A national championship has apparently made a big difference in recruiting this season for the Cal Poly Pomona women's basketball team.
The Broncos, who won their second NCAA Division II title in the last four years with a victory over Central Missouri State, are having a banner recruiting year.
Coach Darlene May landed two of the top players in Southern California when she signed All-CIF 4-A Division standouts Marcine Edmonds of Long Beach Poly High and Cathy Gooden of Compton to national letters of intent last week.
Edmonds, a 6-1 center, averaged 16.5 points and 11 rebounds.
Gooden, a 5-4 point guard, was the floor leader for Compton, which went 26-0 and won the CIF 4-A championship. She averaged 18 points and 9 assists.
That will add depth to the already talented Broncos, who also will have two redshirt transfers from UCLA: 6-2 center Charlotte Jones and 5-6 point guard Michelle McCoy.
There will be a Midwest flavor to the Cal Poly Pomona men's basketball team next season.
Bronco Coach George Fisher, who coached at Minnesota-Duluth for six years before becoming coach at Pomona last season, has signed three players from Wisconsin to national letters of intent.
They are Brian Grandt, a 6-5 forward from Fort Atkinson High; Fred Russ, a 6-2 guard from Milwaukee Lutheran High, and Tony Theisen, a 6-7 forward from Manitowac Junior College.
Grandt, the Wisconsin state prep high-jump champion, averaged 24.6 points and 11.3 rebounds last year, Russ 17.1 points and 4.3 assists and Theisen 30.3 points and 16.5 rebounds.
Pomona will have yet another Wisconsin player, 5-10 guard Darron Suttle, a transfer from Minnesota-Duluth. Suttle, who will be a sophomore, was an all-state player at Dominican High.
Two of the top prep basketball players in the San Gabriel Valley area this season have signed national letters of intent to attend NCAA Division II schools.
Ron Draper, a 6-8 forward from Pomona High, has signed with Cal State Los Angeles, and Ruth Akahoshi, a 5-9 forward from Keppel of Alhambra, has signed with Chapman.
Both were first-team All-CIF selections and finished among the top boys and girls scorers in the Valley last season. Draper averaged 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead his team in both categories. Akahoshi averaged 24.3 points and 11 rebounds to pace Keppel.
Cal State Los Angeles Coach Jim Newman said Draper "is a talent, there's no question about that. In our system, he'll shoot the ball more than he has before. He's a great ball handler, a great passer--he likes to pass."
Two San Gabriel Valley high schools are listed high in the latest state baseball rankings selected by Cal-Hi Sports News of San Jose. Diamond Bar is rated No. 2 in the 2-A Division behind La Quinta and Edgewood is No. 3 in 3-A in back of top-ranked Gahr and Live Oak of Morgan Hill.