When Stephen Domingo left the Bay Area to play at Georgetown as a member of the 2012 class, his parents didn't have any problem with the 6-foot-6, 190-pounder heading all the way out to Washington, D.C.
But, after two years, Domingo is officially trading Foggy Bottom for some more familiar low-hanging mists, and is coming back to the Bay to play for California and new head coach Cuonzo Martin, he told BearTerritory on Monday.
"It's been a long time coming," Domingo said. "The decision wasn't about coming back home. Home is always going to be home, but the decision was really the level of comfort that I have with coach Martin and the rest of the staff. When I met with coach Martin, I really felt the love and the family aspect of the program, and I feel like it's a place where I can really, really grow as a player. It's a great opportunity to represent Cal, and coach Martin and myself believe that I can be a very integral part to what he's trying to create at Cal, so I'm excited to do that."
How did Mom and Dad feel about the decision?
"They were excited. Obviously, my parents just want the best for me. They sent me across the country early, obviously, so they weren't scared to do that, but obviously they're excited that they can come to every game. It wasn't necessarily as much a home decision as it may seem. I just really felt comfortable with coach Martin, so that was the basis of my decision."
The situation at Georgetown just would up being not a good fit for Domingo, who said he felt he had to move on and make a better decision, basketball-wise.
"I appreciate everything that coach Thompson, the staff, the school, the athletic department did for me, but it was time for me to go a different direction, and just pick a new school," Domingo said.
After speaking with assistant coaches Tracy Webster and Jon Harris, Domingo knew that Berkeley would be the right fit, after the Bears were a big player in his recruitment two years ago.
"I'm really looking forward to what coach Martin's going to do with the program, how I'm going to be a big piece of that," Domingo said. "I'm looking forward to teaming up with Jabari [Bird], Jordan [Mathews] – I've known those guys for a while, and I look forward to teaming up with them and really taking the Pac-12 and making Cal basketball what it has been in the past, and keeping the program moving forward."
Domingo is still taking classes at Georgetown, and is getting ready for finals. After he takes those, he will move back to the Bay Area and start attending Berkeley. He will sit out the 2014-15 season per transfer rules, and will then have two years of eligibility left.
"There was no problem with me at the school; I just felt I had to make a different basketball decision, and I'm finishing the semester out," Domingo said.
The one-time four-star shooter out of San Francisco St. Ignatius College Prep said that the decision wasn't a decision to come home as much as it was a decision for fit. He and Martin hit it off when he visited campus, and the two have a shared vision for the future at Haas Pavilion.
"Coach Martin is going to use my shooting prowess to factor in as a big part of his offensive scheme," said Domingo, who played in just 19 games last season with no starts, after playing in 20 games the season before. "He showed me what he did with Jordan McRae, running him off a lot of double screens, using me in the pick-and-roll and just using the year that I have – my redshirt year – to really become comfortable with the ways that I can be effective. I have a lot of offensive tools, and he is very confident that once he becomes very, very familiar with me, there's a plethora of ways that I'll be able to be one of the main offensive threats in the Pac-12 once I get there."
Domingo Talks Transfer to Cal
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