Saturday, August 12, 2006

Friends Gather Support for Former Bruin and Family

Dear BBR Community,

Thanks for your response and support of the Shauna Immel Lifeline Fund thus far.

A link to the Shauna Immel Lifeline Fund has been placed on the BBR sidebar to allow interested Bruin family and friends to follow Shauna's progress.

We supported our Bruins when they played for us in the Blue and Gold, and now when they need us to support them again, we have to step forward.


Bruin Basketball Report

By Miles Vance
Beaverton Valley Times

Shauna Immel is fighting for her life.

Her husband, Dave Immel, is fighting for his family.

They both need your help.

Dave Immel is an assistant coach on the Southridge High School varsity girls basketball team and a former head boys coach at the school, but the battle that he and his family are engaged in now is far tougher than any the former Glencoe and UCLA hoop star has seen on the court.

Shauna Immel, 40, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after suffering severe abdominal pain during a recent trip to Seattle.

Now, after an emergency return trip to Portland and major surgery on June 22, Shauna has returned home after two weeks in the hospital to recover and prepare for chemotherapy.

Equally dire, however, is the Beaverton family’s financial situation. While the Immels and their two children (Spencer, 11, and Kaelin, 7) have insurance, their costs for coverage so far (including one hospital stay and one return) haven’t been received and are unknown, but are expected to be significant.

Shauna has coverage through her previous employer in Canby, but now that she is no longer working, the family will have to pick up her coverage through COBRA payments, which are not cheap and won’t continue indefinitely.

“The fight Shauna and Dave are in could not be more serious,” said Michael Meek, Southridge’s head girls basketball coach and the Immels’ close friend. “We’re urging the Beaverton and Hillsboro communities to get involved now and help in any way they can financially.”

A group of Southridge High School parents, students and community volunteers has kicked off a drive to help the Immels. A fund has been set up at US Bank, and families and friends in Beaverton and Hillsboro are encouraged to donate in person or online at Shauna Immel Lifeline Fund at

The Web site will provide updates on Shauna’s progress and a growing list of activities and events that are planned to help in generating additional support long term.

In addition to soliciting financial donations, supporters are also hoping to aid Dave Immel’s new real estate business.

As a new real estate agent who has recently begun working with Keller Williams Realty Integrity Group, Immel seeks people who have immediate plans to sell their homes as well as leads to others who may be planning to do so in the near future.

He can be contacted at; 503-336-7590 (business), 503-336-7790 (fax) or 971-226-5555 (mobile).

“Getting the family on a more stable financial footing will greatly ease Dave and Shauna’s concerns and enable them to concentrate on dealing with her disease,” said Meek, who’s acting as spokesman for the Immel family. “We’re working hard for a brighter future for this wonderful family.”

Please consider a donation to the Shauna Immel Lifeline Fund at in support of their family during this difficult time. Thanks, BBR

(Reprinted with permission from the Beaverton Valley Times and the Immel family.)


ProCity Notebook: Roll and Mata Lead Team To Finals

By Bruin Basketball Report

UCLA's Michael Roll scored 20 points to help lead his Hank's Franchise Boys to a 113-86 runaway victory over the Warriors to advance to the finals of the Nike ProCity Say No League.

Roll hit 7 of 12 from the field including 3 of 3 from beyond the three-point arc.

In addition to shooting well from the perimeter, Roll continued to work on attacking the basket from the wing. Although he still needs to improve his ballhandling, with his added bulk from workouts this summer, he is finishing much stronger at the rim than last season.

With Lorenzo Mata anchoring the defense, Hank's Franchise Boys controlled the interior play throughout the game. Mata had two blocks, changed a number of shots, and took two charges which sent him spiraling onto the floor.

Just another night on the job in the blue-collar world of Lorenzo Mata.

Mata also scored 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds during the contest.

Hank's Franchise Boys will need both Mata and Roll to perform at their top levels again when they meet Hank's Team in the championship.

