As a basketball point guard, Dave Ulloa is used to protecting the
ball and serving up his share of assists to teammates.
Although the former Hoover High graduate is still a force in the
hoop game, Ulloa has found another way to protect and serve -- as a
Los Angeles police officer.
In a unique melding of his two passions, Ulloa, 28, has found a
way to combine his love of basketball with his career in criminal
The eight-year Burbank resident is a sure-shooting player for the
LAPD’s talented basketball team. With Ulloa’s help, the team has
earned a trip to compete against the finest law enforcement and fire
fighting athletes in the world.
Beginning today through Aug. 3, Ulloa’s squad will be competing in
the 10th annual World Police and Fire Games in Barcelona. The Games
will join more than 10,000 participants who will compete in 64
“We know we are going to be going up against some very good
teams,” said Ulloa, who is 5 feet 9 and 170 pounds. “But we think
that we have a pretty good team ourselves, and we are looking forward
“Some of our players played Division I college basketball and some
have played internationally. We even have a former L.A. Laker [Trevor
Wilson] on the team.”
The World Police and Fire Games were created in 1985 by the
California Police Athletic Federation with the goal of promoting
physical fitness and sport within the police and fire fraternity
worldwide. The Games are held biennially and are open to active and
retired, publicly employed and full-time firefighters and peace
The LAPD squad earned the chance to compete in the competition
with a fine showing in the California Police and Fire Games.
Ulloa said he became involved with the LAPD team when he was
approached by some players while he was still at the police academy.
“It’s been great playing for the team,” he said. “It gives me a
chance to continue playing the sport.”
Thriving on the basketball court is something Ulloa has done just
about all of his life.
In fact, his desire to get his law enforcement career off the
ground pulled Ulloa away from a successful professional career
halfway around the world.
In 1997 and 1998, Ulloa was a wildly popular player for the
Victorian Basketball League in Australia. Playing for the Euchuca
Pirates, he quickly became the most prolific scorer in the league.
In his rookie season, Ulloa was unstoppable, leading the league in
scoring. In 30 games, he averaged 45.3 points a game and was also
tops in three-point shooting (49.3%, 138 of 280). He was also second
in three-throw percentage (89.8%, 167 of 186) and assists (7.1 per
“I had a great time playing in Australia and I was thankful to
have the opportunity to compete professionally,” Ulloa said. “But I
really wanted to come back and get my career started.”
So, with three years left on his five-year contract with Euchuca,
Ulloa headed back to Burbank.
Ulloa got the chance to play professionally after a fine career at
Thousand Oaks California Lutheran University, where he turned heads
and broke records with his sharp skills and personable demeanor.
At Cal Lutheran -- an NCAA Division III university -- Ulloa was a
four-year starter for the Kingsmen and was a three-time All-Southern
California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference award winner.
His finest season came in 1995-96 when he was a senior. Ulloa led
the team in scoring (16.4 points a game), assists (5.1) and steals
(2.0). He holds the school record in career steals with 214.
Not only did Ulloa put a great deal of hard work and effort honing
his basketball skills at Cal Lutheran, but he also put in just as
much time making sure he received a good education. Majoring in
criminal justice, he also got a minor in physical education coaching.
“I have never had a player who was as well conditioned as Dave,”
Cal Lutheran Coach Rich Rider said. “He was always in the best shape
and he was also a very hard worker.
“The other great thing about him is that he was one of the most
intense players you will ever see. You put those two things together
and you have a real Tasmanian Devil of a player.
“When we heard that Dave was going to become a police officer, a
few of us said we feel sorry for the bad guys because we knew Dave
was going to bring the same dedication and intensity to that job that
he does for basketball.”
Along with his basketball skills, Rider also said Ulloa is a
gentleman who should be considered a valuable role model.
“I just can’t say enough about him,” Rider said. “He is just a
great human being and a very nice person to be around.”
Ulloa’s work ethic was also apparent at Hoover, where he graduated
In his senior season -- playing for Coach Kirt Kohlmeier -- he was
an All-Pacific League first-team and All-CIF Southern Section honoree
for the Tornadoes, averaging 24.2 points, 4.2 assists and 2.0
rebounds a game.
Along with his personal aspirations, Ulloa -- who lives in Burbank
with his wife Yvette -- has a passion for helping younger players and
a driving desire to give something back to the community.
While playing in Australia, Ulloa spent time helping develop
junior programs and working with young players in clinics.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Ulloa has seen how children can go astray
without the proper guidance and education.
With that in mind, Yvette Ulloa said her husband finds time to try
and make a difference.
“Dave has benefited from some things when he was growing up, so he
really is committed to giving something back to the community,” she
said. “He really tales it seriously.”
One of his endeavors is working on the Burbank Community
Development Goals Committee, in which he is serving a four-year term.
The BCDC is a citizen’s liaison between the federal government and
the city of Burbank that makes recommendations to the city council on
Finding time to devote to his job, family, basketball and other
interests has become an art for Ulloa, who would like to move up in
the police ranks and hopes to be a training officer or a detective.
However, Ulloa admits nothing puts a hard day of chasing bad guys
behind him like a few games of basketball.
“I think I will still be playing basketball in my 50s, and
probably even after that,” he said. “I guess it’s just in my blood.”