UCLA basketball: Bruins reportedly get commitment from City College of San Francisco guard De'End Parker [Update]
Is UCLA becoming a haven for junior college transfers?
It's starting to look that way after the Bruins received a nonbinding verbal commitment from De'End Parker, a 6-foot-5 sophomore combo guard from City College of San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. UCLA coaches cannot comment on recruits until they sign letters of intent.
Parker would join Lazeric Jones as the rarest of species, a junior college transfer in Westwood. Before Jones arrived this summer, UCLA had not had a junior college transfer play meaningful minutes since Jack Haley in 1986-87. Next season, they could have two on the same team.
The Chronicle reported that Parker, who attended San Francisco Lincoln High, switched his commitment to the Bruins from California because he wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to live outside the Bay Area.
"Cal did nothing wrong," Parker told the newspaper.
Parker could arrive in Westwood with some extra baggage. He attended three high schools in four years, according to The Chronicle. He told the newspaper he had been asked to withdraw from San Francisco Sacred Heart Cathedral after his freshman year for disciplinary reasons. He attended San Francisco Stuart Hall as a sophomore before transferring to Lincoln for his final two years after one of his better teammates at Stuart Hall was expelled.
Parker was also involved in a car accident his junior year that sidelined him for part of the season. The youngest of 10 children, Parker told The Chronicle that his name signified the end of his mother's childbearing days.
"When she was actually having me," Parker said, "she said, 'Man, this is the end, I'm not having any more.' And that's how she got my name -- De'End -- like 'The End.' "
[Updated at 8:42 p.m.: City College of San Francisco Coach Justin Labagh confirmed that Parker had committed to UCLA in a telephone interview. Labagh said Parker switched his commitment after the Bruins offered a scholarship because he always wanted to play in Westwood.
"When he accepted at Cal, there was some gray area there as to whether UCLA would offer," Labagh said. "They offered, and I think he just felt more comfortable there."
Though Parker plays point guard for the Rams, the top-ranked junior college team in California, Labagh said he envisioned him playing the wing for UCLA. Parker is averaging 12 points, six rebounds and four assists this season for the Rams (29-1).
The scholarship for Parker became available after guard Matt Carlino transferred to Brigham Young in December.]
-- Ben Bolch in Seattle