In the night cap game, Hank's Team earned their slot in the finals when they defeated a Shipp-less Hank's CTS squad by the score of 86-79.

Bruin Josh Shipp was on a scheduled vacation and did not play in the semifinal; and his team certainly missed their top scorer in this game

Without Shipp, most of the scoring responsibilities fall on the shoulders of San Diego St.'s Brandon Health and Oregon St.'s Marcel Jones, the two just didn't have enough to get their squad past a very athletic and physical Hank's Team.

UCLA Bruin Alfred Aboya, playing for the CTS squad, had a scary moment in the second half of the game. Aboya received a pass inside and was shoved hard out of bounds while he was in mid-air. He got up slowly and gingerly made his way to the foul line; however fortunately, Aboya felt well enough to stay in for the remainder of the game

In attendance this evening watching the action were Bruins Arron Afflalo, Ryan Wright, and newcomer Nikola Dragovic. Also watching from the CTS bench was former Bruin Dijon Thompson.

The championship game takes place tomorrow at 6:00PM. Check the league's website for updates.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

ProCity Notebook: Final Four Pairings Announced

By By Bruin Basketball Report

The Final Four pairings of the Nike ProCity Say No Classic have been announced for tomorrow's semifinal games.

Hank's Franchise Boys will play the Warriors tomorrow at 6:30PM; and in the second game of the evening, Hank's CTS will take on Hank's Team at 8:00PM

The Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday at 6:00PM.

Last week, Hank's Franchise Boys (Mata and Roll) defeated the Sinclair Bruins (Mbah a Moute, Westbrook, and Keefe), 82-68, to advance to the semifinal game.

While in an earlier game, Josh Shipp scored 25 points to lead Hank's CTS (Shipp and Aboya) to a 76-63 victory over Pasadena to move on to tomorrow's game.

All remaining games will be played at West Los Angeles College. Check the Nike ProCity Say No website for further updates.


Sherman Moves Wooden Post Office One Step Closer

By Bruin Basketball Report

Congressman Sherman's bill honoring Wooden is sent to White House.

Legislation proposed by Congressman Brad Sherman (27th District) to name a post office in the San Fernando Valley for legendary UCLA basketball coach John R. Wooden passed the Senate and was sent to President Bush on Wednesday night for his signature.

The House passed Sherman’s bill (H.R.4646) on April 5 and sent it to the Senate.

“We are proud to recognize one of our Valley neighbors, the greatest coach of all time in any sport,” Sherman said. “Coach Wooden has been deeply involved in the local Valley community and has inspired young and old.”

Wooden, 95, lives in Encino in Sherman’s congressional district. The coach’s daughter, Nancy Muehlhausen, lives in nearby Reseda, where the post office will be renamed the Coach John Wooden Post Office. (The Encino post office was named in 2002 for Chick Hearn, the late Los Angeles Lakers sportscaster.)

Naming federal buildings is how Congress honors distinguished individuals whose achievements warrant lasting recognition.

Wooden coached the Bruins to a record 10 national titles before he retired in 1975.

A mentor to his players and an inspiring example for all, Wooden shared his insights in numerous books, including The Pyramid of Success and Wooden on Leadership.

“Coach Wooden taught the fundamentals of success on and off the basketball court,” said Sherman, who attended UCLA between 1972 and 1975 during the Bruin basketball heyday and saw Wooden lead the team to two national championships, one in the coach’s final season.

Wooden played for Purdue University before he became the most successful coach in college basketball history. He is one of only three people enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Martin Shows He Still Belongs

By Bruin Basketball Report

When NBA future Hall of Famer Reggie Miller retired from basketball after the 2005 season, which former UCLA player took over as most senior Bruin on the NBA circuit?

Answer: Darrick Martin

Martin finished his 11th season in the NBA last year playing for the Toronto Raptors.

And from most reports, Martin will likely be with the club this upcoming season when he turns a ripe 36.

