Friday, May 11, 2007

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Keynote UCLA Graduation

By Bruin Basketball Report

Bruin basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will keynote UCLA's College of
Letters and Science commencement ceremony on June 15.  He is scheduled to deliver his remarks at 5 p.m. in Pauley

Abdul-Jabbar received a UCLA bachelor's degree in history in 1969 after
leading his team to three consecutive NCAA championships from
1967 to 1969.  He scored 2325 points and grabbed 1367 rebounds in his career at UCLA, both ranking second on the all-time Bruin list.

He won NBA championships with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, and is the leading scorer in the history of the NBA.

Abdul-Jabbar is also the author of six books, including his most recent best-seller titled, On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jrue Holiday Narrows Choice To UCLA, Washington

By Eric Sondheimer
Los Angeles Times

[reprinted with permission]

Campbell Hall's 6-foot-4 junior guard, ranked as No. 2 basketball prospect in nation, will decide later this summer. His brother, Justin, signed with Huskies in November.

Jrue Holiday, a 6-foot-4 junior guard at North Hollywood Campbell Hall
who is ranked as the No. 2 basketball prospect in the nation by one
recruiting service, has narrowed his college choices to UCLA and
Washington, his mother, Toya, said Thursday.

Holiday, who led Campbell Hall to the Division IV state championship in
March, has remained silent for months about his college plans, but his
mother said he told her this week that UCLA and Washington were his
final two.

He will be taking an unofficial visit to Washington on June 10.
Holiday's brother, Justin, signed with the Huskies last November and
will be a freshman this fall. Holiday has yet to make a visit,
unofficial or official, to UCLA, but Toya Holiday said she plans to
contact Bruins Coach Ben Howland to arrange one.

Washington and UCLA recently engaged in a spirited recruiting battle
for 6-9 Drew Gordon of San Jose Archbishop Mitty until the junior
announced Monday that he had committed to UCLA.

Holiday is expected to announce his decision later this summer.

(photo credit:


Monday, May 07, 2007

Drew Gordon Verbally Commits To UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

Drew Gordon, a 6'9 235 lb junior from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose CA, has verbally committed to UCLA.

Gordon is ranked the #16 overall player by Rivals and No.20 by Scout in
the Class of 2008, while ESPN ranks him as one of the top six power
forwards in his class.

“I am excited for the recruiting phase to be over for me, and I can’t
wait to get to UCLA, even though I have another year of high school” Gordon said. “I want to thank all of the schools who were interested in
me. It was an honor to be recruited by such top level programs. I
appreciated getting to know all the coaches and players, and I look
forward to competing against them as a Bruin.”

The highly sought after junior is a strong and athletic big man with electrifying leaping ability.  He is projected to be a power forward and/or center at UCLA. 

Last season at Mitty, Gordon averaged 13.6 points a game (2nd on the team) and shot 55% from the field.  He led the team with 3.6 blocked shots and 9.1 rebounds a game while leading his Monarch team to the state finals.  He also participates on the school's track team as a highly ranked discus thrower.

While Gordon is already a stellar defender, his game is still relatively raw and he possesses a huge upside especially on the offensive end.

He joins an already impressive list of players committed to UCLA in 2008 in guards Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee.  The Bruins still have the potential of landing top guard Jrue Holiday of Campbell Hall and another recruit in the class of 2008.

“I fully support Drew’s decision. UCLA has a great program that will
push him to become an excellent player and will develop him as a
student athlete." Mitty Coach Brian Eagleson said. "We reviewed many
aspects of the programs on Drew’s list, and UCLA fits him as a player
and as a person.”

Gordon chose UCLA after considering several top programs, including North Carolina, Duke, Arizona, Washington and California.

[video of Drew Jordan jam]

(photo credit: LAT/Lui Lopez)


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Bruin Recruiting: Prep News Roundup (5/7)

By Bruin Basketball Report

Prep News Roundup is published every Monday.


Jerime Anderson
, 6-1 JR PG Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon. When UCLA’s Ben Howland offered Anderson a scholarship last August, there were more than a few raised eyebrows among folks who really didn’t understand Anderson’s potential as a prospect. After a series of stellar performances by Anderson this month, let’s just say the naysayers are suddenly awfully quiet. Anderson’s skill level is considerable, but it’s more than just skill that makes him one of the elite point guards in the country. Anderson is an underrated athlete, with big hops and better quickness than many people realize. His feel for the game is outstanding and he’s a very good defender. His defense, in particular, is an asset that will get him early playing time at UCLA. Fox Sports  5/3

Final Rankings: Right now I'm teetering with who will be Nos. 2, 3 and 4, but I haven't changed my mind on No. 1. There wasn't enough done this year to beat Kevin Love out of the top spot. At the Roundball Classic, he did what he wanted and wasn't worried about the offensive end, knowing it would be about guards, but he still had a double-double with five or six assists. Early on in the McDonald's he was one of the dominant players. Eric Gordon didn't have the offensive games he could have had, and O.J. Mayo helped himself in the Roundball and Hoop Summit, but one bad game and two good wasn't enough to jump him back to No. 1. CSTV 5/4

William Buford 6-3 SG (Team Reebok Select) - This Ohio State bound sweet shooting wing knocked down some long range twos, as well as a couple threes in scoring 18 points versus Mean Streets.  He did a good job sharing the point spot with UCLA commit Malcolm Lee, so no one should doubt his versatility. CSTV 5/5

Kevin Love has been tabbed as the nation's best player by The Hoop Scoop and the All-Star Report and has the numbers to back it up. The USA Today national Player of the Year finished his career as the
leading scorer in Oregon with 2,628 points. The 6-10 Love averaged 33.9
points, 17 rebounds, 4.2 blocks and 4.1 assists as a senior. "Kevin Love is the greatest thing since sliced bread," Francis
said. "He's one of the best players I have ever seen at making other
players around him better. No matter if he's on a good team or a bad
team, his team normally wins. "He's unbelievable. He brings it every time, and his team wins." Love, who is headed to UCLA, has the bloodlines. His father,
Stan, played professional basketball and is the brother of Beach Boys
singer Mike Love. His aunt won the women's Ironman Triathlon in 1982. Courier-Journal 5/6


Elijah Johnson was the best 2009 point guard we saw over the weekend. Well-built and explosive, Johnson has a load of talent as a slasher and playmaker. He is a sure fire five-star if he improves his jumper, and that is exactly pn what he is focused.
"I'm really working on my jump shot," Johnson told "I'm enjoying playing shooting guard for the Hoops because I want to get better playing off the ball. I already know what I can do at the point, and when it is crunch time, I'll have the ball in my hands."
Still open with his recruitment, Johnson claims offers from Iowa State and UCLA. He noted that Kansas and Texas are also vigorously pursuing him. Cardinal Sports 5/1

Reeves Nelson
, 6-6 SO SF Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian. After Nelson ran roughshod over anyone who got in his way at the Kingwood Classic. Nelson’s skill level, athleticism, heart and competitiveness make him, conservatively, one of the Top 50 prospects in the country. Nelson was the talk of Houston and rightfully so. He consistently out rebounded, and out-fought, bigger players in the paint. He’s got a very nice touch around the basket, including a very good left hand. His outside shot is good enough at this time and should only get better. Fox Sports 5/3