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Bruins want center circle back

Dan Guerrero is disappointed by an alumnus' plan to sell the iconic item by auction.

March 16, 2011|By Ben Bolch
  • UCLA coaching legend John Wooden, center, signs the original Pauley Pavilion jump circle while standing between former UCLA players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, left, and Bill Walton during a fundraiser in 1998.
UCLA coaching legend John Wooden, center, signs the original Pauley Pavilion… (Iris Schneider / Los Angeles…)

UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said he was "extremely disappointed" by an anonymous Bruins alumnus' plan to sell a center court section of the original Pauley Pavilion in an Internet auction next month.

The 12-foot-diameter jump circle is being sold by SCP Auctions, which fetched $2.8 million for a Honus Wagner baseball card and $1.265 million for the bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium. Bidding will take place from April 15 to 30 on scpauctions.com.

"The center circle belongs on display at new Pauley Pavilion," Guerrero said Wednesday in a statement, "and we are hopeful that we will be able to work out an arrangement with the new owner to bring this important piece of UCLA basketball history back to its home."

Guerrero said the Bruins were rebuffed in "numerous attempts" to reacquire the circle from its owner, even after a donor offered to make a donation to the owner's charity of choice.

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A media release issued by the owner Wednesday stated that the owner intended to donate "a large portion" of the proceeds from the auction to funding medical research.

The circle was part of the court used from 1965 to 1982, a span in which the Bruins won eight NCAA titles in men's basketball and an AIAW title in women's basketball. The circle includes the signatures of legendary UCLA coach John Wooden and dozens of players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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