Friday, September 15, 2006

John Vallely To Be Inducted Into UCLA Hall Of Fame

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA announced former basketball star John Vallely will be one of eight athletes to be inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame on October 6.

The other inductees, joining Vallely, are Jonathan Ogden (football and track and field), Carol Bower (rowing), Herb Flam (tennis), Monte Nitzkowski (swimming and water polo), Annette Salmeen (swimming), Dennis Storer (soccer and rugby), and Elaine Youngs (volleyball).

With the graduation of Mike Warren in 1968, the Bruins entered Lew Alcindor's final season with no experienced guards. Coach John Wooden solved the problem by filling a guard spot with a junior college transfer named John Vallely from Orange Coast JC.

During his two-year career at UCLA, Vallely became known as the "Money Man" for his big play in big games. In the semifinals of the 1969 Final Four, he scored 29 points to help the Bruins defeat a tough Drake team 85-82 and then on to a victory over Purdue for UCLA's then record-setting third straight NCAA championship.

In 1970, Vallely teamed with sophomore Henry Bibby in the backcourt and joined the frontline of Wicks-Patterson-Rowe to lead the Bruins to their fourth consecutive title. Vallely averaged 16.3 points per game in his final season at UCLA.

Vallely was drafted in 1970 by the Atlanta Hawks in the first-round (14th overall selection) in the NBA draft; and was also drafted in the first-round by the ABA Denver Rockets. He elected to play in the NBA where he spent parts of two seasons with Atlanta and Houston.

In addition to basketball, Vallely enjoyed much success on the nascent beach volleyball circuit of the 1960's. He won a total of 8 beach volleyball titles, most of them with legendary Ron Von Hagen, including the prestigious 1969 Manhattan Beach Open.


(photo credit: ASUCLA)


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