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20th-century Bruins
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Winter 1999
20th-century Bruins
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By B.J. Violett '81

Tired of lists yet?

We have been inundated with them at the close of this millennium, especially in the world of sports. There have been baseball's all-century team, Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards and ESPN's top-100 North American athletes, of which UCLA had five,more than any other university -- No. 81, Jimmy Connors; No. 53, Rafer Johnson; No. 26, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; No. 23, Jackie Joyner-Kersee; and No. 15, Jackie Robinson.

So brace yourself, here is one last list that is sure to delight -- or perhaps enrage -- Bruin fans: the All-20th Century Bruin team.

As most of these lists tend to be, this one is a bit front-loaded. New and improved technology has changed the way we experience and keep records of athletic events, better equipment has led to higher achievements and modern athletes are simply bigger, faster and stronger. And UCLA's athletic prowess, in direct relation to the school's academic ascendancy, has mostly been a second-half-of-the-20th-century phenomenon. These athletes were either at the top of their sports while at UCLA, went on to have outstanding professional careers or a combination of both.

Classic Cagers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Don Barksdale, Denise Curry, Gail Goodrich, David Greenwood, Walt Hazzard, Marques Johnson, Dick Linthicum, Don MacLean, Ann Meyers, Reggie Miller, Willie Naulls, Ed O'Bannon, Bill Walton, Mike Warren, Sidney Wicks, Jamaal Wilkes.


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