March 10, 2003
UCLA senior co-captains Jason Kapono and Ray Young were given the Coach John Wooden Award as UCLA's Most Valuable Players at the annual end-of-the year Bruin Hoopsters Awards/Dinner Banquet held Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Kapono becomes the first player in Bruin history to be named UCLA's MVP four seasons in a row (he shared the award all four years - 2002, with Matt Barnes, Dan Gadzuric and Billy Knight; 2001-with Gadzuric and Earl Watson; 2000-with Watson and Jerome Moiso).
Kapono will also become the first player in school history to lead the Bruins in scoring for four consecutive seasons (currently his team-leading scoring average is 16.9; 2002, 16.0; 2001-17.2; 2000-16.0).
Since taking over the point guard position six games ago, Young has helped lead UCLA to four wins in those last six games, including a current two-game winning streak counting last week's final regular season home victories over Washington State and Washington. In that six-game stretch, Young has scored in double figures all six games and is averaging 19.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and shooting 62.5 (15-24) from three-point range. He scored a career-high 30 points last week in UCLA's win over Washington State.
The Bruins, the No. 8 seed in the upcoming Pacific-10 Tournament, will play No. 1 seed Arizona on Thursday at 1:20 p.m. in the Staples Center (TV-Fox Sports Net/Radio-XTRA 690/1150 with Chris Roberts and Don MacLean).
Also earning honors on Monday night were -
-Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Award (free throw champion)- Jason
Kapono (88.1, 74-84 through 27 games).
-Elvin C. "Ducky" Drake Memorial Award (for competitive spirit, inspiration and unselfish contributions)- Andre Patterson
-Bruin Hoopsters J. D. Morgan Memorial Award (outstanding team play) - Ryan Walcott
-UCLA Alumni Association Award (academic achievement and team contribution award) - Gene Barnes
-Bruin Bench Basketball Award (most improvement in all-around play and mental attitude) - Dijon Thompson
-Seymour Armond Memorial Award (most valuable freshman) - Ryan Hollins
-Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Award (outstanding defensive player) - Ray Young