Aug. 19, 2002
UCLA senior Jason Kapono has been named to the 2002-03 Wooden Award Preseason All-American Team (Top 50 candidates), joining four other players from the Pac-10 Conference who are also on the list.
Kapono, as a junior last season, was a finalist for the Naismith Player of the Year and as a sophomore in 2000-01, he was a finalist for the Wooden Award Player of the Year.
A three-time All-Pac-10 performer (UCLA has never had a four-time, first-team All-Pac-10 player), Kapono, a 6-8 forward from Lakewood and Artesia HS, has been UCLA's leading scorer for the last three seasons (2001-02, 16.0; 2000-01, 17.2; 1999-00, 16.0). As a junior in 2001-02, Kapono tied a school record for starts (33) and games played (33), led UCLA in minutes (34.6), points (16.0) and three-point (87-192, 45.3) and foul (101-118, 85.6) shooting and was No. 3 in rebounding (5.1) and assists (2.1).
During his three-year Bruin career (98 games and 97 starts), in three-point shooting, Kapono holds the school record for career (253), season (87, 2002) and single-game (seven, ties school record) three-pointers. In career percentage, he's No. 2 (46.1, 253-549) in three-point and No. 6 (81.7, 299-366) in foul shooting. Kapono has 1,608 career points (No. 15 in school history) and his single-season scoring average is 536 points (16.4). If he scores his average in 2002-03, Kapono would end his Bruin career with 2,144 points, No. 3 in school history (trailing only Don MacLean (2,608, 1989-92) and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 2,325, 1967-69).
Other players (on the 50-man list) from the Pac-10 are - from Arizona, 5-11 senior guard Jason Gardner and 6-8 senior forward Luke Walton, a member of last season's Wooden All-American team and from Oregon, 6-7 junior guard Luke Jackson and 6-2 junior guard Luke Ridnour.