at USC, but that appears to have faded recently, and he also ruled out Michigan from his list of prospective colleges in favor of Duquesne -- not surprising considering the Dukes' head coach, Darelle Porter, is a friend of Rockfish (at least according to the DailyCal). "Some people have suggested that Solomon will stay close to home in California, but that's really not the overriding factor," Mayemura told the Daily Cal. "There are a lot of self-proclaimed experts out there who don't know what they're talking about." As far as whether UCLA might sign Hughes, Mayemura told the Daily Cal, "(UCLA) has known about Solomon for two years, and they haven't shown a lot of interest. The level of interest tells you how they feel about you. So far, we've been talking fairly casually."

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