COACH BEN HOLLAND at WVRC on May 27th
NICK KAHRILAS led the Pledge. TOM BARRON provided the Invocation. Lord God, as we gather here today we seek your blessing on all our Rotary members, asking that you give us the wisdom, concern and understanding to assist our fellow man in concert with our Motto Service Above Self. Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings in our daily decisions, both great and small. Grant us your guiding light upon the twisting pathways of our life. Bless the endeavors of Rotary members everywhere and crown their efforts with success. Most importantly, lead us according to your love, Amen. Good job, TOM thanks. LENNY, after his absence last week, came forward for his weekly position-appointment. Since he is known to be concerned about the Spill, Prexy ED then donned not only a head-covering, but forehead light to aid in overseeing repairs. LENNY persisted, with You’re a Grand Old Flag, and all were satisfied.
We had FIVE Visiting Rotarians! Renato Romano from Beverly Hills was with us again, as was Paul Arlan, from Rancho Park. Our former PP, Dave Whitehead stopped by from Redondo Beach, and Susan Milam checked in from Uptown Macon, and I know you know that’s Georgia. Janet Reboa from Rancho Park was with us once again Prexy ED had two guests, his wife Cathy and another Cathy, Chambers by name. ED JACKSON brought James Krug and Ron Weiss. A third Cathy, Collins of course, was with PP JIM. NICK KAHRILAS had two guests, Pat Norton and Matt Harrison. At the Head Table we had VP ED JACKSON, NICK KAHRILAS and program chair STEVE PETTISE. Filling the other side were PP JIM COLLINS and our Speaker, Ben Holland.
We had a late notice of the City of Angels Wine Fest, which will be this Monday, Memorial Day, from noon until 5 pm at the Music Center Plaza. Some 30 California wineries will be represented, and the event benefits the Homeless.
Auxiliary Officers will be installed on June 8th at the home of SALLY BRANT. President-elect GORDON FELL will discuss the coming Rotary Year. Contact is Margie Downie.
Prexy ED reminded us of the upcoming Demotion, contending that if no one came, he might hire ringers. It’s the 26th of June, at the Beach Club you have the invite, I’m sure.
RICK BROUS came forward with an event attended by his daughter. She was apparently just invited to the White House, for a program involving its chief resident, President Obama. And we would have to agree that this is kind of a tough event to equal Congrats to the BROUSES.
DR COLBY SMITH reported on his Presentation of our Award of a Saber at the recent Army ROTC Awards Ceremony.
JACK PAUL was welcomed by PP STEVE SCHERER as our newest member. We were reminded of our core belief in Service Above Self, and our expectation that JACK would help us adhere to that slogan. PP STEVE also pointed out that some of our members support Rotary by their time, some by their talent, and some by their treasure while some support it by all three. He was of course welcomed with a standing ovation! JACK then responded nicely, noting that he felt welcome at WVRC, and repeating PP STEVE”S emphasis on public service, which he continues to support. PP STEVE next called MARSHA HUNT to the Podium. She has completed her “Year of Purgatory” (my phrase) and thus she no longer needs to sit at the Yearling Table. She and PP STEVE proceeded to deliver the Rotary Creed, (and it rhymes, did you notice?) While not announced at the meeting, I did want to remind everyone about an important visit next week at R.I. Headquarters next week by Jamie Feld, our Ambassadorial Scholar who has been in Cordoba, Argentina this just-completed academic year. Jamie has an appointment with the Brass to report on some helpful grass-roots news, and if anyone reading this knows anyone at HQTRS, please let her know right away Jamiefeld@gmail.com. She will be there this Tuesday, June 1st.
PP JIM COLLINS introduced Coach Ben Holland. He began by reminding us that we don’t often have a speaker who has just appeared in the newspaper, as the Coach did when the Ware twins were announced as transferring to UCLA from North Carolina. Coach Holland has been at UCLA for seven years, and before that, four years at Pittsburgh and five years at Northern Arizona. He has been Coach of the Year several times, and between 2007 and 2009 he had 97 victories in three years, which no coach has ever produced before. Coach Holland grew up in Santa Barbara, got his BA from Weber State, and his MA from Gonzaga, and then was an assistant at Santa Barbara for twelve years. He also spent a year coaching overseas.
