May. 1, 2000
UCLA sophomore men's basketball players Jerome Moiso and JaRon Rush have decided to forgo their final two seasons at UCLA and declare themselves eligible for the 2000 NBA Draft. Both players informed the coaching staff of their decision on Monday afternoon.
Moiso, a 6-10 forward/center from Guadeloupe, West Indies, played in all 33 games during the 1999-2000 season. He averaged 13.0 points to rank second on the team and led the squad with his average of 7.6 rebounds per game. He recorded 10 double-doubles and led the team in rebounding on 15 occasions. He was selected second-team All-District 15 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
"This was a difficult decision for me," said Moiso. "Playing in the NBA has been a goal of mine and I feel this is the time for me to take the next step.
"I have enjoyed my two years at UCLA. I am grateful to the coaches for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the UCLA program. I am a much better player today, and I am in a position to realize my goal of playing in the NBA, because of what I have learned and the experience I have gained during the last two years."
Rush, a 6-7 forward from Kansas City, MO, missed 24 games because of two NCAA suspensions. In the nine games (the first three and the final six) in which he played, he averaged 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 55.8 from the floor and 73.3 from the line.
"I am going to miss my teammates and my coaches," said Rush. "This has been a tough decision for me to make, because I have enjoyed my two years at UCLA. However, at this point in time, this is the decision that is best for my family and me. I want to thank everyone at UCLA, especially my coaches, Pete Dalis and Betsy Stephenson for their support during the last year."
"We certainly wish Jerome and JaRon good luck as they pursue their dream," said Bruin head coach Steve Lavin, who is at the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Coaches Meeting in Phoenix, AZ. "While we would love for them to stay and play for our team next season, these two young men have evaluated their individual situations and have made the decisions they feel are best for them.
"They have both made positive contributions to our program over the last two years and they will always be part of the Bruin family. We hope Jerome and JaRon will take advantage of the opportunity to continue their education in the future."