Photo by Instagram / Ornella Muca
Cal Basketball Recruiting

Bears Add Fourth Piece to 2020 Class in Greek Guard, Ornella Muca

November 7, 2019
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The Bears dipped into the international market for their fourth commit in the last week and a half with the verbal they received from Greek guard Ornella Muca on Tuesday.

The 5’10 point guard averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists playing for her parents’ home country, Albania in the U18 European championships most recently, showing a confident shooting touch from behind the arc as well as the ability to penetrate and distribute.

Muca took her official visit to Cal and found that everything she experienced on her trip reinforced her initial impressions of her future program.

“I was very impressed and excited when I visited Cal,” said Muca. “First of all, I loved the campus and San Francisco, in general. Everything there seemed just perfect for me. I also liked the fact that there is such a strong community on campus. There’s a lot of support from all the people on and off campus for other people. 

“Of course, I liked the players, too. All of them were working very hard and were very determined and focused in the practice and the game that I saw during my visit. I enjoy watching people working hard towards a goal and that is essential to promote the kind of work ethic needed in the rest of the athletes and people, in general. I also appreciated the fact that the coaches and everyone involved in Cal's women's basketball program were supporting all the players with all the available means and energy that they personally had and that showed great engagement and care for their family at Cal.”

Beyond the chemistry with the team, the future Bear found the environment very much to her liking.

“The campus was amazing,” said Muca. “The architecture was very interesting and beautiful and also I was pretty amazed by how many trees there were on campus. It looked like a small forest. I think this creates a very peaceful and appropriate environment for students to work on, so I think they are very lucky to be able to live in such a wonderful place.”

Beyond Cal’s watchful eye on European talent, the versatile guard had another connection to Cal that helped put the Bears on her radar for many years.

“My high school, the American Community Schools (ACS) of Athens, Greece has a longtime academic advisor and athletic recruiting counselor, Dr. Anastasios Kaburakis, whose wife (Kristin Folkl) grew up with and played with Coach Charmin Smith,” noted Muca. “I remember vividly asking Dr. Kaburakis one day, ‘Can we shoot for Berkeley? It's my dream school!’ 

“I am sure glad I did! He reached out to Coach Smith, then Coach Felton came to Athens to check me out, and the rest is history, as they say.”

Muca is also thrilled to be joining her fellow future classmates in the talented trio of 5 star 2020 commits; Fatou Samb, Michelle Onyiah and Dalayah Daniels.

“This is such an honor and special privilege!,” said Muca. “I am absolutely thrilled, elated and ecstatic to be able to practice and play with such tremendously talented girls like Lay Lay, Michelle and Fatou! Practices will be intense, and competition very high as we are all going to work very hard for our goals.

“Pac-12 watch out!”

Discussion from...

Bears Add Fourth Piece to 2020 Class in Greek Guard, Ornella Muca

3,389 Views | 11 Replies | Last: 2 days ago by MoragaBear
wbbilluminati
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What a small world! That Kristin Folkl (Stanford hoops and volleyball great) connection is so funny.

And interesting that she called Berkeley her dream school before even getting in touch and being scouted! Lucky us
R90
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As a Euro, it's hard to know for us how she'll do in D1, but you gotta love the attitude she's bringing, no matter how strong a player she ends up being.
wbbilluminati
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R90 said:

As a Euro, it's hard to know for us how she'll do in D1, but you gotta love the attitude she's bringing, no matter how strong a player she ends up being.
she looks like she knows what she's doing out there, but definitely not the athlete of others she'll compete against. but although her Fiba shooting stats are underwhelming, it looks like the form and gorgeous high arc three-pointer is there, so unsurprisingly it appears her outside shooting percentage willl largely determine her impact.
UrsineMaximus
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R90 said:

As a Euro, it's hard to know for us how she'll do in D1, but you gotta love the attitude she's bringing, no matter how strong a player she ends up being.
That was my take away as well. She's willing to work hard and appreciates everything about Cal.
pearbear
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Staff
Her personality comes through in the article. Good job, Moraga!
puget sound cal fan
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Muca appears to be a good fit for Charmin's "willing" player philosophy. She displays a deadly two-hand set shot from beyond the arc, which she launches pretty quickly. Muca has good handles and shoots a jumper off the bounce. She's able to dribble-penetrate, set-up teammates and finish at the hoop with either hand. Her hoops IQ looks to be high, which probably reflects solid competition. I think she'll be a competitive member of the Bear squad which lost three guards from the roster before this season started.
puget sound cal fan
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So that's two assists from furd WBB: Penina Davidson courtesy of Tara, and Ornelas Muca courtesy of Kristin Fokl. Keep it up furd!

:
mbBear
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pearbear said:

Her personality comes through in the article. Good job, Moraga!
The article lists her at 5-7, and the release lists her at 5-10. Do we know the real answer?
stu
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mbBear said:

The article lists her at 5-7, and the release lists her at 5-10. Do we know the real answer?
The act of signing a LOI for Cal women's basketball causes a player to grow 2 to 3 inches.
wvitbear
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Watching her at the exhibition game, I would say she was closer to 5'10". But I didn't bring my measuring rod.
MoragaBear
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Staff
Confirmed with her today that the FIBA height was incorrect and she's actually 5'10.
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