Goodbye (not "sorry") is the hardest word to say“Like a candle in the win(d)” — The 2013-14 UCLA Spirit Squad makes their final Home appearance as the “Sun Goes Down On” them, but the Bruin Basketball team gives the “Tiny Dancers” a Win to “Levon,” damming the Beavers to 69 in a comeback 5-point victory

On Sunday night during the Oscars, there was another, much smaller event going on near Hollywood, and it was, like the Oscars, packed with emotion.  After trailing the game by 11 in the Second Half, UCLA came alive to beat Oregon State 74-69, avenging a loss in Corvallis earlier in the season.

It was Senior Day at Pauley, the last home game for Aubrey Williams (of whom you’ve never heard) and for the Wear Twins (of whom you’ve heard plenty, some good, some bad).  The Wears have been good ambassadors for UCLA, good citizens, good students, and hard-working, easily-coached players.  Unfortunately, they never lived up to their true potential, due to a certain “finesse” approach for front court “bigs.”  But they have each had some great highlight moments in their UCLA careers, so bidding farewell to them on Senior Day is still emotionally charged…

…but not even CLOSE to how heartbreaking it is to lose some members of the UCLA Spirit Squad who will no longer be gracing the Bruin sidelines.  And it’s not just the Seniors — There are a few girls who — despite retaining eligibility — may opt to discontinue their Cheerleading careers in order to focus on their studies or other worthy endeavors.  Also, there are no guarantees that current members will make the squad next year, as all of them are required to go through the audition process again.  So I can’t name names of those who will not be returning, but I swear that I will be deeply saddened to see any of them go.

On the bright side, I will be a Judge for both Dance and Cheer this Spring, so I will do my part to ensure that the quality of the Spirit Squad remains World Class.  I will not show favoritism to returnees, as that would not be appropriate and is of course, not allowed.  I will judge everyone fairly and without bias.  That being said, I do feel that all current members have certainly been deserving of being part of this elite group, and since they know what it takes to ace the auditions, they definitely have a good chance to reprise their roles.  I wish them the best of luck, and hope that the ones who are on the fence about trying out again decide to do so.

The same could be said for Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, who led the Bruins to victory on Sunday night.  They were both suspended from the previous game (an exhilarating double-overtime loss to Oregon), and they both returned with a flourish.  Adams scored 20 of his game-high 24 in the Second Half, and Anderson was his usual all-around stud, playing all 40 minutes, scoring 14 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, dishing out 5 Assists, snagging 4 steals, and blocking 1 shot.  Hopefully, their rule-breaking days are behind them as the final week of the regular season now approaches.

Both Adams and Anderson are Sophomores, but are both nonetheless expected to leave UCLA for the Pros after this season.  Too bad, because if they both stayed, and if Freshman Zach LaVine also stayed, the Bruins would probably start next year in the National Top Ten, with a good chance to return to the Final Four next March.  The fans in Pauley were FEELING THIS during Sunday’s game, and they let Anderson know while he was shooting Free Throws near the end of the game, by chanting “One more year!” — Which is exactly what I would chant to any Spirit Squad member who is also considering leaving prematurely.

In honor of the Spirit Squad’s final Home performance, here are 39 more photos (actually taken last month at the Colorado game).  Click on the pics to enlarge them.


3 responses to “DON’T GO (BREAKING MY HEART)”

  1. that1bruin Avatar

    That Danielle is hot! more pictures!!

  2. JP Avatar

    TH, I’m so relieved you’ll be a judge again. I think once an auditioner hits the minimum dancing ability, the rest should hinge on “image”. The UCLA Dance Team has reached such a high standard (they are perennially included in any “hottest” squad lists) and this streak must continue.

    By the way, those jump suits are now a classic uniform. They are so distinctly UCLA and no other collegiate squad in the nation comes even close when our Dance Team wears them. They are a hit with everyone I know. They just look so glamourous and beautiful.

  3. JosephineBruin Avatar

    it was more than a golf cart ride……trips to fiji and more for mr baxter