Sophomore standout announces departure from CSUEB

Matthew Carrera,

After two years of playing for Cal State East Bay men’s basketball team, sophomore guard Druce Asah announced last month he is leaving the program.

Asah will transfer next year to Metropolitan State University in Denver, which is a part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. He redshirted his freshman year at East Bay and will use his final two years of NCAA eligibility at Metropolitan State.

In his two seasons at East Bay, he averaged 10.32 points per game in his first season and 12.4 points per game in the 2017-18 season, which made him one of the focal points of the team and undisputed leaders.

“I decided it was best for me as a player to transfer and look for better opportunities beyond East Bay,” Asah said. “I like the direction the Metropolitan is going and they have a winning culture. They have won championships, have former All American players and have a former player of the year. It proves what they can produce and how they can potentially help my growth as a player.”

The sophomore guard expressed that leaving East Bay will also better his chances of playing professional basketball and feels Metropolitan State University can do that because of their winning tendencies. Metro State has had a winning record since 1997. They have won two NCAA Division II National Championships in their history in 2000 and 2002 and have been runner-ups twice.

Just recently, they were runner-ups in 2013 and the illustrious history of winning is what attracted Asah to the program. Cal State East Bay had 10-18 overall record last year. Since 2013, East Bay has a record of 45-94.

“This is my home,” Asah said. “I’ll definitely miss it, but I got to do this. I have to do what’s best for me and my career. I want to be able to provide for my family with my basketball career.”

Asah grew up in Tracy and has been there since high school before he moved to Hayward to attend East Bay. So leaving California for Denver will definitely be a challenge.

Druce’s mindset is focused on playing professional basketball. Whether it is in the NBA or overseas, he has made it clear that it is his dream to play on the professional level.

A player from Metro State, Brandon Jefferson, was named NABC Division II player of the year in 2014. Jefferson also declared for the NBA draft in 2014, went undrafted and joined the Denver Nuggets Summer League team. He currently plays for a professional Italian basketball team and has played professionally in Germany, Slovenia and Finland.

This was a big factor that added to Asah’s decision. Knowing that this school had a player that had accolades such as player of the year, playing for a NBA Summer League team and currently playing for a professional basketball overseas, gave him confidence in the school’s basketball program.

In addition to this, a big factor in his decision was that the coach that originally recruited him to East Bay is no longer coaching the team. “It would have definitely been harder to leave the program if the coach that recruited me was still here,” said Asah. “The new coach is good, but it would be hard to play for someone that didn’t recruit me, and doesn’t know my game.”

Former CSUEB head coach Gus Argenal left for the University of Nevada, Reno last season where he helped the team make the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.