Growing up on the east coast, I knew the UCLA brand in a different way than most west coasters. I knew UCLA as the occasional surprise football team who put a much bigger emphasis on the hard court.
You can’t grow up a sports fan and not know of the UCLA basketball program’s rich history of success. You can’t not know the 11 national titles including the seven in a row and 10 in 12 years during the 60’s and 70’s. You can’t not know the 88-game winning streak.
Be that as it may, you also can’t not know that UCLA’s last men’s basketball championship was 25 years ago.
The UCLA Bruins athletics program has 118 national championships including 12 in softball, 11 in men’s water polo, seven in women’s gymnastics and multiple other multi-time champion athletic programs. UCLA was the first program to reach the 100-championship plateau and the Bruins success in essentially every sport outside UCLA is second-to-none.
Still, UCLA is likely known by one of their ‘big-two’ at the college level in terms of athletics when choosing between football and basketball, and that becomes glaringly obvious when you look the 11 NCAA championships owned by the basketball team compared to the goose egg by the football team. Especially considering the recent success, or lack thereof, by the football team, UCLA still has to be known as a basketball-first university, even if their last championship was in 1995.
So perhaps maybe the better question to ask is — what other sport is UCLA best known for after basketball? That’s probably the most fair question to ask here, and I’ll pose that question to you, the people.
State your sport you think UCLA is ‘second-best’ known for and why. Let’s relive some magic moments in the process.