Let's start with what will be in on everyone's mind here on BN and the extended Bruin family: prayers and thoughts for Coach. We have not received any new updates since last night. Jill Painter from the Daily News caught up with the Big Red who, confirmed he's in the hospital and visited him earlier in the week:
"I was there Tuesday," Walton said. "I told him, he's the greatest."
Walton paused and smiled, trying to hold back tears.
"He's the best," Walton said.
The Big Red always has a way keeping things simple, yet so precise.
Coach Wooden is still with us. We are going to muster up every bit of prayer and good thought we can collectively muster up from here and beyond to keep him with us as long as we can. Still last few hours have been pretty rough. It has been incredibly difficult to see through clearly at times through the overwhelming sense of emotion that has been welling up that has nothing to do with basketball or UCLA athletics.
There is a group already up on Facebook which is organizing a nation wide eight clap for Coach tonight from 8 to 9 pm [HT uclabruin34]. Unclear whether it will be in Pacific or Easter Time. To me it sounds like a pretty amazing gesture if they can organize one right outside UCLA Medical Center at 8 pm PST. Those of us who are thousands of miles away and spread all over this country and the world will be joining them in spirit.
For this am I wanted to share this video from Coach talking about basketball, life and death, two years ago, when he was inducted into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum's Court of Honor:
While we all selfishly want Coach to be with us as long as possible, when he has to leave he will be will Nell. That is a thought that should cheer us up no matter what as he will be Our Coach Forever. More after the jump.
I know it is hard to care for anything else on a day like this, but it is a huge Friday for UCLA athletics. Here is a little reason on why we should we care about our softball and baseball programs' big games this evening:
Our softball team had a monster start in the College World Series with a total destruction of Florida Gators. Bruins broke the school record for home runs in a single season with three more bombs yesterday and also scored the most runs ever in a UCLA postseason contest in a 16-3, six-inning victory over #4 Florida. Official site has more on yesterday's dominating win. The Bruins (46-11) will play Hawai'i today at 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNHD and online at ESPN3.com, with Gametracker at UCLABruins.com. We will try to throw up a game thread.
Meanwhile, in Westwood the baseball team start their NCAA tournament against Kent State this evening at 6 pm. While it has been a lot of fun interacting with the good folks from And The Valley Shook, that is not going to matter much if the Bruins don't take care of business against Kent State.
ICYMI, Ryan posted a thorough and detailed scouting report on the LA Regional yesterday in the fanpost section. The LA Times found time to "preview" the regional but it made sure it was sprinkled with as many references to heartbreaks from previous Bruin baseball tourney appearances as possible.Whatever.
Anyway, speaking of our team 5 Bruins were named in the All-Pac-10 team and number of others received honorable mentions:
Junior Rob Rasmussen and sophomores Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole, Dan Klein and Tyler Rahmatulla have earned All-Pac-10 Team honors, as announced by the conference office on Thursday. Bauer and Cole have been selected to the All-Conference Team for the second time in as many seasons.
Klein, Rasmussen and Rahmatulla have each secured All-Pac-10 Team honors for the first time in their career. Additionally, senior Blair Dunlap, juniors Niko Gallego and Brett Krill, sophomore Dean Espy and freshmen Beau Amaral, Cody Keefer and Cody Regis have been named honorable mention selections.
Congrats to all of them. The official site has more notes on the game which is scheduled to start around 6 pm EST. We will of course have an open thread going for tonight's game.
Continue to keep Coach in your prayers and thoughts all day. We are all in this together.