Behrens to Pursue Professional Opportunities

Christian Behrens has elected to forego his final season of eligibility with the Golden Bears, and says that he will pursue other "professional opportunities" instead of returning to Cal after he graduates in May.

California men's basketball forward Christian Behrens -- a redshirt junior -- has decided to "pursue professional opportunities," and will not return for the 2015-16 season. Behrens is on track to graduate next month with a degree in American Studies. Behrens alluded to the possibility of pursuing other opportunities before the regular-season finale.

“I want thank the entire California Athletics family for giving me this tremendous opportunity to represent the Golden Bears,” Behrens said in a statement. “I am on track to graduate in May with a degree from the world’s No. 1 public institution, which is a great honor. I believe at this time, I want to start a new chapter in my basketball career and pursue professional opportunities. I cherish my experiences here at Cal and have created friendships here that will last a lifetime. I will always be a Golden Bear.”

Head coach Cuonzo Martin -- who could possibly land two of the nation's top five-star big men in Ivan Rabb and Caleb Swanigan over the next few weeks -- addressed Behrens's departure in a statement, as well.

“Christian is a wonderful young man both on and off the court,” said California head men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin. “He made great strides in basketball in the 12 months we have had the pleasure to coach him. We support Christian in this decision and wish him all the best as he prepares for the next step in his life. Most importantly, Christian will earn his degree from the University of California next month which will create tremendous opportunities for him. We will support him however we can along the way.”

This season, Behrens completed his fourth year with the program where he played in 30 of the Bears' 33 games, with 17 starts. Behrens averaged 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game during the 2014-15 season. Behrens played in 70 career games with the Golden Bears, including 54 contests over the past two seasons. The forward posted a career-best 20 points to go along with eight rebounds in the win over Eastern Washington Dec. 19. Behrens was limited to 16 games over his first two seasons at Cal, undergoing knee surgery after playing in seven games during the 2012-13 season.

Behrens excels in the classroom as well where he was named the University of California Athletic Study Center’s Scholar-Athlete of the Week earlier during the final week of March.

In Behrens’ four years with the Bears, Cal captured 84 victories, finished in the top-four of the Pac-12 Conference three times and earned a berth in three postseason tournaments.


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