Briefs: Brooks coaching NBA All-Stars

UC Irvine alumnus Scott Brooks, head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will coach the Western Conference in theNBAAll-Star Game Sunday in Orlando, Fla.

Brooks earned the honor as the Thunder clinched the best record in the conference through Feb. 15.

Brooks played for UCI from 1985-87, averaging 23.8 points as a senior in 1986-87. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, including 1994 with the NBA-champion Houston Rockets. He still holds the UCI record for career free-throw percentage at .859.

On the night that the Bren Events Center opened, Jan. 8, 1987, Brooks scored 43 points as UCI defeated Utah State, 118-96. He scored 41 points in a win at Pacific later that season.

As a senior, he was named first team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now Big West Conference), All-District and honorable mention All-America.

Brooks was inducted into UCI's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

— From staff reports


Shaeffer up for baseball honor

Catcher Ronnie Shaeffer has been selected to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award initial list. Shaeffer is one of 30 baseball student-athletes to be named a candidate for the award that recognizes achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.

Shaeffer, who will receive a degree in business economics this June, is a two-time Big West scholar-athlete and has been voted to the Big West Academic All-Conference team. Planning to pursue an MBA following his baseball career, Shaeffer has volunteered with the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League, and spoken to children about the importance of staying in school. He has also been "adopted" by an elementary class in his hometown of Garden Grove and volunteers as a teacher's aide in the off-season.

On the field, he has played in three consecutive postseasons for UCI and was named the 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association Gold Glove winner. Shaeffer is a two-time All-Big West selection and was the NCAA Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player last season. He was also one of the top defensive catchers in the nation, holding opposing teams to a .430 average in steals.

The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

The winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA College World Series, which will be held June 15-26 in Omaha, Neb.

— From UCI athletics


UCI's Warde honored

UC Irvine sophomore utility player Danielle Warde has been named Big West Conference Player of the Week in women's water polo.

Warde had five goals in the Anteaters' 12-9 win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday (Feb. 18). In addition, she earned three exclusions, one of which was a penalty, and had three steals.

Warde had produced seven goals in 10 previous games.

— From staff reports


Special day for UCI

UC Irvine will recognize the 10th anniversary of its resurrected baseball program Saturday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.

Members of the 2002 team will be introduced prior to the 1 p.m. first pitch of Saturday's game against Washington.

The UCI baseball program was dropped following the 1992 season due to budget cuts.

Following passage of the Athletics and Student Activities Referendum in the spring of 1999, the program was reinstated in the fall of 2001 and the return to competition in the spring of 2002.

UCI has advanced to NCAA postseason play seven of the last eight seasons, including three Super Regionals (2007, 2008 and 2011).

The Anteaters defeated Wichita State in a 2007 Super Regional and advanced to the College World Series in Omaha for the first time in program history, going 2-2 with elimination wins over Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State before losing to eventual national champion Oregon State.

In the past five seasons, UCI has compiled an overall record of 216-89 (.708).

The Anteaters, 3-1 on the season, are hosting Washington in a weekend series with game times at 6:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. In this week's polls, UCI is ranked No. 21 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and 27th by Collegiate Baseball.

— From UCI athletics

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