April 21, 2006
Russell Westbrook, 6-3, 180-pound shooting guard from Leuzinger HS (Lawndale, CA), has signed a National-Letter-of-Intent to play basketball at UCLA, Bruin head coach Ben Howland announced Friday. Westbrook will be an incoming freshman next fall.
As a senior this season at Leuzinger, Westbrook led the Olympians to a 25-4 overall record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Div. IAA. Westbrook averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.3 assists. He connected on 57 three-pointers and shot .760 from the foul line.
"I'm very excited about Russell Westbrook's decision to join the UCLA family," Howland said. "He's an outstanding basketball player who is an equally impressive young man. I think he's going to be able to come in and compete and help us win basketball games immediately."
A first-team All-CIF performer, Westbrook was third-team All-State and a two-time All-Bay League MVP. Scout.com rates Westbrook as the No. 2 shooting guard in the West and as one of the Top 25 shooting guards in the nation. He was also a first-team Daily Breeze selection and the Wave Newspapers named him the Player of the Year.
"This is a great fit all the way around," said Westbrook's coach, Reggie Morris, Jr. "Russell is a high-quality individual with high-quality potential at the collegiate level. This is a good match for everyone."
In 2005-06, Westbrook had 14 double/doubles, scored 30 or more points on eight occasions and had a career-high 51 points on Jan. 6 at Carson. "I feel great," he said. "This is a great opportunity to play at UCLA. I'm honored to be recruited and chosen by UCLA, a school with such a great basketball tradition. I'm ready to get to school to start attending classes and playing basketball."
Westbrook is UCLA's third NLI signee, joining - McDonald's and Parade Magazine All-American 6-8 220-pound forward James Keefe (Rancho Santa Margarita HS) and 6-9, 225-pound post player Marko Spica, from Belgrade Serbia and Montenegro.