October 25, 2014

Bealer running with Utes

Kevin McCarthy

City College of San Francisco's (CCSF) Gabe Bealer has accomplished something very few have achieved. That is being a qualifier out of high school who went the junior college route and now is heading to one of the better teams in a major basketball conference.

photo of Gabe Bealer

The 6-foot-6 Bealer recently gave a verbal to Coach Larry Krystkowiak and Utah, a team that finished 21-12 last season and with greater expectations for 2014-15.

So why Coach K and the Utes?

“He seems like a really nice guy, a really laid back coach,” Bealer offered. “He's not a big screamer but he's going to get out there with tough love. Watching him coach practice, he really pushes you and I think it'll be good for me. He'll be able to help me reach my full potential.”

He added, “Delon Wright, one of the previous players [at CCSF], they are doing well by him and it seemed like a great fit. So I had interest.” About Bealer's visit, “I liked the facilities, the coaching staff and the players were good guys.”

Displaying unusual insight and honesty, Bealer explained, “Playing in the Pac-12 was my goal coming out of high school, and looking back now, I wasn't ready for it mentally or physically.”

“But playing for CCSF has really prepared me for the next level by making me a better player. Once I got here, I started working harder and with a different mindset. I became more aggressive, trying to attack, In high school, I relied on my talent and didn't always go as hard as I could. Coach [Labagh] pushed me which helped me push myself.”

Coming out of Antelope High in 2013, the bouncy Bealer adapted quickly, averaging 12.9 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 55% as a Ram starter.

Six of his Ram teammates last season would later become DI signees yet he was in the first five from the get-go.

Asked what he will bring to the Utes next season, Bealer said, “Utah is losing Delon Wright which is big and I want to impact the game like he was able to do. I won't be in his role but on defense I want to get steals and turnovers and block shots, and score, pass the ball and make plays on offense.” His sense is he will be stationed at the two and three guard spots.

Bealer is easily the best talent on the CCSF team this season but his role as ‘the guy’ isn't anything bothersome. “I don't really think about it. I just go out and play, trying to help any way I can. It would probably psych me out if I thought much about it so I don't.”

He is looking to major in business economics. Post decision, “I feel a weight off my shoulders. Now I can focus on the season.”

That's not exactly what opponents want to read.