The Cal Poly men’s basketball team signed two players to National Letters of Intent on Thursday afternoon, according to a release from the school.
Eighth-year head coach Joe Callero and his staff signed 6-foot-9 forward Karlis Garoza of Saldus, Latvia, and 6-0 point guard Iziah James from Chesapeake, Virginia.
Garoza averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists while playing for Latvia’s U-18 Men’s National Team during the FIBA Europe Championship in December. Garoza also was a member of Latvia’s U-16 National Team that won a silver medal at the 2014 FIBA Europe Championship.
Garoza is expected to be the second foreign-born player on Cal Poly’s roster, along with sophomore Jakub Niziol, a 6-7 forward from Poland who played in 22 games last season.
“Karlis will be a mature freshman who has the physical readiness to contribute significant minutes right away,” Callero said in the release. “He has great international experience. His skill, strength and competitiveness make him a great fit for Cal Poly.”
Garoza could join a front court that will likely include Aleks Abrams, Josh Martin, Luke Meikle, Hank Hollingsworth and Niziol during the 2017-18 season.
James averaged 18 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Cape Henry Collegiate High School in Virginia Beach. He helped lead Cape Henry Collegiate High School to a Virginia state championship in 2014, and transferred to Legacy Charter in Greenville, South Carolina, for his junior season.
“Iziah will add a strong and physical presence at point guard,” Callero said. “His strength and physicality, ball-handling ability and aggressiveness on defense will be a great compliment to our current guard corps.”
The Mustangs graduated senior guard Ridge Shipley, and are expected to return standout scorers Victor Joseph (team-high 12.0 points per game) and Donovan Fields (11.3) next year.
With the two additions, Cal Poly’s roster next season will likely feature players from California, New York, Texas, Washington, Poland and Latvia.