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Words of Wisdom ...

Almost a year ago Dijon Thompson, the former UCLA basketball star experienced the most exciting event of his life (at least till that the point of his life). It had nothing to do with him getting drafted by the NBA, it was all about him getting a degree from the greatest university in the world:

These days Dijon is on the bench for Phoneix Suns, a team which is apparently in a heated 3 series with the LA Clippers (Clips this deep into the NBA playoffs? Who knew?). Dijon has been recovering from a season ending surgery. He had some words of wisdom for the current UCLA hoopsters who are seriously thinking about the League (emphasis mine):

Dijon Thompson was completing his final semester at UCLA a year ago, preparing for life in the NBA.

He now wears a neatly pressed suit at the end of the Phoenix Suns' bench, his rookie season behind him after season-ending surgery in March.

He has learned plenty since leaving the Bruins, compiling enough experience on and off the court to offer words of wisdom to former UCLA teammates Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar:

Stay in school.

Afflalo and Farmar, both sophomore guards, have declared for the June 28 draft but have not hired agents and could return to UCLA if they withdraw from consideration by June 18.

"I understand where they're coming from," said Thompson, 23, who declared for the 2004 draft but withdrew his name after participating in the league's pre-draft camp. "They're trying to stick their feet in while they're hot after getting to the championship. But the NBA isn't going anywhere. Cherish the moment and get that education. Go back and enjoy it while you can."

Good stuff. We wish Dijon luck. He made incredible contributions during Howland's first two years which ended with a run to the NCAA tourney. That season ultimately formed the foundation of our current team which produced the spectacular 05-06 season, and is primed to have a good to great season yet again (depending on what happens with Jordan and Arron). I will always be grateful to Dijon for his contributions to UCLA. Looks like he also is emotionally tied to the Bruin Nation. UCLA basketball has become a family affair under Coach Howland. GO BRUINS.