During the offseason, the Raptors dealt Charilie Villaneuva to the Milwaukee Bucks for second-year point-guard T.J Ford. With last season's starter Mike James leaving via free-agency, the Raptors are left with only first-year player Jose Calderon on contract as a back-up point-guard; and thus Martin is likely to be retained as the club’s third point guard this coming season.

His primary role would likely be as a mentor to Ford and Calderon. In addition, Martin is close friends with Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell who is comfortable with him as his extension in the locker room, on the bench, and on the court.

Martin’s return was billed as unlikely following last season's debacle and the team's massive overhaul of the roster this summer, but when the Raptor's summer camp opened earlier last month, Martin surprised everyone by showing up ready to play and indicated he wasn't quite done with basketball.

Martin has spent time with the Timberwolves, Clippers, Kings, and Mavericks. He has a career average of 7.3 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Front office staff and players say Martin is a class act and is a strong positive influence for young players.

When the Raptors were conducting their end-of-the-season exit interviews last April, a day after their 27-win season ended, Martin reportedly was the only player who showed up to talk to Bryan Colangelo and Sam Mitchell in a suit and tie, presenting himself in the best possible light.

Martin played four seasons at UCLA from 1988 to 1992. He averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 assists in his career. His best season as a Bruin was as a junior when he averaged 11.6 points and 6.8 assists per game.

In his senior season, he split time at the point-guard position with freshman sensation Tyus Edney.

Martin currently ranks third in assists (636) and fifth in steals (179) on the UCLA all-time career list.


Monday, August 07, 2006

Wooden Gets the Final Say, as Usual

By Larry Stewart
Los Angeles Times

Attending a UCLA basketball reunion Saturday night at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport were players from just about every era from the 1950s on, plus current Coach Ben Howland and former coaches John Wooden, Jim Harrick, Gary Cunningham, Walt Hazzard, Steve Lavin and former assistant coach Denny Crum.

Singled out for special recognition were players from Wooden's first three teams — 1948-49, 1949-50 and 1950-51.

After rather long-winded talks by Ralph Joekel and Bobby Pounds from those teams, Wooden said, "I may have failed in many areas in teaching you the game of basketball, but it's obvious I did not fail in teaching you to talk."

Trivia time: The 1949-50 UCLA team advanced to the NCAA tournament, thanks to a half-court shot by Joekel against Washington State. How many teams played in the tournament that year?

Honest John: Plenty of good-natured ribbing took place at the reunion, and Wooden joined in the fun. Barry Porter, who played for Wooden in the early 1950s and went on to an award-winning career as a teacher and coach at West Covina High, was sitting at Wooden's table.

"Barry asked me tonight why I didn't play him more," Wooden said to the crowd. "I told him, 'I've always tried to be honest with my players, so in your case you weren't any good and I didn't like you.' "

That one might have received the loudest laugh of the night.

No letup: Wooden took shots at a few other players, including Bill Walton for overcoming a speech impediment and learning how to talk but failing to learn how to stop talking.

Of Keith Erickson, Wooden said, "Keith just asked me why I never asked him to shoot. I told him I wanted to save him any embarrassment because he wasn't a very good shooter."

Said Erickson: "That may have been one cut-up too many."

An old trick: Erickson was stationed at Wooden's table in the audience to hold a microphone for him. But the first one he had wouldn't work.

Before a replacement was brought in, Lynn Shackelford, who was serving as the emcee at the podium, where the microphone was working fine, said to Erickson, "Did you try turning it on?"

Erickson: "I didn't take that class."

Added Shackelford, who was the Lakers' television and radio commentator during the 1970s: "Live mike, dead mike. Chick Hearn pulled that trick on me a few times."

Trivia answer: Eight. The Bruins lost in the first round at Kansas City, Mo., to Bradley, then lost a consolation game to Brigham Young.

And finally: Despite the problems with the microphone, Shackelford declared the reunion a success.

"We kept Bill Walton off the podium," he said.

