May 17, 2013
LOS ANGELES - UCLA Head Women's Basketball Coach Cori Close announced today the signing of Luiana Livulo to a National Letter of Intent to attend UCLA in the fall of 2013.
Livulo, a 6-foot-3-inch, center out of Lisbon, Portugal (Escola Secondaria Rainha D. Amelia), will give the Bruins some help in the frontcourt as UCLA graduate three post players this season. She is transferring from Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla., where she played for head coach Patrick Harrington.
Livulo joins the early signing class, which consisted of two highly-rated high school standouts - Savanna Trapp (Esko, Minn./Esko HS) and Dominique Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./St. Mary's HS).
"I'm really excited about Luiana Livulo joining our basketball program and family," Close said. "She is going to be a major puzzle piece for us as we move forward next year, trying to build on our success from last season. She is long and athletic and a very versatile player. She is a great rebounder and has unlimited potential on the offensive end."
Livulo helped lead the Raiders to a 27-5 overall record and a share of the Panhandle Conference title with a 9-3 mark, the Raiders' first conference title in 17 years. Livulo was named to the first team All-Panhandle Conference and averaged over 13 points and two blocks per game in her last four conference outings. She also helped NWF gain its first appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament in 18 years. Seeded 11th as an at-large entry, the Raiders advanced to the quarterfinals, before falling to Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College on a pair of late free throws (73-71). Livulo scored 19 points in that quarterfinal contest.
"She was a difference maker in the Junior College National Tournament," Close added. "And she was the difference why her team went farther than it ever has before. She has the personality to be a charismatic force on this campus and is a good student. She also has the athleticism to help us continue our climb to consistent national prominence."
Livulo has plenty of international playing experience as well, growing up in Lisbon, Portugal. While in her native country, Livulo played on Portugal's 16-and-Under, 18-and-Under and 20-and-Under National Teams. Playing completely in Europe, Livulo's first playing experience in the United States was last season at Northwest Florida.
Livulo is excited about her new opportunity to play basketball at UCLA and in the Pac-12 Conference.
"I think UCLA will be a great opportunity for me to grow as a basketball player," Livulo said. "I just feel like UCLA is the best place for me. I'm looking forward to playing in the Pac-12. The visit to Los Angeles made it very clear to me where I was supposed to be. I loved the coaches and the players."