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)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Former Bruin Meyers Joins Suns, Mercury Staff

By Bob Baum
The Associated Press

Basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers has been coaxed away from her successful broadcast career to become general manager of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and vice president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

"I have been pursued the last 10 years by the league and different teams, but it just was not the right timing," Meyers said at a news conference Tuesday. "I'm looking for the challenge. I'm looking to be with a winner."

Meyers, widow of the late Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, will oversee a Mercury team that features all-stars Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter. Under first-year coach Paul Westhead, Phoenix used a late-season surge to finish 18-16 but missed out in the playoffs in a tiebreaker.

Although she is new on the job, Meyers said she already knows the Mercury's biggest need is for rebounding.

She will help with scouting with the Suns, but her exact duties with the men's team are still to be defined.

"My first priority is going to be the Mercury," Meyers said. "But the fact I've been in basketball so long — my brother David played for the Bucks and I had the Pacer tryout — I've known people in basketball for as long as I can remember."

Owner Robert Sarver said Meyers was at the top of his list for a general manager to replace Seth Sulka, who resigned. Sarver said he decided, given her all-around basketball knowledge and contacts, she should be part of the men's operation as well.

"Ann's got a tremendous amount of contacts and connections within basketball in the men's area," Sarver said, "the ability to pick up the phone and talk to coaches, things like that. That resource is really huge for us."

The 51-year-old Meyers was the first woman to receive a full athletic scholarship at UCLA. She was a four-time All American and led the Bruins to the national championship in 1978. Meyers also competed in volleyball and track and field at UCLA.

Meyers made the U.S. national team while still in high school and, in 1979, earned a silver medal as part of the first women's U.S. Olympic basketball team. She was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

Meyers' brother David played with Bill Walton on two NCAA championship teams at UCLA and played four seasons with Milwaukee. In 1979, Meyers became the first woman to sign as a free agent with an NBA team, trying out with the Indiana Pacers, then staying with the team as a broadcaster following her release.

She has worked as a television sportscaster for ESPN, NBC and CBS. She recently won the Ronald Reagan Media Award from U.S. Sports Academy. She has three children, ages 19, 17 and 13.

Meyers was asked if she would ever want to be a men's general manager — a post held by Suns coach Mike D'Antonio.

"Don always said you never close the door on anything," she said. "But I hadn't thought about it. I've been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, and I certainly think that that is the case here, but right now my focus is the Phoenix Mercury.

"If that was something to happen down the road, you know, to me there's always possibilities in one's life — but right now my focus is with the Phoenix Mercury."


Monday, September 11, 2006

A Day of Memory and Hope

September 11, 2001


Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (9/11)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


UCLA Coach Ben Howland needed at least one elite point guard from the 2008 class, and it appears he has landed one. Multiple college basketball recruiting services are reporting Jerime Anderson of Canyon High School in Anaheim has verbally committed to UCLA. Anderson is ranked as the No.5/No.6 ranked point-guard in the class of 2008 by Rivals and Scout, respectively. Bruin Basketball Report 9/8


Oscar Bellfield, a key contributor as a sophomore in helping the Woodland Hills Taft boys' basketball team reach the City Championship game, has checked out of school and is expected to attend Westchester, Toreador Coach Derrick Taylor said Tuesday.Bellfield, a shooting guard, was apparently uncomfortable with the increasing focus on junior point guard Larry Drew Jr., who has become one of the top college prospects in the Southland. L.A. Times 9/6

Kyle Singler, a 6-foot-8 senior forward from South Medford (Ore.) High, will join future KU player Cole Aldrich, a 6-11 senior center from Bloomington, Minn., in the stands at the Jayhawks’ annual season-opening hoops extravaganza, Night in the Phog on Oct. 13. Singler will visit Arizona on Sept. 15-16 and Duke on Sept. 22-23. He already has visited his other two finalists — UCLA and Washington — unofficially and has made an unofficial trip to Duke. reports that UCLA coaches will arrive Saturday in Oregon for an in-home visit. Duke’s in-home will be Sept. 13, Washington’s Sept. 18 and KU’s Sept. 19. Lawrence Journal-World 9/6

Our sports editors and reporters found out Friday night that two top high school basketball recruits were on campus, meeting with the Hoosiers and their coaches. The editors rushed to Yogi's Grill and Bar to confirm with their own eyes that, indeed, Eric Gordon Jr. and Derrick Rose were eating with coach Kelvin Sampson and IU basketball players.Later, when our reporters investigated rumors that Gordon and Rose were in Assembly Hall with the IU basketball team, we snapped a photograph of Gordon leaving the locker room. Indiana Daily Student 9/6

Clint Chapman, a 6-10 senior center from Canby High in Canby, Ore., has committed to Texas. Chapman, who saw his stock rise as much as any player in the country during the last year, also considered Cal, Arizona State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Washington. Ranked 49th in the country by, Chapman is a good shooter out to 17-19 feet. His back to the basket game needs work, but he has good feet and hands, along with a solid frame. We look for Chapman to be a significant contributor at Texas by his sophomore year. Fox Sports 9/7

Yet another Derrick Rose-O.J. Mayo matchup is apparently the casualty of Simeon's already double-stuffed schedule. As soon as Mayo, one of the nation's top prospects, enrolled at Huntington (W.Va.) High School last week, the two-time West Virginia state champs began to seek out a marquee game or two. There were preliminary discussions about a game with the defending Class AA champion Wolverines, Simeon coach Robert Smith confirmed.But Huntington wants a home game, and Simeon can't find the fit."Schedule's booked up," Smith said. "It's pretty much dead in the water." Chicago Tribune 9/8

Galena High's Luke Babbitt has narrowed his list down to 10 schools he's considering to continue his basketball career.The 6-8 forward has made an unofficial trip to one of those school, Texas, and will watch tonight's football game between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Texas set for 5 p.m.The other schools still being considered by Babbitt are Duke, Kansas, Illinois, Washington, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, the University of Nevada and Gonzaga. Babbitt is among the nation's top players in this year's junior class and is rated as high as No. 5 in this year's junior class by one scouting service. Nevada Appeal 9/9

On hand at the Texas-Ohio St. game: Who said this was a football town? Four of the top high school basketball prospects in America were on hand. From the class of 2007: Gary Johnson, a 6-6 forward from Aldine who committed to Texas this summer, and Anthony Randolph, a 6-10 forward from Woodrow Wilson High in Dallas. From the class of 2008, here on unofficial visits: guard Willie Warren from North Crowley High and 6-8 forward Luke Babbitt from Reno, Nev. Austin-American Statesman 9/10

A 26-day contact period in college basketball recruiting started Saturday. This gives coaches like Kansas University’s Bill Self the freedom to travel the country and make in-home visits with seniors in the recruiting class of 2007. “Not a ton … we’ll probably have in the range of five or six in-homes,” Self said, not able to talk about specific recruits in accordance with NCAA rules. It’s a safe bet Self will be visiting these prep seniors: Cole Aldrich, 6-foot-11, Bloomington, Minn., who has committed orally to KU; Derrick Rose, 6-4, Chicago; Kyle Singler, 6-8, Medford, Ore.; James Anderson, 6-5, Junction City, Ark.; Anthony Randolph, 6-10, Dallas; and Tyrel Reed, 6-3, Burlington. Lawrence Journal-World 9/11


(photo credit: Reno-Gazette)