June 28, 2002
Ryan Hollins, a 6-11, 210-pound center/forward from Pasadena John Muir HS, has signed a Grant-in-Aid to attend UCLA and play basketball for the Bruins, the school announced Friday.
"I'm very excited about signing with UCLA," Hollins said. "I have a chance to be part of a great program."
Hollins last November signed a National Letter of Intent with Saint Louis University. But when Billiken head coach Lorenzo Romar left Saint Louis in April to become head coach at Washington (his alma mater), Hollins asked to be released from his NLI to pursue other schools. Saint Louis has granted Hollins a qualified release and under NCAA rules, Hollins will have to sit out the 2002-03 season and have three years of eligibility remaining (beginning with the 2003-04 collegiate calendar). Hollins is attempting to get a complete release from his Saint Louis NLI and if granted, he would then be freshman eligible for the Bruins starting this fall (with four years of eligibility).
As a senior last season at Muir HS, Hollins was rated the No. 3 center on the West Coast by PrepWestHoops.com. As a senior in 2001-02, Hollins averaged 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots. He was first-team Div. III All-CIF, Los Angeles Times San Gabriel Valley and All-Pacific League. He was also the Most Valuable Player at two area regular-season tournaments (Los Alamitos and Brea Olinda).
Hollins' high school coach, Don Grant, believes Hollins is the most improved center in the State (from his junior through senior seasons). "A couple of years from now, people will wonder where Ryan Hollins came from," Grant said. "He isn't a true post-up player, because he plays inside and outside and runs the court so well. He gets better everyday and his future is bright."
A versatile athlete, Hollins, at the CA State Track & Field meet in Cerritos on June 9, placed third in the triple jump, with a personal-best mark of 48-2.75. He was also Div. III CIF champion in the triple jump and Pacific League champion in the long and triple jumps. This spring, his bests were 21-2 in the long jump and 6-6 in the high jump. He didn't join the Muir track team until last March, with an emphasis on the high jump. Hollins will also compete for the Bruin men's track & field team (if he does not get his complete release, then Hollins will also have to sit out the 2003 outdoor track season and will have three years of track & field eligibility beginning with the 2004 outdoor campaign).