Dan Gadzuric Signs with UCLA

Hoop Scoop names UCLA freshman class No. 1 in the nation.

May 5, 1998

LOS ANGELES - Dan Gadzuric, a 6-11, 240-pound center from Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, MA who in 1998 was a McDonald's All-American and rated the No. 1 high school center in the nation by PrepStar, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at UCLA, Bruin head coach Steve Lavin announced Tuesday.

Gadzuric, who grew up in Den Haag, Holland, has been attending Governor Dummer Academy for the last three years. As a senior in 1998, he averaged 21 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots a game. Some of his many All- American high school honors included--first-team Parade and Slam magazines and third-team Basketball Weekly.

On March 25 in Norfolk, VA, in the McDonald's All-American High School game, Gadzuric was a member the East squad that defeated the West, 128-112. As the starting center for the East team, he played 20 minutes, with 15 points, including seven of eight from the field, and four rebounds. Gadzuric also played in the Nike Hoop Summit game on March 29 in San Antonio and was a member of the winning International Junior team that beat the USA Junior National squad, 104-99.

Gadzuric is the fifth new recruit signed by UCLA for the 1998-99 season. He joins two other McDonald's All-Americans, 6-7 forward JaRon Rush, from The Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, MO and 6-5 guard Ray Young, from St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda; 6-11 forward Jerome Moiso, from Milford Academy in Milford, CT who is The Sporting News' No. 8 prospect in the U. S. and the country's top shot blocker; and 6-7 Matt Barnes, who was also a prep football standout, from Del Campo HS in Fair Oaks.

Hoop Scoop, the No. 1 scouting service in the U. S. based in Louisville, KY, calls UCLA's incoming freshmen the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation.

"UCLA edges DePaul for the top incoming freshman class in the nation," said Clark Francis, editor and publisher of Hoop Scoop. "The Bruins have signed two (Dan Gadzuric, Jerome Moiso) of the top five players in the nation, along with two others who are in the Top 12 (JaRon Rush and Ray Young), and Matt Barnes, who is a Top 50 player. This is a phenomenal class, coming on the heels of last year's that was ranked in everybody's Top 5.

"UCLA is at the top of the mountain right now," Francis said. "No one has recruited better the last couple of years."

Bob Gibbons, editor of All Star Sports Publications, a scouting service based in Lenoir, NC, is also impressed with Gadzuric and the Bruins' incoming freshman class.

"Gadzuric is the best big man in the country (among high school players)," he said. "He's a tremendous addition. He's the best pure center UCLA has had for awhile, maybe going back to the (Bill) Walton days. Gadzuric is a strong rebounder and shot blocker and will give the Bruins a physical presence inside, something they've been lacking for the last couple of years. Gadzuric has a mature body which also caught the attention of the NBA scouts. He's not your typical incoming college freshman.

"This is a Fab Five recruiting class for UCLA," Gibbons said. "This might be UCLA's best recruiting class since the Wooden era."

Lavin, entering his third year as Bruin coach, has led UCLA during his first two seasons to a 1997 NCAA Elite Eight and 1998 NCAA Sweet 16 appearance, along with the '97 Pac-10 championship. "This class, in addition to last year's, gives us a foundation that allows us to continue to be competitive with the nation's elite programs," Lavin said. "We now have the ingredients of size and depth which presents us with a bright future.

"Dan is the premier center in the nation," Lavin said. "He gives us the necessary size and strength at the center position. Along with his basketball talents, Dan is a quality person. He's a valuable addition to our basketball family.

"Recruiting is a critical factor to our success," he said. "This has been a team-effort by our entire staff. Our staff has worked very hard in trying to attract the best players in the country to come to UCLA."