Russell Westbrook gave plenty to the UCLA basketball program while he was a student-athlete in 2006-08, helping the Bruins reach the Final Four of the NCAA tournament both seasons.
Now an NBA superstar with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook is still helping his former university — this time financially.
Westbrook has made what UCLA says is the largest financial contribution it has ever received from a former basketball player. His donation will go toward the construction of the Mo Ostin Basketball Center on the Westwood campus, the university said Monday in a statement.
"I loved my time at UCLA and jumped at the opportunity to give back to the University that provided me with amazing opportunities and great memories," Westbrook said in the statement. "I am truly honored to be part of the legacy that is Bruin basketball."
The amount of Westbrook's contribution was not specified, though the university said in the statement that it's "significant." UCLA added that more than $17 million in private funds have been raised for the new men's and women's basketball practice facility, including the initial $10 million by music industry executive and philanthropist Morris "Mo" Ostin.
The facility's practice floor will be known as Russell Westbrook Court. Westbrook will also be on hand when he is honored by the Bruins at their Jan. 7 game against the Arizona Wildcats.
"Russell himself is an inspiration," Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said. "We could not be more proud of his leadership both on and off the court since he left Westwood, and I know the Bruin faithful will be excited to welcome him back home next month and thank him for this tremendous gift."
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