The flurry of text messages started not long after learning the basketball coach they hoped to play for had been fired.
Grant Sherfield checked in with fellow UCLA signees Jaime Jaquez and Jake Kyman on Monday, seeking their thoughts on the dismissal of Steve Alford.
The consensus among Jaquez and Kyman was that they were sticking with their pledge to become Bruins. Sherfield was more uncertain about his future, but all three players shared a similar reaction to the news.
“I’m disappointed. I’m sad,” Jaquez, a small forward from Camarillo High, said in a telephone interview. “I had a good relationship with the coaches, but UCLA is still a great school. Me and my family are still talking [about] what’s going to happen. We’re taking it one step at a time.”
Kyman’s father, Coley, said his son is headed to Westwood as planned.
“Jake is very bummed and really respects, appreciates and loves the coaching staff,” Coley Kyman said of Jake, a small forward from Santa Margarita High. “But he chose UCLA because he wanted to play basketball for UCLA. That’s not changing for him.
“Jake is a high-IQ basketball player who can shoot it. He’s going to keep working hard and wait for the opportunity to meet the new coach and build a new relationship.”
UCLA’s chances of retaining Kyman are bolstered by his mother, Michelle, having played volleyball for the Bruins.
Together with Sherfield, a guard from Wichita (Kansas) Sunrise Christian High, Jaquez and Kyman comprise a class that’s ranked No. 27 nationally and No. 4 in the Pac-12 Conference by 247Sports.
Sherfield’s father, Antoine, told 247Sports that the family was evaluating the situation and would make a decision on Grant’s college plans “in the near future.”
There’s always a chance UCLA’s new coach could pivot in his assessment of the prospects. Former Bruins coach Ben Howland once encouraged Sean Phaler, a forward from Villa Park High, to seek another school after he had signed a letter of intent to play for Howland’s predecessor, Steve Lavin.
Jake Kyman and Jaquez won’t have to pull out their phones to confer with one another about their college choice later this week; their respective teams play each other on Friday.