It won't be the first taste of major-league sports for Cal Poly Pomona when the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Assn. open their preseason camp Saturday at Kellogg Gym.
The Pomona campus was the training site of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League in the early 1970s and the Portland Breakers of the U.S. Football League last February.
But Karen Miller, athletic director at Cal Poly, said there is a genuine excitement among school officials about the arrival of the Clippers.
Not that the USFL was anything to sneeze at. But the difference between the USFL and the NBA is like the difference between sardines and caviar.
"Nothing against the Breakers, but to have a team with such quality players as the Clippers is a big thing around here," Miller said. "It's the NBA, and that means a lot to people."
The Clippers, led by guard Norm Nixon and forwards Marques Johnson, Derek Smith and Cedric Maxwell, will train at Cal Poly through Oct. 8. They will practice mornings and evenings at Kellogg and Poly Pavilion (the women's gym). Night practices are public.
They will play an exhibition game at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 against the Portland Trailblazers at Kellogg.
Miller said that while the Clippers have agreed to train in Pomona only this year, "we hope we can continue having them, and I know if we do a good job they'll be back. I hope the community makes them feel at home."
The San Gabriel Valley boasts two of the longest prep football winning streaks in the Southland--but also the two longest losing streaks.
Claremont and Diamond Bar are riding 16-game victory streaks while Webb and Bassett are in the throes of long losing spells.
The winning streaks rank second behind Canyon (Saugus) as longest in the CIF Southern Section, and the losing spells of Webb (19) and Bassett (16) are first and second longest in the CIF.
Claremont's last loss was to Bell Gardens (16-13) in the CIF Eastern Conference quarterfinals Nov. 23, 1983, and Diamond Bar's last setback was to Ganesha (23-14) in the CIF Southeastern Conference championship in 1983.
Webb's last victory was 21-6 over the California School for the Deaf on Sept. 29, 1983, and Bassett's last win was 14-6 over Gladstone on Oct. 14, 1983.