Homecoming for Roberts results in bragging rights amongst childhood friends
By DeShun Jackson, Contributing Sports Writer
On Saturday October 27, in an exhibition men’s basketball game between Cal State Bakersfield (CSUB) and Long Beach State (CSULB) we find two longtime teammates on opposing sides for the the first time.
CSUB sophomore Justin McCall (6’5, 205) and Long Beach sophomore Jordan Roberts (6’8, 200) have been friends since they first met at Berkshire Elementary in the 4th grade. They were teammates in elementary in both football and basketball. Then once again teammates at Stonecreek Jr. High in both basketball and volleyball. And finally, teammates once again at Ridgeview High School where as seniors they led the Wolfpack to a CIF Div. II section title. The pair even signed their D-1 scholarship award letters on the same day.
“It was fun, I finally got to talk mess to him outside of practice,” says McCall when asked how it was to play against Roberts for the first time.
Roberts on playing in his hometown family and friends, ”It was very sentimental for me, and I really appreciate it because I don’t get it all the time being out in Long Beach.”
The last time the two played on the same court together was in the NorCal High School All-Star game April 2nd, 2017. In the game Justin McCall was awarded the Offensive player of the game award while Jordan Roberts received the Defensive player of the game award, the two where always a tough tandem to be reckoned with.
Now starting their second season as college players Roberts says, “This year I feel more experienced…I know what I can do and what I can’t do.” McCall claims to be “Much more confident and having a better understanding of my purpose.”
In a very competitive game, the two Bakersfield natives produced for their teams in front of the Icardo Center crowd. McCall finished with 11 points 1 steal and 3 rebounds. Roberts led both teams with 10 rebounds to go along with 14 points and 2 steals. Long Beach came away with a 73-70 victory over CSUB.
All proceeds from ticket sales for the game went towards the Red Cross’ Fire Relief Fund and the efforts for the California wildfires. It is the second year the two teams have participated in the game, last year Roberts was unable to play due to injury.
We asked how often the two stay in touch…they both replied, “EVERYDAY.”