Sports Illustrated tried to name the best college athletes of all time, ranging from names like Bennie Oosterbaan and Red Grange to Brittney Griner and Tim Tebow. No surprise that the school with the most NCAA championships made a strong appearance. UCLA led with six selections on the 50-person listing.
Lew Alcindor — Plenty of stats to back him up, but forcing the NCAA to outlaw dunking is still the best evidence of his dominance. Lisa Fernandez — Four-time All-American, three-time national player of the year, two titles. Career 0.22 ERA, .382 batting average. Currently a UCLA assistant coach. Jackie Joyner-Kersee — Two-time champion in heptathlon, and Olympic silver medalist while still a student. Four-year basketball starter. Jackie Robinson — First UCLA athlete since Cap Haralson to letter in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, track. More importantly, broke baseball’s color barrier. Bill Walton — Three-time Naismith Player of the Year. Puts the color in commentary. Natalie Williams — Four-time All-American in volleyball. Two-time All-American in basketball. First woman to earn both honors in the same year.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the athletes were ranked, rather than listed alphabetically.
On Sunday afternoon, one day before the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in major league baseball, UCLA unveiled a new mural of the former Bruin and Dodger legend.
Situated just a few feet away from a statue of man who broke baseball’s color barrier, the new piece featured 25 colorful tiles depicting Robinson against a backdrop of eight circles. Each symbolized part of his story, from his number, 42, to team logos, to his Army past.
“We are truly honored to be able to play in a stadium that bears his name,” UCLA junior outfielder Brenton Allen said in a speech to the audience at Jackie Robinson Stadium. “His strength and talent is something we remember each and every day in our program.” Continue reading →
In case you haven’t seen this yet, here’s the Google Doodle commemorating Jackie Robinson’s 94th birthday. In addition to breaking baseball’s racial barriers, he lettered in baseball, basketball, track at UCLA, and was the last African American to lead the football team in passing until Brett Hundley.