(reprinted with permission)


Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (8/7)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Players to hit Ruckers on 9/1: Promoters said that the consensus top national prep player, O.J. Mayo of Cincinnati, and the top junior, Tyreke Evans, will be on hand, as well as Cincinnati's Billy Walker and Oregon's Kevin Love, who just committed to UCLA. The rest of the rosters for the East vs. West game will be announced later this month. New York Daily News 8/1

Tywanna Patterson said her family is taking a "very realistic" approach to recruitment of her son, Patrick. The Pattersons saw North Carolina's late entry into the recruiting battle as standard operating procedure in recruiting. After "losing" top-five prospect Kevin Love to UCLA, the Tar Heels turned their attention to Patterson. "You can't pull the wool over our eyes," Patterson's mother said. "It's a business. That's what it is. Lexington Herald-Leader 8/6


The announcement that Lake Oswego’s Kevin Love will attend UCLA won’t affect the decision of Oregon’s other prep star, South Medford’s Kyle Singler. He still has five schools on his list – Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Washington and UCLA – and will make visits to at least the first three schools in the fall before making his choice. “I know Kevin loves UCLA, he loves playing with me and if it works out, I would love playing with him,” the 6-9, 215-pound Singler says. “But as of now, (Love’s decision) doesn’t impact my decision.” Portland Tribune 7/31

The July evaluation period came to a close this week and, as usual, a few players really helped their stock with strong summer performances. The West Coast player who might have done the most to help himself was Clint Chapman, a 6-10 senior center from Canby High in Canby, Ore. A mobile big man who can score from inside and on the perimeter, Chapman has most of the Pac-10 programs recruiting him. Cal, UCLA, Washington, Arizona State and USC were all following Chapman at the Best of Summer tournament. Fox Sports 8/3

Matt Simpkins, considered Northern California's top boys basketball recruit, will return to Capital Christian High School this fall, his mother, Tanya Brown, said. "It just doesn't look good to be jumping from school to school," said Brown, who lives in Elk Grove but works in the Bay Area. "Loyalty and consistency, that's our goal. We want to stop all the rumors and show stability." Sacramento Bee 8/3

Kyle Singler, a 6-8 senior from South Medford (Ore.) High, tells the Portland Tribune he will visit Duke the first week of September and follow that with trips to Arizona and Kansas. After that … “I’ll see how I feel, see if I need to take the other visits (to UCLA, Washington),” he said. “I’ve been to UCLA and Washington isn’t high on my list. But there really isn’t a leader now.” An accomplished quarterback, Singler will decide soon if he will play football again this season. His uncle, Bill, is football coach at South Medford. “It’s a big decision,” Singler said, noting he’s leaning toward not playing “because I haven’t been working out for football at all this summer.” Lawrence Journal-World 8/3

Seven-foot Westview High School center Andy Poling, who will be a junior during the upcoming season, orally committed to Gonzaga on Wednesday night, passing up offers from virtually every school in the Pacific-10 Conference, including Oregon and Oregon State. Oregonian 8/4

"It wasn't that I wanted to get it out of the way or anything," the 6-10 Andy Poling said Thursday. "I just knew it was right for me. I didn't want other schools to waste any more of their time or my time if I knew what I wanted to do." Poling said he had scholarship offers from Washington, Arizona and UCLA and was also being recruited by California, Oregon State and Oregon, among others. He averaged 17.8 points a game last season at Westview. Seattle Times 8/4

The contrasting scenes help explain why David Stern, the commissioner of the N.B.A., says the system for developing young players in the United States is severely flawed. He says it exploits promising athletes and has fallen behind some European systems of developing players. Stern says he wants the N.B.A. to begin a youth academy to help nurture athletes on the court and in the classroom. His concept would borrow elements of what works in Europe. NY Times 8/7

Sneaker company scouts have already identified a successor to Mayo. He is Renardo Sidney, a 6-foot-9 16-year-old whose potential was recognized before he reached high school. Sidney is a sophomore, and his family moved to California from Mississippi to improve his competition and exposure. He attended Reebok’s summer showcase camp in New Jersey this year and plays for a Reebok-sponsored traveling team. Vaccaro said in a telephone interview that Reebok paid Sidney’s father, Renardo Sr., $20,000 a year as a consultant, with the money earmarked for youth programs. Renardo Sr. would not say where his son would attend high school next season, but he said an elite academy would be an appealing option. NY Times 8/7

