Word From Westwood - Nov. 6, 2012
Nov. 6, 2012
When the original Pauley Pavilion was completed in June of 1965, a handful of months would pass before it hosted its first basketball game, albeit an exhibition, when UCLA's freshman team, led by a New Yorker by the name Lew Alcindor, defeated Coach John Wooden's varsity squad, which was coming off an NCAA Championship.
This year, New Pauley hosts its first games less than two weeks after the Pauley Pavilion Campaign of Champions celebration officially opened the building on October 28.
"Pauley Opening Weekend" Features Both Hoops Teams in Action
Ben Howland and the men's team open their 2012-13 campaign against Indiana State on Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 pm. The game will be a matchup of the only two universities that featured John Wooden as their head men's basketball coach.
At about 6:15 pm on Friday night, UCLA will host a First Ticket ceremony including former and current student-athletes, as well as athletic department and university officials. In addition, there will be a special pre-game ceremony on the court at about 7:40 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm for this game.
For more information or to purchase tickets to the game, please click here or call 310-UCLA-WIN.
Meanwhile, Cori Close and the women's team mark their return to Pauley on Saturday, Nov. 10 with a 7 pm game against San Diego State to tip-off their campaign.
At halftime of the women's contest, UCLA Athletics will honor the Top 40 female athletes in school history, capping-off the department's year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX.
Tickets also remain for the women's game -- please click here or call 310-UCLA-WIN for more information or to purchase tickets.
Pauley Already Bustling With Activity
As mentioned here last week, the Pauley Pavilion Campaign of Champions Celebration got all the festivities underway with a bang on the 28th, and the Pavilion hosted a university-wide open house, last Tuesday, giving faculty and staff their chance to look around and experience the building.
With the student body already buzzing about the arena after the open house, students gathered in the building for Pauley Opening Madness, complete with a slam dunk contest, last Friday Night. Sunday featured a Community and Alumni Open House as well as the first-ever Wooden Athletic Fund Appreciation Day, a barbecue which drew nearly 3,000 donors and several UCLA coaches and student-athletes to the Intramural Field.
The energy will reach a crescendo this weekend when the men's and women's basketball teams come home to New Pauley to open the 2012 season.
UCLA Football Hits the Road to Pullman
Bruins to Play Final Two Regular Season Games at the Rose Bowl
The kickoff time for the rivalry game between the Bruins and the Trojans will be either noon or at 5 pm, and will not be finalized until after this week's game in Pullman. The Stanford kickoff does not have to be determined until next Monday, per Pac-12 rules.
Tickets for both are available by calling by visiting UCLABruins.com or calling 310-UCLA-WIN (825-2946).
Revelry Before the Rivalry Kicks Off 'SC Weekend
All proceeds from the event go directly to supporting the Wooden Athletic Fund and UCLA Athletics. UCLA coaches, staff and legends will be in attendance, and there were also be live entertainment, dancing, and a silent auction. To learn more, register or be a sponsor at this year's event, click here.
Former Gymnast Elected to EC of Sport's International Governing Body
Vidmar led the U.S. men's team to its first-ever Olympic Gold Medal at the Games in Pauley Pavilion and also won the gold medal on the pommel horse and the silver in the all-around.
While at UCLA, Vidmar was the first Bruin to win the NCAA all-around title, accomplishing that twice (1982/83), and he also won three other individual event titles in his career. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
Olympic Sports Report
It's not often that I use this space to highlight an individual student athlete, especially knowing how hard each of our nearly 700 student-athletes give their all athletically and academically to this university, but consider this the exception to the rule.
As I sat in the Rose Bowl Saturday night, I was delighted to see Johnathan Franklin slither through the Arizona defense early in the first quarter for a 37-yard touchdown run that gave us a lead we would not relinquish, and of course, gave him the UCLA career rushing record.
Reflect on that for a minute. We certainly have produced some great running backs at UCLA, but Johnathan Franklin stands above them all, and there are still plenty of games to be played this season.
Johnathan has become a superstar on the field, even though he admittedly would probably not be entirely comfortable with that moniker. But it's what he has done off the field and in the classroom that truly makes him a special young man.
He (along with several teammates) spends several hours each quarter volunteering throughout Los Angeles, and he has developed an unbreakable bond with many of the young patients at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, talking and playing with them and giving them hope. The smiles they get on their faces when he enters are a sight to behold.
As a political science major, he has excelled in the classroom and walked with his class at graduation this past June. He will tell even the casual fan that his life aspirations lay outside the football field and instead in the Los Angeles Mayor's office.
He is a selfless team player who has enjoyed immense success at this level and continues to give back to those around him.
In case you missed it, it was he who drew a personal foul penalty late in the game when he left the bench to congratulate walk-on running back Melvin Emesibe when he got in the end zone. And it should come as a surprise to no one that Johnathan's celebration with Melvin was almost more elaborate than his own when he broke the rushing record.
That right there is Johnathan Franklin in a nutshell -- humble, thoughtful and giving. What a wonderful representative of UCLA.
Before I sign off for the week, I wanted to share some thoughts on New Pauley before we play our first games there this weekend.
First, a hearty thank you goes out to the Bruin Family, especially everyone who has participated in, and attended each of the events so far in and around the building.
From the unveiling of the statue of Coach Wooden, to the community and alumni open house, you have provided me and my team with a great deal of valuable feedback. In fact, we will be changing the configuration in which each championship banner is hung from the rafters, thanks to constructive comments from many of you.
This is indeed a very exciting time to be a Bruin, and that will be punctuated by a great opening weekend of games at New Pauley, but I did want to take some time to remind you that the arena is still very much a construction site and a work in progress.
Be assured that we are working tirelessly with PCL, the contractor, to make any necessary adjustments to the building in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you again, and I'll see you at New Pauley this weekend.
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