Courtesy: Cal Athletics
BERKELEY – Three California alumni earned selection to the USA Water Polo men’s Olympic team on Friday, with Johnny Hooper and Luca Cupido named to the 13-player roster and Gavin Arroyo joining the staff as an assistant coach.
This marks the second Olympic Games for Cupido and the first for Hooper.
An Olympian as a player in 1996 and 2000, Arroyo is on his first Olympic coaching staff. Arroyo and Alex Rodriguez are U.S. assistant coaches under U.S. head coach Dejan Udovicic.
The Olympic men’s water polo tournament begins on July 25 in Tokyo, with the gold-medal game slated for Aug. 8 at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre.
A four-time All-American and 2016 NCAA champion at Cal, Hooper (2015-18) scored 245 goals for the Golden Bears. He led Team USA with 24 goals at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where the U.S. won the gold medal to qualify for the Olympics. The USA’s leading scorer at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, the 6-1 attacker plays professionally for Palaio Faliro in the A1 Ethniki League in Greece.
Another four-time All-American and 2016 NCAA champion at Cal, Cupido (2014-17) was also the 2017 ACWPC National Player of the Year and the recipient of the 2017 Peter J. Cutino Award, given to the national player of the year. Now plying his trade as a professional player for Camogli in Italy’s Serie A2, the 6-4 attacker scored eight goals for the United States at the 2019 Pan American Games and netted six goals at the 2019 FINA World Championships.
The head coach at Long Beach State, Arroyo is in his fourth year as an assistant coach with the U.S. senior national team. He previously served as the head coach of the junior national team and was an assistant coach with the senior national team in 2005. A 1994 Cal graduate, who earned All-America first-team honors in 1993 and worked two years as an assistant coach for the Bears, Arroyo played for eight years for the U.S. national team.