UCLA’s Ann Meyers Drysdale to help kids see first college basketball game

Ann Meyers Drysdale is extending her influence on UCLA basketball. Having been named Chair of Hoops for Youth, she’ll lead a program that enables underprivileged children who have likely never seen college basketball in person to attend UCLA basketball games.

Myers Drysdale, a member of the UCLA 1978 national championship team, went on to a prolific career as a broadcaster and member of the front office for the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She was the first woman to receive a four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA.

“UCLA basketball is in my blood,” Meyers Drysdale said. “I know how magical it is to be part of the tradition of UCLA basketball and I want others to have the opportunity to experience that tradition first-hand as well.” Continue reading

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Former UCLA commit Kobe Paras picks Creighton

After leaving UCLA in June due to academics, Filipino shooting guard Kobe Paras will rebound at Creighton, he tweeted Sunday night.

Paras enrolled at UCLA as an incoming freshman, but was forced to withdraw during summer school after “academic conditions of his admission were not met,” the school said in a statement.

There was some controversy about why exactly Paras, who was an honors student and met all of the NCAA’s requirements, was denied admission. Cathedral High school’s principal told the L.A. Times “there was an SAT scoring issue,” but Paras’ father Benjie Paras and coach at Cathedral William Middlebrooks said they were shocked and surprised by the sudden denial of a full academic qualifier.

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is well-regarded for his athleticism. He won the dunk contest at the 2013 and 2015 FIBA 3×3 Under-18 World Championships while competing for the Philippine national team.

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UCLA basketball likely to be without Prince Ali to start season

UCLA shooting guard Prince Ali had surgery on his left meniscus Friday, according to the school’s athletic department, and isn’t likely to be ready for the season opener Nov. 11. The 6-foot-3 sophomore suffered the injury July 8 playing basketball in open gym.

Ali was a key reserve last season, but an increase in his role this coming season wasn’t a certainty given the arrival of Naismith High School Player of the year, freshman point guard Lonzo Ball.

Ali, a four-star recruit from Weston, Fl., averaged 3.9 points in 11.8 minutes per game as a freshman. The speculation is that Ball’s arrival will shift Bryce Alford from point guard to shooting guard. Ali was likely to serve as Alford’s primary backup. Continue reading

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UCLA nonconference basketball schedule now complete

The Wooden Legacy, a three-game tournament likely to provide the UCLA men’s basketball team’s best nonconference opponent this coming season outside of Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan, revealed its bracket on Thursday. UCLA will open the four-day event against Portland on Nov. 24.

On Nov. 25 the Bruins will face either Dayton, a 2016 NCAA tournament team, or Nebraska, which finished 11th in the Big Ten last season. On Nov. 27, the Bruins will take on one of four teams from the other side of the eight-team bracket: Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, New Mexico and Cal State Northridge.

Last season Texas A&M won the SEC, Virginia Tech went to the NIT with a 20-15 mark in the deep ACC, New Mexico State finished fifth in the Mountain West and CSUN was 10 games under .500. Continue reading

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No Bruins taken in NBA Draft

UCLA center Tony Parker backs down Long Beach State's Eric McKnight (12) during the Bruins' 77-63 win on Nov. 23, 2014. (Stephen Carr/Staff)

UCLA center Tony Parker backs down Long Beach State’s Eric McKnight (12) during the Bruins’ 77-63 win on Nov. 23, 2014. (Stephen Carr/Staff)

No surprise, but there were no UCLA players drafted in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. Center Tony Parker was the only player eligible. He averaged 12.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and one block in 25.1 minutes per game as a senior.

This is the third time since 1997 that the Bruins have not had anyone drafted. The other times were 2010 and 2012. The Bruins are coming off a 15-17 last year.

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