The oldest guy on the UCLA basketball team is also the Old Man of the team. That’d be senior guard Isaac Hamilton. He of the mid-season slump; he of the 9 3-pointers in one game.
We’ve heard about his propensity to fold towels in the hotel and other "old man" habits.
"I like doing old-man things," Hamilton said. "I like to read. I take cleaning seriously. It all correlates to each other on and off the court. I embrace it. It brings me peace."
Hamilton is a renaissance man, indeed.
When he’s not reading, cleaning or playing basketball, he loves to cook. He makes a mean cannoli and is trying to perfect his enchilada recipe. Sometimes he’ll drive home to Leimert Park to use his mother’s blender for homemade salsa.
But he’s also got the "old-man game" to go along with his off-the-court demeanor.
The thing that most defines him as the Bruins’ resident old-timer is his game.
The 6-foot-5 guard’s arsenal of floaters, fade-aways, scoop shots and teardrops is something a senior citizen can appreciate more than a college senior.
Teammates poke fun at some of his moves, but they don’t argue with the results that made him a McDonald’s All-American and the top returning scorer in the Pac-12 this season.
Ben Bolch spent the days off talking to a different, actual old man, Larry "Frisbee" Davis, a 61-year-old attorney who created the Frisbee Cheer as a student at UCLA in the late-seventies.
Davis gives a history of how the cheer came to be.
Davis got the idea while watching Pepperdine water polo players perform a similar cheer in support of their school’s volleyball team during a match against UCLA. He later learned it had been performed previously at a Pepperdine swim meet, where a student stood up and asked, "Are those the starting blocks? Is that a diving board?"
Davis did something that made the cheer entirely his own. He copyrighted it.
The unveiling of the cheer at Pauley Pavilion during the 1976-77 season was modest, Davis starting with a small group of classmates before it quickly mushroomed to the entire student section. Davis was soon given access to the court, allowing him to engage the whole crowd.
Also, he doesn’t much like some of how it’s being done now. Namely, that the student who does it before each game delivers it to the camera to be broadcast on the screens, rather than to the students (if my memory serves me, the Den leaders directed it to the student sections for each basketball game and football game when I was in school—kinda don’t like the camera thing, either).
7. UCLA (23–3)
Selection Sunday best-case scenario: The Bruins are in the same boat as Arizona. Establishing themselves as the cream of the Pac-12 crop would put them in position to secure the no. 2 seed in the West … but could also land them the (weirdly unappealing) no. 1 seed in the South. So, like the Wildcats, UCLA’s best-case scenario has more to do with location than seeding. If the Bruins can play every game in California before the Final Four (which is in nearby Phoenix), UCLA fans should be thrilled.
Selection Sunday worst-case scenario: The committee had the Bruins as a no. 4 seed last weekend, even after their thrilling comeback win over Oregon. Considering that UCLA has only lost three games and that its worst defeat came on the road against a good USC team, the committee is clearly waiting for it to secure another signature win before adjusting the Bruins’ ranking. If UCLA fails to get that on February 25 at Arizona — and if it loses another game that it shouldn’t (like Saturday’s matchup with USC) before the Pac-12 tournament — the team’s stock could drop into more of a freefall than John Wooden’s earlobes. Even so, anyone with one functional eye can tell that the Bruins are one of the best teams in America. I refuse to live in a world where they get anything worse than a no. 5 seed.
Ever wondered what it’s like to hang out with Lonzo Ball, Bryce Alford, TJ Leaf, and ESPN’s Neil Everett? I’m sure you wonder about it a lot, actually; maybe even all the time.
Stay up late tonight and tune into SportsCenter to find out:
Happy Friday, folks—stay dry if you’re in California and...