Let's start the walk with gigantic news from the Pauley renovation project (HT silverlakebruin). Once again it appears that Wasserman family has stepped up in a huge way for the UCLA athletic program, as per the LA Times Casey Wasserman himself has pledged $20 million to $25 million for the Pauley renovation project:
With the University of California Regents meeting this afternoon to review the proposed Pauley Pavilion renovation, multiple sources say Los Angeles sports executive Casey Wasserman has pledged $20 million to $25 million to the project.
That would represent a substantial portion of the $100 million in donations that UCLA hopes to raise for the $185-million upgrade of its aging arena.
The amount was disclosed by sources close to the project who asked not to be identified because Wasserman has declined to comment.
In an interview last week, Wasserman said his family's charitable foundation does not, as a rule, talk about its donations.
"We'll make a commitment when the time is right," he said.
Given the current economic climate, the news is staggering. I would have to think that news like that would also amount to something akin to rocket fuel for the UCLA fundraisers as it would enable them to court other potential donors with a lot of momentum. Casey Wasserman is of course not a new topic on BN. He has always been on my radar since I read this story way back in 2003 when UCLA was trying to hire a basketball coach from Pittsbugh:
According to the Los Angeles Times, Casey Wasserman, the grandson of deceased movie studio founder Lew Wasserman, provided a private plane to take Howland from
Pittsburghto . California
So thanks again Casey. BTW he has a tweeter feed (which you might want to follow). He always has interesting observations to post such as this gem from July 12th on why UCLA needs to be with Nike. Anyway, if this news is true its a huge endorsement from a key member of the Bruin family. More notes after the jump.
Moving on to other notes from Coach Howland, looks like we have already had discussions on AA's trade to Denver here and here. I am excited to see him UCLA blue and gold again (not to mention we will get to see him a little more now that he will be in the Western conference). Coach Howland didn't waste any time tweeting his "excitement" for AA. Speaking of tweeting, yesterday I posted about KL's interview with WWL on tweeting in which he came up with his selection of "All NBA tweet team" which included his fellow Bruin Baron Davis. It looka like Coach Howland is campaiging to coach that team:
You need to check out Kevin Love's all-nba twitter team on espn.com. I am lobbying to be the coach. I can win a lot of games with that team!
He followed that up with this:
That is if Kevin will allow a college coach to be on the all-nba twitter team. It's your team Kevin, so make the exception for me will you?
Let's see if KL responds.
BTW Coach Howland and his wife - Kim Howland - are helping put together a great charity event - the HDSA LA Hoop-A-Thon - at Pauley on Friday, Aug. 28, 2009 from 6-10 p.m. More details on the event which is "an effort to raise money and awareness" for devasating Huntington Disease in America, can be found on the official site. So make sure to check it out.