Word From Westwood - Jan. 22, 2013
Jan. 22, 2013
While our Bruin teams on campus have continued to do well in their respective seasons, our UCLA professional athletes have been giving us just as much Bruin pride.
This weekend, women's soccer player Zakiya Bywaters was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the National Women's Soccer League collegiate draft. She joins 10 other UCLA alumni, including Hall of Famers Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Ann Meyers and Troy Aikman, as No. 1 draft picks. Two of our men's soccer players, Fernando Monge and Ryan Hollingshead, were taken in Major League Soccer SuperDraft, improving UCLA's numbers to a national-best 61 players drafted by MLS teams.
UCLA football alum Brendon Ayanbadejo helped the Baltimore Ravens advance to the Super Bowl after a win in the AFC Championship game. This will mark the 32nd time in the last 34 years that a UCLA player has been on a Super Bowl team. And we certainly expect to see Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday make the NBA All-Star team when the reserves are announced on Thursday.
Men's Basketball Heads to Arizona
The Bruins (15-4, 5-1) will face the #6-ranked Wildcats at the McKale Center on Thursday night in a game that will be nationally-televised on ESPN2 at 6 pm (PT), followed by a Saturday 1 pm (PT) contest at Arizona State that will be televised on Fox Sports Net. The Bruins won both contests against Arizona State last season and have won their last four games against the Sun Devils.
Women's Basketball Team Looks to Return to Winning Ways
For more information, or to purchase tickets to this or any other UCLA women's basketball home game this season, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2942) or order online at uclabruins.com/tickets.
Olympic Sports Report
324 Make Fall Director's Honor Roll
All-Time March Madness Voting Underway
Voting Open For LA Sports Awards
For Bruin Fans, your choices include the UCLA football team's victory over USC to clinch the Pac-12 South Title, UCLA earning a spot in College World Series, Johnathan Franklin breaking the UCLA all-time rushing record, and the re-opening of historic Pauley Pavilion.
Vote at lasports.org through Jan. 31 by clicking on the Greatest Moments icon at the top of the page. The winners will be revealed during the 8th Annual LA Sports Awards on March 3 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Football Signing Day Event Update
The event, which you must register for but is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:15 pm. (Due to NCAA recruiting restrictions, high school students cannot be admitted). On the North Concourse of Pauley Pavilion, there will be a meet and greet with UCLA Football student-athletes and performances from the UCLA Band and UCLA Spirit Squad. At 7:30 pm, head coach Jim Mora and his staff will present a dynamic program from the Pauley floor, highlighting the class of 2013.
Though the event is free, Bruin fans must register in advance to attend. Please visit woodenathleticfund.com/rsvp to do so today.
As some of you may already know, UCLA announced earlier today that we would be adding women's sand volleyball to our sport offerings.
The announcement is a milestone that will prove to be a tremendous asset to the array of sports offered here in Westwood. Not only am I thrilled to be adding the sport for Spring 2013, but I am equally excited about having Stein Metzger, one of the all-time Bruin volleyball greats, as our head coach. Very few schools across the country can rival the collective success of our athletic program as a whole, and this certainly holds true for our men's and women's volleyball programs, which have truly excelled over the past few years and decades.
When the NCAA served notice in 2009 that sand volleyball would be identified as an "emerging sport", several West Coast institutions, as well as some national ones, launched plans to bring the sport to their campuses. 2011-12 was the first year of competition for women's sand volleyball, with 15 schools sponsoring teams. Since the number of universities supporting the sport has not yet reached the number required to conduct a sanctioned NCAA Championship, we will develop our own women's sand volleyball program at a gradual pace. As an example, instead of traveling cross country to play opponents this season, all our away matches will remain in the Southern California region. Of course, if the team qualifies for the AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, you can count on the fact that the Bruins will be there.
UCLA has always been at the top of the collegiate volleyball game, both as teams and individuals. Many volleyball players have also gone on to have fantastic careers on the sand, whether at the Olympics, the professional level, or both. The success of many of these student-athletes on the sand is an indicator of what we can expect to see in the future from UCLA women's sand volleyball. I look forward to fans joining Coach Metzger and his squad this spring as they grow, knowing that the best is yet to come.
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