Back to Camp: Women’s Basketball


The team held its first official practice of the 2022-23 season today.

Bears open pre-season training with more experience and exciting additions

Cal’s women’s basketball team held its first official practice Tuesday, and there was a mix of familiar faces as well as new ones as the Bears welcome back three full-time starters and five newcomers. Team returns as Pac-12 Media Freshman of the Year Jayda Curry and brings in the transfer of Utah Kemery Martin, who was twice named Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention while playing for the Utes.

Curry wasted no time making a name for himself in the Pac-12 last season, becoming the first player in conference history to earn three consecutive Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors to open a season. She also became the first rookie in Pac-12 history to lead the conference in scoring (18.6 points per game) and finished the season second in the nation in scoring among all rookies. In what would be his most dominant performance last season, Curry scored a career-high 30 points against Stanford to become the first Cal player to score 30 or more points in a game since Jaelyn Brown had 30 against Stanford. ‘Arkansas on November 24, 2019.

The head coach Charmin Smith expects even bigger things from Curry this season.

“It’s the second time and she’s getting more and more comfortable with our program,” Smith said. “We’ve added a few more weapons that will take the pressure off him and allow him to do more. I don’t think teams will be able to just lock Jayda down.”

Smith is excited about the additions the team has made, as well as the talent from last year returning to the squad. incoming freshman Amaya Bonner was a four-star prospect (according to ESPN) who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per game his senior year in high school. senior guard Leilani McIntosh led the team in steals last season (2.1 spg) which ranked third in the Pac-12 and twice earned Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention honors. Junior forward Michelle Onyiah showed her durability last season when she was just one of three players to appear in all 24 games. Senior forward Eve Schipolt started all 24 games last season and led the team in rebounding (6.8rpg) that ranked in the top 10 in the conference.

“We expect Amaya as a rookie to contribute a lot,” Smith said. “We also see a lot of improvements in our returns to Leilani, Michelle and Eve. I just think it’s a much better team that will make it easier for Jayda to do even more.”

A Desert News Ms. Basketball award winner and five-star recruit (according to out of high school, Martin has played in 52 career games with 26 starts at Utah.

“I just remember how successful she was in the Pac-12 game,” Smith said. “When she came out for her official visit, she liked the team and thought it would suit her perfectly. I think she can help us a lot.”

Smith believes Martin is ready to be an immediate offensive threat to the team. “She’s a player and extremely gifted offensively,” added Smith. “She’s got an aggressive mindset and wants to go to the basket. She can shoot from the perimeter, she’s a very dynamic offensive player with good height and length and that’s a pretty powerful weapon that we’re adding to our armory.”

Before the team took to the pitch on Tuesday, the players and coaches embarked on a pre-season European tour over the summer that took them to Spain and Croatia. The trip was a great opportunity for the team to get together and participate in several team building activities.


“From a team bond and culture perspective, every time you travel 1,000 miles and you’re away from your comfort zone and step into a completely different element, it challenges you,” said said Smith. “Doing this as a group brings you closer.”

The trip was particularly meaningful as the Bears have four European players who got to play in front of friends and family. Note, second year Claudia Lagarita east of Barcelona and acted as tour guide for the Spanish leg of the trip.


The tour also gave many players a chance to get an extra run as the Bears played three exhibition games in 10 days.

“From a basketball perspective, I was really looking forward to seeing what other people couldn’t name Jayda or Leilani,” Smith said. “It was really great to give others more minutes and opportunities and to incorporate transfers and new arrivals.”

Giving back was also a theme for the Bears in Europe as the team held a basketball clinic for kids on the beach in Croatia as well as one in Spain entirely run by players.

“There were about 60 kids who attended the basketball clinic [in Spain]”, added Smith. “It was really special and Michelle did a dunk for the kids towards the end. It was really nice to be involved and for people to know Cal and be able to give back to these communities.”

Bears fans will hear a lot about Curry and Martin this season, but Smith believes they’re a deep team that will see contributions from many different areas. To transfer Tuitele Peanut is a strong leader, as evidenced by the fact that she received the Ceal Barry Pride award her senior year at Colorado, which is given to a player who shows herself on the team through her leadership and strong work ethic. senior guard Jazlen green played a big role last season with a career-best 11 starts and led the team in 3-point field goals, which was good for a Pac-12 top-10 ranking.

“It’s going to be the other plays that are going to be the key to getting us into the playoffs,” Smith said. “Peanut is a phenomenal addition and we see continued improvement from players like Eve, Leilani and Jazz. We have players who are hungry to take this program to the next level.”

The Bears kick off the season with an exhibition game at home against Vanguard on Nov. 3 and play a non-conference schedule that includes a nationally televised (NBC) game against Notre Dame on Nov. 12 in the inaugural Citi Shamrock Classic. , a Thanksgiving Tournament (November 25-26) at Loyola Marymount, and the annual Raising the BAR Invitational (December 3-4) at the Haas Pavilion. Cal begins the conference slate with a home game against Stanford on Dec. 23.

For more information on tickets for the 2022-23 season, visit or call (800) GO BEARS (462-3277) and press option 3.

For more in-depth coverage of Cal women’s basketball, follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalWBball), Instagram (@CalWBBball) and Facebook (/CalWBBall/).


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