Coach Holland began by pointing out that he has just finished his twenty ninth straight year of coaching. He noted that in his own family, his son Adam is a senior at UCLA, and will be studying at Pepperdine Law next year. Their daughter, Meredith, is a nurse in pediatric oncology, at the Mattel Children’s Hospital here at UCLA and next year will achieve her Masters and will thus become a Nurse Practishioner so both of his kids are UCLA students, of which he and his wife are quite proud.
Coach Holland reminded us all of what a major force UCLA is in higher education. Our budget is 3.2 billion dollars which indicates the size and complexity of what takes place. He repeated that Travis and David Ware will be transferring here from North Carolina, will sit out a year, and then have a full three years of eligibility remaining at UCLA. They are identical twins, 6’10, 230, and very good students indeed, really, they are perfect recruits. At this point, the athletic career of DAVID FRIEDMAN came into play. Apparently DAVID was the choice of his 7th grade team, and it may even have been in basketball. But I digress. Josh Smith, from the Tacoma area, will also enroll at UCLA this fall thus giving us THREE 6’10 newcomers, and Smith is a MacDonald’s All-American in high school. Smith today weighs 325 and Holland wants him at about 285, which will make him even more effective. Tyler Lamb, from Mater Dei, is a 6’4 Division One Player of the Year, who will play on the wing. Our fifth recruit is Matt Carlino, a left-handed shooter who had committed originally to go to Indiana. Matt’s father, of all things, was recruited by Ben twenty-five years ago! It’s a small world, after all. Anyway, Ben points out that our typical recruit has a strong family, which always help academically and these families want their kids to play close to home, so they can see them.
Finally, we have a redshirt, Andrew Stover, who is also 6’10, and he has a 7’6 wingspan that is, tip of fingers to tip of fingers! Long arms are an advantage.
Another example is Malcolm Lee, who is 6’5 but stretches to 6’10. Malcolm, who will be our starting #2 guard, tore his meniscus recently, and will take a month to recover thank goodness this was not during the season. He was playing with Dru Holiday at Pauley when it happened.
Tyler Honeycutt, as a freshman, returns as our leading rebounder this after missing practice all last summer due to an injury and summer is when you have most of your improvement. He made the all-freshman Pac 10 last year, as voted by the other coaches. Tyler is 6’8, 185, and Holland would like him to be closer to 200, even with his slender body. He almost had a triple-double in one game last year that is, double figures in scoring rebounding, and assists, and only two other UCLA players have ever achieved this distinction. Of course, they didn’t keep these records when Kareem Abdul Jabbar was here, or he would of course join the group. Reeves Nelson will also be returning, and he’s like Rocky! His eye was poked in the Kansas game, then late in the season he had his feet taken out from under him, and landed, literally, on his forehead. So he missed another five games.
Ben asked us how many followed the NBA, and many hands went up. Darren Collison was on the all-rookie team this year this after playing all four years at UCLA. Russell Westbrook is back at UCLA this summer and he makes four million dollars a year, at the ripe old age of 21!
Aaron Affalo started every game for the Denver Nuggets, And Abovamoote (sp?) started for the Bucks this year. Kevin Love was injured, but had a very good year. Ben will be watching Jordan Farmar tonight as the Lakers play the Suns. Matt Barnes (remember him?) is playing well for Orlando. UCLA and Duke have the most players currently in the NBA 14 each.
Holland spoke briefly about the major renovation coming to Pauley Pavilion. They had the groundbreaking last week, and work will go on outside all year, starting on the north side. We will be playing this year in Pauley, and then next year, mostly at the Forum. The most important change, according to Ben, will be the new floor. The present floor, which is original, is two inches thick, and thus hard as a rock no give in it. It is thus very hard on your knees and your legs. The bathrooms will be expanded, new locker and weight rooms for both men and women’s programs will be provided, and a probably-impressive ten million dollar central scoreboard will be added. All the inside work will take place next year, which is when we will be at the Forum.
This year we will have ten players on scholarship. There is one more scholarship yet to give perhaps this is where DAVID FRIEDMAN’S name came in…They do not have any seniors, so it will be a young team. This of course illustrates the constant problem of a college coach today when will people come, and when might they leave? The present rule is that you have to be one year out of high school, and 19 years old, before you can go to the NBA this rule comes from the NBA, and while a two-year period would be a big improvement, Ben doesn’t think it is likely. This year, for instance, both Honeycutt and Lee are potential NBA players so the uncertainty continues. In the seven years Ben has been at UCLA, we have had eleven kids go to the NBA, seven of whom are still active. Michael Roll even graduated before this year, and is now working out four NBA teams have said they would like to look at him. You may remember Mustapha Abdul Hamid he was a walk on, and turned down scholarships to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. By his junior year he had earned a scholarship. He will graduate this June with a 3.9 now, that’s a student athlete!
