The UCLA Bruins are getting a big-time complement to their squad for the rest of the 2020-21 basketball season. In fact, head coach Cori Close said that this big-time complement is bigger than that, and actually fills a ‘huge need’ for the team’s backcourt depth.
Dominique Darius is joining the program, enrolling early and will be eligible to play as early as January 2.
Darius was the 26th-ranked prospect this past recruiting circuit, by ESPN. She stands 5’9 and played at Blair Academy in New Jersey where she was able to graduate early after her senior prep season was canceled due to coronavirus.
“We are so fortunate to have her,” UCLA coach Cori Close said of Darius. “She fills a huge need for our backcourt depth. Athletically, she is ready right now. It will just be a matter of how much she can take in with the crash course we are giving her from the mental side. She will do whatever it takes to adjust as quickly as possible. It is just a lot to ask of someone this time of year.”
The Bruins have used just eight players this season thanks to opt-outs, COVID-19 and injuries as well as the fact that two freshmen from Australia (Gemma Potter and Izzy Anstey) haven’t been able to enter the States yet.
“I am thrilled to have Dominique joining our team,” Close said. “I am sad for Gemma and Izzy that Dominique is beating them here. They were projected to be major impact players for us this year. You can imagine how hard this is for them to have a 2021 recruit come to UCLA before them.”
Potter and Anstey are a part of a group of athletes that are involved in a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement as they’ve been denied the ability to enter the country due to the COVID-19 immigration policies.
Either way, Darius’ impact should be huge for the Bruins and they’ll get her services as early as Sunday, January 2 when they take on No. 8 Oregon.
Welcome to Westwood, Dominique!