Friday January 8th, 2016

UCLA honored Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook at halftime of its game against No. 7 Arizona at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday.

In December, Westbrook made the largest donation by a former basketball student-athlete to UCLA's Mo Ostin Basketball Center project. In response, the school named the program facility’s practice floor after Westbrook.

The Thunder team and front office, including Kevin Durant, were on hand for “Russell Westbrook Night” against the Wildcats, and the Bruins even had a special Westbrook-themed promotion

At halftime, UCLA showed a video tribute featuring Westbrook. The NBA guard then took the microphone to address the crowd of Bruins fans.

“I was blessed to be able to go to the best university in the world and I want to thank you guys for all your support,” Westbrook told the crowd. “I’m just honored and humbled to be able to give back to the school I went to.”


Westbrook also led the crowd in in the UCLA “8-clap” cheer.

DAVIS: Why Bob Knight still won’t return to Indiana

ESPN then talked to Westbrook after the ceremony, and Bill Walton asked him what the best part of being a student at UCLA was.

“The fans, the students, just being back home. The campus is the greatest campus in the world,” Westbrook said. 

Westbrook played at UCLA for two seasons, from 2006 to 2008. The Bruins reached the Final Four both seasons and Westbrook went on to be chosen No. 4 by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2008 draft. 

Since arriving in the NBA, Westbrook has been named to four All-Star teams and was the league’s scoring champion in 2014–15 after averaging 28.1 points per game.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.