Kapono Is Honored

Times Staff Writer

Jason Kapono made it a four-peat.


The senior forward became the first UCLA player chosen the team’s most valuable player four years in a row, sharing the John Wooden Award with senior guard Ray Young.

And Kapono became only the fourth player to be selected All-Pacific 10 Conference four times, joining Todd Lichti of Stanford (1986-89), Ron Lee of Oregon (1973-76) and Bob McKean of California (1952-55).


Kapono is the first player to lead the Bruins in scoring four years in a row. He is averaging 16.9 points and is tied for the lead in rebounding with a 5.4 average.

Sharing team most valuable player honors is nothing new for Kapono. In each of the last three years the award was split three or four ways.

Last season, Kapono, Matt Barnes, Dan Gadzuric and Billy Knight were MVPs. In 2001 it was Kapono, Gadzuric and Earl Watson, and in 2000 it was Kapono, Watson and Jerome Moiso.

Kapono and Young were honored Monday night at the team banquet held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.


Young earned a share of the award primarily because of his strong play since replacing the injured Cedric Bozeman at point guard six games ago. UCLA won four of the games and Young scored in double figures in all six, averaging 19.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists.


Center Ryan Hollins was chosen the team’s most valuable freshman and was the only Bruin besides Kapono to gain All Pac-10 honors. He was selected honorable mention on the all-freshman team.

Sophomore forward Andre Patterson took home the Ducky Drake Memorial Award for unselfish contributions and competitive spirit.

Sophomore guard Ryan Walcott was honored with the J.D. Morgan Memorial Award for outstanding team play and sophomore forward Dijon Thompson was named most improved player.