Oscar Cabrera, a captain of the 2000 UCLA football team, passed away Friday night. Just 35, the Los Angeles native and former three-year starter succumbed to complications from mixoid lyposarcoma, a rare cancerous tumor.
Cabrera was on the last Bruins team to reach the Rose Bowl, a 1999 game they lost 38-31 to Wisconsin. He won an All-Pac-10 honorable mention in 2000. In a Q&A on UCLABruins.com in November of that year, he said he considered himself a Latino role model, pointing to his childhood in Glassell Park and Highland Park.
“Everyone around there knows that I play football and they look up to me,” Cabrera said. “I’m under the microscope every time I do something good or bad. I just hope that there are a lot of Latinos out there that will start to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.”
Considered one of the greatest athletes in Franklin High history, he drove in the game-winning run for the Panthers’ baseball team in the 1994 City 3-A Division championship.
He is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and their three sons.