Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fan Favorite Kelvin Kim Moves Game To UCSD

By Bruin Basketball Report

It’s a tradition.

Every season whenever a Bruin basketball team has a game well in hand in the final minutes at Pauley Pavilion, a steady chant begins to emerge from the crowd and builds to a crescendo -- until finally, the chosen one arises from the UCLA bench to enter the game.

The UCLA student section, a passionate group known as The Den, has the annual task of picking a single player from the Bruin bench to bestow their love and affection during the year.

Last season the chosen one was Kelvin Kim.

Kim, a walk-on freshman, played sparingly last season but would electrify Pauley crowds whenever UCLA Coach Ben Howland would finally bow to crowd pressure and insert him into the game.

But alas, The Den will have to choose a new favorite this season since Kelvin Kim transferred to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) over the summer.

“I made the decision to transfer from UCLA at the end of last season.” Kim explained. “I just wanted to go to another school where I’d have a better opportunity to play ball.”

“Coach (Chris) Carlson called UCSD Head Coach Bill Carr on my behalf.” Kim continued. “I went down to the school and played pick-up with the team. He liked my game and asked if I’d like to play for him next season.”

At UCLA last season, Kim was mostly relegated to dribbling the clock out during the final moments of games when the final score had been decided much earlier.

“I didn’t come to UCLA last year expecting to get much playing time at all.” Kim said. “Yet as the basketball season progressed I found myself missing the feeling of playing in games.”

Kim was a heralded player coming out of El Toro High School where he developed the reputation as a clutch ballplayer.

During his senior season, Kim averaged 14.6 points and 5.2 assists a game and was named All Orange County First-Team. In addition, he was selected as the South Coast League MVP.

After his senior campaign, the 5’10 guard could have picked any number of schools to attend and challenge for significant minutes on the court, but instead Kim chose to walk-on at UCLA.

“After high school I was uncertain if I really wanted to continue playing basketball, ” Kim said, “and I thought it would be a great experience to walk-on and be a part of UCLA basketball instead.”

“UCLA practices were great. Coach Howland is a great coach. He treated all of us the same regardless of whether we were walk-ons or scholarship players.” Kim reflected. “It was inspiring to see how much Coach Howland loved the game and how hard he worked at his job everyday.”

“I will definitely miss the basketball tradition, my teammates, and the friends I made at UCLA.” Kim said. “Not many people can say they were part of something as special as UCLA basketball.”

As for Kim being chosen the fan favorite last season by the students?

“I met so many great people at UCLA and whenever I went onto the court I felt really appreciated and loved out there.” Kim said. “I almost feel like I’m letting some of those same people down by transferring, but I hope they can understand my reasons.”

With the UCSD Tritons, Kim will have a chance to play significant minutes this season. Since he is transferring to a Division II from a Division I program, he will not need to sit out a season.

“I love my new team." Kim said. "Everyone is real close and we all hang out a lot.”

“I don’t really have any regrets about sitting on the bench last season. I feel that I was a part of something real special” Kim said. “UCLA was an awesome experience and I will miss all the people there but I am happy and excited about where I am today.”

(photo credit: ASUCLA)



At Oct 22, 2006, 3:55:00 PM, Anonymous David Placzek said...

Finally! A blog about the Bruins. There aren't many college basketball blogs out there, I'm so glad I found one. I run a sports directory and sports blog review site and I have made yours a new addition with a future review coming. Keep up the great work!

At Oct 22, 2006, 6:01:00 PM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Glad you found us - hope you're a Bruin fan!
With basketball practice opening just over a week ago, the players and coaches are barely getting started. First preseason game is on 11/2.


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