One of the most awesome things about UCLA is our rich basketball tradition. Alumni of the Four Letters include all-time greats like Kareem (then Lew Alcindor), Bill Walton, Gail Goodrich, Reggie Miller – the list could go on and on.
Our more recent NBA matriculates haven’t done that shabby either. Depending on how you count them, UCLA has between fourteen and fifteen players currently playing in the big leagues, with one more (Malcolm Lee) probably on the way.
Of the fifteen, one is an MVP candidate you should build a team around (Love), one is a bona fide superstar (Westbrook), five are between average and above-average starter material (Afflalo, Ariza, Barnes, Collison, Holiday), and the rest are quality backups and/or good complementary pieces (Davis – in the twilight of his career, Farmar, Gadzuric, Hollins, Honeycutt – this one still has room to grow, Mbah a Moute – this one too, Kapono – amazing player at UCLA, Watson).
All this goes to show that UCLA produces quality basketball players, and despite what may happen in some down years, we will continue to do so. UCLA (and, I suppose, Arizona) make the Pac-12, and everyone knows it. As we go, so goes the conference. As we go, so goes the West Coast.
And that’s how it should be. UCLA forever.