Word From Westwood - February 21, 2012
February 21, 2012
Our student-athletes have enjoyed the great amenities we have here at UCLA on a daily basis. The combination of weather, location and facilities makes UCLA a great attraction. What you may not know is that many professional athletes have looked at UCLA as a destination to train in their off-seasons as well. Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Pete Sampras have hit balls at the LATC. Tom Brady and Wes Welker occasionally work out at Spaulding Field. Major Leaguers like C.J. Wilson and Nick Swisher have trained at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Some of the world's most celebrated soccer teams, such as Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid have held preseason training camps at the North Athletic Field. Legions of NBA players play in the legendary pickup games at the SAC Gym each summer, and Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix have been spotted sprinting on the track at Drake Stadium.
That said, none of them has captured the attention of the media and sports fans across the country like Tebow-mania did this past week. As many of you may already know thanks to the media attention that surrounded it, our offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has been working with Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow at Spaulding Field, along with a handful of other NFL or NFL-bound quarterbacks. It has been amazing to see the excitement Tebow's presence has generated, not only from the media and fans but also from our own student-athletes who have run into him near Spaulding.
Knowing that so many NFL players are coming here to work with our coaches is exciting to me. In fact, I can't wait to see Jim Mora and his staff with our own student-athletes on that same field when spring practice begins just over a month from now.
Women's Basketball Hosts Final Homestand
Saturday's game is our annual Breast Cancer Awareness game, and all fans in attendance will receive a free pink UCLA basketball t-shirt. Additionally, it's Senior Day for our leading scorer Rebekah Gardner. Rebekah has been such a special player for the team, especially this year as she has stepped up her game and shouldered the load as the lone senior on the squad. We're proud of everything she has accomplished and done for this program.
Men's Basketball Heads to Arizona
The win on Wednesday against USC gave us a season sweep of the Trojans, but the week ended on a disappointing note on Saturday afternoon at St. John's in New York City. I do want to extend my appreciation to all the Bruin fans that came out to support the team. They came out in full force and filled the arena with 8-claps. Another nice touch was seeing the coaches show their support for Steve Lavin by wearing sneakers, despite wearing them previously for the annual Coaches vs. Cancer weekend.
Sunday morning, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit at breakfast with Bruin Gail Goodrich, who came down from Connecticut to join me and our Associate Athletic Director Josh Rebholz. Gail was also our guest at the St. John's game, and I came to realize that he is still an ardent follower of the program. A finer gentleman cannot be found anywhere, and I loved hearing about his recent exploits, his stories about playing at UCLA for Coach Wooden, and his continuing love for college basketball. He looks terrific, and there is no doubt in my mind that he could still knock down those left-handed jumpers. Since Gail reads the Word from Westwood, I would just like to say: Thanks, Gail. You are a tremendous Bruin!
UCLA Athletics Supporting Soles 4 Souls
UCLA Groundbreakers Featured in University Campaign
Olympic Sports Update
Ask Dan Guerrero
A: Jeremy, thank you for the question. The future of the tournament was a hot topic at the recent Pac-12 meetings. A final decision should be made shortly. We have been fortunate to have played the tournament in Los Angeles the last 10 years. I know that our fan base has been very supportive of it during that run. Given the fact that we have fans throughout the Western United States, I'm confident that the support will continue no matter where the tournament is played. At this point, Las Vegas, Seattle and Los Angeles remain in the running for future tournaments. That being said, I encourage you all to come out and support both the men's and women's teams at the Pac-12 Tournament. Tickets in our section are still available through the UCLA Central Ticket Office.
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