Kenny Donaldson reminded some of the UCLA former basketball stars that as the UCLA’s athletics assistant director of academic services, he can definitely help anyone of them to go back to school and finish their degrees. Donaldson is really hoping that some NBA players would still change their mind and decide to study again and eventually graduate.
And because of the NBA lockout, Donaldson might get his wish since there are already a number of NBA players who are contemplating over his offer. UCLA’s American Popular Culture class has already four NBA payers who are, as everybody knows, out of work due to the lockout, and they are Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder’s guard, Kevin Love, forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornet’s forward Trevor Ariza, and Baron Davis, guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Another NBA player who is enrolled in two classes for the summer is Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute. And since the players already have their very own professional careers, all of them are paying for their own tuition fees and for their books.
Ariza was in UCLA in 2003 from Los Angeles’ Westchester High School, he actually did not intend to stay very long at that time. After averaging 11.6 points and 6.5 rebounds as a rookie, he declared for the 2004 NBA draft and he was not among the favorites, he was actually the 43rd overall pick in the second round by the New York Knicks. And since Ariza announced that he is more passionate about basketball and really wants to focus in having a professional basketball career then Donaldson lost all his hopes and doubted that Ariza would ever go back to school.
But, due to the NBA lockout, and lack of anything to do, Ariza is now back to school and enrolled at UCLA and he is even considering of taking up a much heavier or more serious course during the fall. Although he has not made up his mind on a major yet, he is already certain that he would really continue studying. He has decided that even if the NBA lockout is already lifted, he would still try and continue his studies by doing some online courses, and the like.
Ariza also said that he is now learning more just like a freshman because right now he has a different and a deeper appreciation for education. Although he is also welcoming the idea of maybe playing in Spain, China, or Serbia, especially is the lockout really extends until the fall, he would still give more time to studying and, of course, on his coursework at UCLA.