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The UCLA Bruins are not exactly a reclamation project, so when Steve Alford walks out on the court at Pauley Pavilion Friday night against Drexel, the expectations of the average Bruins fan are going to be at major heights. Inside of Alford’s opening act at UCLA, will be his sons wearing the powder blue uniforms. Kory is a redshirt-sophomore guard who comes over from New Mexico while Bryce, another guard, opens his college basketball career at UCLA as a freshman against the Dragons.
Ironically, the Alford brothers will join David and Travis Wear as UCLA will boast two sets of siblings on the team.
“We have got to be a unique program in that we have two sets of brothers,” stated Coach Alford, “I don’t know anyone in the country who has that, so it is kind of a unique deal.”
Alford noted that the uniqueness of this situation is as such that he has compiled a list of names close to him that he can call upon if needed. Alford talks about being a coach’s son as he played for his father Sam at Chrysler High School in New Castle, Indiana. Sam later joined Alford on the bench at Southwest Missouri State and Iowa. Alford’s assistant, Ed Schilling, played for his father in high school while Alford, of course played for Hall of Famer Bob Knight, who coached both of his sons.
“There’s a lot of people I can lean on as we go through this,” said Alford, “But my oldest son, Kory, has been with me at New Mexico the last two years, so he has been a part of the two championships that we have won in his first two years, and he understands how we do things.”
Alford noted that Kory would continue his walk-on status at UCLA as he wants to get into coaching. He played in 10 games a year ago, five were Mountain West Conference tilts, and he earned the Lobo Scholar Athlete Award.
“He’s part of a group of walk-ons that we have and he’s doing a great job,” commented the coach.
Bryce Alford had a stellar high school basketball career at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque as he was a four-year letter winner and finished his career last year with a single season New Mexico state record of 1,050 points.
“Bryce is somebody that had a very good high school career and somebody that will help us in a lot of ways,” Alford explained, “He understands how to play and has a very good basketball IQ.”
Bryce Alford finished with 2,479 and averaged 37.7 ppg., with 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per outing while being named the 2013 Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year,
“He’s going to know his role of where the ball has got to go and and who has got to get it,” said Alford of the expectations of his youngest son, “It’s a similar offense to what we have had at New Mexico and he has been practicing with our guys from New Mexico over the past two years.”
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