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Ben Ball Roundup: Camp In Howlandwood & Other News/Notes

Let's start our Tuesday's roundup with a little Ben Ball. Coach Howland recently held his summer camp at UCLA featuring some of the elite recruits from Southern California. Frank Burlison from the Long Beach Press-Telegram attended the camp on Sunday and put up the following post:

Coach Ben Howland's UCLA Advanced Skills Camp had a solid foundation of talent making up some of the better underclass basketball players in the West.

Among those competing in Pauley Pavilion were class 2010 guards Kendall Williams (Los Osos) and Tyler Lamb (Mater Dei), both of which are already verbally committed to the Bruins.

Others playing especially well Sunday included 6-foot-6 Yannick Atanga (Besant Hill in Ojai); 6-2 James Walker (Los Alamitos); 6-5 Ben Vozzola (Las Vegas Centennial); 6-7 1/2 Angelo Chol (San Diego Hoover); 6-7 Ryan Anderson (Poly); 6-3 Byron Wesley (Cajon); and 6-10 Robert Upshaw (Fresno Edison).

The camp wrapped up yesterday. Brian Dohn was there. He posted the following note on Inside UCLA:

Former Lakers great Jerry West gave an inspiring talk to the campers, and former Bruins guard Arron Afflalo took time from his workouts to speak with the campers and answer questions.
There was plenty of nice talent present, and I also got a chance to see members of UCLA's incoming freshmen class. However, Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt did not participate because of injuries, and UCLA commit Kendall Williams sat out the afternoon session with a sprained ankle.

Very cool to hear Mr. Logo helping out Coach Howland and UCLA basketball. As always it's awesome to see AA staying involved and doing whatever Coach Howland asks him to give back to the program.

Speaking of basketball, Brian Dohn had an intersting story on a new "point system" UCLA is supposed to be unveiling this week aboout the seating plan for renovated Pauley. Of course those who currently have season tickets and/or donate to "Campaign of Champions" will be racking up some points. Some of the other factors include:

Points will also be awarded for consecutive seasons as a season-ticket holder, lifetime donations to the school, being a UCLA alum, being a former UCLA student-athlete and for donations given to the campus.

That sounds reasonable to me. There is also the pricing plan. We haven't seen anything public yet. But here are some of the early details from Dohn:

The prime non-courtside seats between the baskets will require a $4,000 annual donation per seat, cost of the ticket, and likely another gift to the "Campaign of Champions," which would keep the point total high and give them a better chance to maintain or improve their seat locations, sources said.

For a pair of season-tickets courtside, a one-time $500,000 donation (split over five years) is needed. The price for two tickets is estimated at $34,000 annually now, but an increase in ticket prices is possible.

"If it's $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 or $600,000, if they can get it, I'm OK with that," said Chuck Winner, who has floor seats across from UCLA's bench and has endowed scholarships. "It's a privilege to sit there. I'm in favor of the process of a (renovated) stadium."

For season tickets in the corners and behind the baskets in mid-level of Pauley Pavilion, an annual donation of $550 to $800 will go with every seat, as well as the price of the tickets and a possible donation to the "Campaign of Champions," sources said.

For season seats in the upper level on the sideline, the annual donation could be as low as $125 per seat. The ticket holder will also have to pay for the cost of each ticket, according to sources. The upper level seats behind the baskets and in the corners will not require an annual donation, sources added.

I guess we will wait to see the details. It will be interesting to see the kind of response it generates from the UCLA basketball community in greater Southern California given the current economy of that state. I hope whatever the campaign plan (aka "Campaign of Champions") Morgan Center official has in place is well thought out strategically so that they can keep going to the donor base with a compelling case on a regular basis. The key IMHO will be to generate excitement and for that to happen they will need to provide a genuine level of transparency so that they can address questions and concerns of all those folks who will be making a financial investment (not just an emotional one) into the program.