For now, Renardo Sidney will continue to play for his Reebok-sponsored team in California. He has even considered not playing high school basketball, an option that would be virtually unprecedented for an elite prospect. His ambivalence toward high school basketball underscores the shift in power from high school coaches to the traveling-team coaches that the N.C.A.A. has unsuccessfully fought. NY Times 8/7


(photo credit: Chris Johnson/NYT)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

ProCity Notebook: Mata and Keefe Battle Each Other

By Bruin Basketball Report

Nike ProCity summer league quarterfinal games took place today at West Los Angeles College.

All three teams with Bruin players were in action.

In the second quarterfinal game of the day, Hank's Franchise team (Michael Roll and Lorenzo Mata) advanced to the semifinal game by eliminating the Sinclair Bruins (Mbah a Moute, Keefe, and Westbrook) with a 82-68 victory.

The game featured a match-up between two Bruin big men in the post, Lorenzo Mata and James Keefe, with both players starting the game against each other like two young bucks matching horns.

Mata, not known as an offensive threat, immediately took three of his team's first four shots - making one basket in the low block but then also having one rejected by Keefe.

The 6'8 center from South Gate high school returned the favor by blocking Keefe's short jumper later in the first half.

For the game, Mata finished with a solid 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks while displaying the same level of intensity during the summer game as he does during regular season games (or practices for that matter).

Quite often, Mata wound up on the floor flat on his back while either attempting to take a player charge or leaping out of bounds for loose balls.

Keefe did not back down against the stronger and bigger Mata. The McDonald All-American from Santa Margeurita scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half to keep his team in the game. He also recorded 7 rebounds.

However by game's end, Keefe appeared to tire. With only six Sinclair Bruins suited up for the game, both Keefe and Mbah a Moute were asked to play the entire game without rest.

At this point of his young career, Keefe appears more comfortable facing the basket and shooting from midrange. His decision-making skills coupled with solid understanding of the game may make Keefe an ideal high-post option for the Bruin offense next season.

Fellow Sinclair Bruin teammate, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, played well scoring 14 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in the contest. At times during the game, the Sinclair Bruins offense was effectively being initiated by Mbah a Moute from the wing.

The Cameroon displayed a few nifty crossover moves to get to the basket and took a number of perimeter shots off the dribble. However with Mbah a Moute operating mostly from the outside, the strategy somewhat negated his propensity to rove down low for offensive rebounds.

It will be interesting during the regular season if Mbah a Moute is indeed moved further away from the basket and how it might affect his rebounding effectiveness.

Incoming freshman Russell Westbrook appeared lost at times in the first half, but put together a strong run at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring 9 points to pull his team temporarily back into contention.

Westbrook played primarily shooting guard and was rarely given the responsibility of running the team from the point. He has an outstanding ability to breakdown his defender to get into the paint, and has an excellent double-clutch move at the rim which helps him to draw fouls against opponents.

The guard from Leuzinger struggled defensively at times matched primarily against bigger players, including Nick Young from USC and Michael Roll, and was caught out of position numerous times which allowed his opponents to easily slip by him.

Westbrook has much to work on before he can be expected to contribute next season, but as a young incoming freshman, Bruin fans need to be patient with him.

Michael Roll finished with 9 points but missed all four of his outside shots - a couple of them barely grazing the rim. However, Roll showed his improved strength by finishing well at the rim while under pressure by defenders.

With the victory, Hank's Franchise is expected to take on Hank's CTS (Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya) on Friday in a semifinal match-up

In the first quarterfinal game of the day, Josh Shipp led Hank's CTS to a convincing 76-63 victory over a Pasadena team.

Shipp scored a team-high 25 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Fellow Bruin, Alfred Aboya, added 10 points and 5 rebounds for the victors.