October 14th this year will be a big day that will be the 100th birthday of John Wooden. One of our walk-ons this past year was Tyler Tapang (sp?) who is the great grandson of John Wooden! He wants to go into coaching his mom and dad are teachers, and Ben feels that one of the very special privileges of coaching at UCLA is to be able to be associated with John Wooden. You may recall that we heard the very same thing from Valerie Kondos Field, when she spoke to us recently and her team just won the NCAA Championship in Gymnastics!
Q&A Why was the Pac 10 so poor this year? In 2008 and 09, the Pac 10 had 21 players drafted that is one/third of all the draftees from all the Universities in the country! 13 of them were in the first round, and 10 were lottery picks. That’s a talent loss that caught up with us. To win, you have to have the talent and much talent went to the NBA. As a matter of fact, being in the 3rd time zone out in the west simply doesn’t get you as much media attention as the east coast provides. How do you deal with your players graduating, when you know the NBA is offering all these incentives to leave early? That’s a good question. The reason we all go to college is to prepare ourselves for a good career. Tracy Murray, who played in the NBA for 12 year, came back and just graduated from UCLA. He would like to see a three year rule go direct from high school, or if you go to college, you have to stay three years but he doesn’t think that will happen He expects a lockout in the NBA in 2011, with the result that the players will get less money and the owners more as it is today, only four teams are making money.
If the NBA were run like the NFL, where there are no guaranteed contracts, that would be an improvement but it’s unlikely. The kids we recruit have smart parents, who know the value of a college education, and most of them will return for their degree and he named a bunch of them who are here this coming summer.
Here is a terrible statistic: 65% of players who are three years or more out of the NBA are broke! Dave Currey played six years for the Knicks, made 54 million, and it’s all gone. The worst story is of Scotty Pippen, who made 150 million dollars, and he is now broke. You need an education to learn how to take care of money. A counter example Russell Westbrook’s agent called Ben the other day to report a first the man who handles Russell’s money reported that while he is on a budget, during February, Russell didn’t spend one penny!
Will Tyler Lamb be the point guard? No, there will be three main candidates, one of who will be Jeremy Anderson, another Matt Carlino, plus an incoming JC transfer. Tyler Lamb will play on the wing. And of course having the Wares in practice will be a tremendous help that’s when you hone your skills.
Can the NCAA put in a two-year rule? That really isn’t how they operate. They did at least specify that you have to declare for the draft by mid May, instead of late June, and that’s good. Jordan Farmar, for instance, decided to go on the very last day allowed.
Where do you see Jordan Farmar going? He is finishing his fourth year in the NBA, and the Lakers didn’t pick up his contract. The salary cap is at 60 million, and the Lakers are are at 84, which means they currently pay the other teams in the league who are under the cap, 24 million dollars. Example the Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship in 2008. In 2009 they were sold out every home game and they lost money.
I asked if Ben would recruit a kid who he KNEW was going to the NBA after one year? (and my lack of modesty insists that I point out he said it was a good question…) Kevin Love was the best player coming out of high school that year, and he was a cinch to go and he did. But he is the only one Ben has taken so far. The tough part about being in LA is that every agent in the whole country has a rep in Los Angeles. If you are in Eugene, Oregon, for example, there are nearly as many finaglers, of course. He did mention that USC just took a commitment from an 8th grader! And a 9th grade girl has committed for women’s softball. He noted that he had turned down the best center in the country a year or so ago, because there were just too many issues that could come up. ((could we guess that was the kid from Fairfax?))
PP JIM COLLINS asked the last question Do you have somebody on staff who keeps track of things that would get us into trouble with the NCAA? There are so many ways that can happen, but we have been very fortunate. An example Darren Collison could have gone in the first round after his sophomore year, AND after his junior year. But he decided to come back as a senior and his parents totally supported him. They worked for a living, and they weren’t looking for a meal ticket. In so many of these cases, the whole family is taking money from the player but that isn’t the kind of player we are recruiting.
Ben Holland, we thank you for a most interesting and informative visit. Go Bruins!
We did have the Wine Drawing, which was a Limited Production Merlot from Napa Valley. This was drunk by those who held limited edition coffee cups given out a few years ago. The winner THIS YEAR was MARK BLOCK.
The thought for the day:
If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score? (from Vince Lombardi).