UCLA Basketball, A necessity for any UCLA student.

One of the must-do experiences for any UCLA student is attending a men’s basketball game in historic Pauley Pavilion. This year Pauley Pavilion underwent an almost 2 year, 180$ million renovation without sacrificing the original structure, making it seem brand new and historic at the same time. There was a lot of hype surrounding the UCLA men’s basketball team after pulling in the #1 recruiting class, and one of the best players in the nation, Shabazz Muhammed and playing in the beautiful renovated arena. So far the team has backed up the excitement after beating two top ten teams. Not only is this year’s team good, but UCLA has had historically one of the best college basketball programs in the nation. After all, this is the home of esteemed basketball coach and UCLA legend John Wooden. Any student that attends a UCLA basketball game is witnessing history and excellence every time they walk into the arena.

UCLA students are lucky to not only to go to games in Pauley Pavilion but they also get the opportunity to sit as close to the action as anybody in the Arena in the court side seats known as “The Den”. However, these tickets are not easy to get, especially not for big games. In order to guarantee a seat, students start camping out for tickets the day before a game. It is quite a sight to see when hundreds of students set up tents and hang out next to Pauley Pavilion the day and night before a game. I have participated in many camp outs, including last week in preparation for a game against cross town rival USC. It is a great opportunity to hang out and bond with friends and other students who are avid fans of UCLA basketball. Some students brought projectors and played video games, while others chose to study or try to sleep. Regardless, the atmosphere at camp outs are very spirited, and should be on any UCLA students bucket list.

Back to LA

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I’ve been back in LA for the past week and it has been one of the best weeks yet!  It was nice to be back in my apartment after two weeks all over the state! I was at home for most of the vacation, but I got to spend a night up in Sacramento for a Christmas party, San Francisco with my family for two nights, then down to San Diego! It was a great break, but being a school a week early was such a fun experience.

Over the last few days I have been to two basketball games, a gymnastics meet, given a friend a tour of campus, and been to the movies twice!  Having some time off from school while still being in Westwood has reminded me of all the fun things to do.  Everyday has been a new adventure! Of all my excursions, my favorite has been experiencing life in the Den.

What is the Den? The Den is the student section of sporting events and in the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion it is an experience that you do not want to miss out on!  Not only did we win all three sporting events that I went to, but I also got to sit in the Den for all three.  The students were loud, the giveaways were great, and I got to see the basketball players’ neon shoes up close! There is something so unique about being a student at UCLA and going to the games.  Even if you are not normally a sports fan, the Den is the place to be.  It is just plain exciting!  The Yell Crew leads cheers for the students and even if you don’t know what is going on in the game, cheering with you fellow students is exhilarating!

Overall, this has been an incredible week!  I finally got to do some of the things that have been on my UCLA bucket list and I didn’t have to worry about studying (yet)!

I hope your holidays were equally as fantastic!

Pauley Pavilion Opening Madness

 

Pauley is back!

Pauley Pavilion, our indoor stadium that had been under construction since March 2011, has finally reopened for this year’s basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics season. Thousands of students and parents gathered in the newly renovated stadium to take part in the free Pauley Pavilion Opening Madness Event held last Friday evening. The event was accompanied by the Homecoming festival, which consisted of about 20 carnival-style game booths, five giveaways, and obstacle course races. While waiting for the opening madness to start, my friends and I walked around the festival and eventually ended up with handfuls of candy and glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls in our pockets. The games were pretty fun too. I especially liked the Cupcake Walk booth just because I kept winning and got a bunch of cupcakes.

The event was opened by the UCLA Kyoto Taiko drummers, followed by other performances led by singer India Carney, the Nikkei Student Union Modern dance team, UCLA Marching Band, and UCLA Spirit Squad throughout the night. The best part for me was seeing Joe Bruin dancing to Gangnam Style played by the UCLA Marching Band. Apart from the performances, the student athletes from various sports teams like basketball and volleyball were also introduced to the audience, who praised them with enthusiastic screams and claps that echoed throughout the stadium.

Having never been to the old Pauley stadium, I have no idea how much the stadium has changed, but I know this for a fact: I’m definitely going to basketball games this year.

Go Bruins!

Construction

I think regardless of what college campus you are on, some type of construction is happening. Chances are, the tour guide has some joke with the acronym of the university and construction. UCLA- Under Construction Like Always.

Currently, we have some really amazing projects going on. I hadn’t been up on the hill in awhile and was surprised to see how completed the new dorms surrounding Sproul Hall are coming along. In addition, two new dorms were opened this quarter and I have heard rave reviews. Guess which dorms filled up fastest during housing signups for next year?

We also just had the new south campus Court of Sciences Student Center, affectionately known as the bomb shelter, open. It is also extremely nice with several food options. As a south campus major, it is a godsend having a wonderful facility close to class.

Pauley Pavilion is beginning to look amazing. The other day I walked by and the lights were on inside- so exciting to see! I can’t wait to be battling for the 2013 NCAA Gymnastics title in there.

Go Bruins!

An Introduction – Princeton Ly

Hello there! My name is Princeton Ly, and I will be posting weekly on the UCLA Life Blog during the 2011 – 2012 academic year.

First, a little bit more about myself and my path to and through UCLA. I was raised in Whittier, a historic little town in East Los Angeles, and attended high school in tree-lined San Marino, just a stone’s throw from our very own Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This year I will be entering my last year at UCLA, so I am most definitely an Angeleno through and through.

As such, I take much pride in supporting Los Angeles’ greatest and most storied athletic teams – the Lakers, the Dodgers, and the Bruins. One thing I hope to do during my time with the UCLA Life Blog, is share a bit more about the school from a sports fan’s perspective. For those of you who are incoming freshman, the Den Sports Pass is available for purchase here right now! For the ridiculously low price of $99, you get a Den tee-shirt and access to all of UCLA’s football and men’s basketball home games. As Pauley Pavilion is currently undergoing renovation, getting to the latter may require some extra effort on your part, but I guarantee – with the squad we are fielding this year – it will be worth it. Lastly, as a shout-out to one of my favorite sites on the interwebs, head on over to Bruins Nation for the best (in my opinion) unofficial, fan-based reporting on UCLA sports.

As for my path through college, I started out as a Chemistry / Materials Science major hoping to craft a career in academic research. As a student from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, I had the honor of taking classes with one of the best professors at the university, Yung-Ya Lin (read the review by Michael Criem), as well as the honor of working with a million-dollar microscope in one of the newest and most advanced facilities anywhere – CNSI.

But my attentions shifted after I went on a life-changing medical missions trip to Kenya, and becoming a physician became my new dream. To allow for the volunteering, MCAT preparation, and applying/interviewing that this dream involved, I switched to a less coursework-heavy major in Marine Biology, a childhood fantasy come true. The rest, they say, is history.

I look forward to sharing my experiences and expertise with you all. As a sneak peek into next week’s post, do some digging here.

Yours truly,

Princeton