Trevor Ariza of the New Orleans Hornets drives on Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter in game two of the Western Conference quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA playoffs in April. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
While some NBA players are exploring overseas playing opportunities during the lockout, there are some players who are returning to the classroom.
UCLA has five of its former student athletes and current NBA players taking classes on campus toward the completion of their degrees, writes Yahoo!Sports. New Orleans Hornets forward Trevor Ariza, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Baron Davis, Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Mbah a Moute and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook have all enrolled in classes and plan to continue hitting the books until the lockout is over.
Returning to school and finishing their degree work is something Kenny Donaldson, the athletic assistant director for academic services, has talked to many former Bruins about over the years. It just happens the NBA lockout has given him a more captive audience that might be willing to stick around longer than a summer session or two.
“When the lockout looked like it was going to be a definite thing, I kind of sat down with each of them and laid out a game plan,” Donaldson said. “You don’t want to get them back in something that they’re not going to be interested in. I presented them with options and they found classes that they thought would be interesting, and are easing back into it right now.”
Ariza, for one, seems excited about returning to campus as a student. He seems to have a much greater appreciation for the education component than he did as a one-and-done freshman in 2003.
“Being a regular student is kind of fun,” Ariza said.