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Thursday, November 10, 2016
Recruiting 2017: UCLA Basketball Signs Four SoCal Standouts
The Bruins have added four local standouts for next season's incoming freshman class.
NOV 9, 2016 | ucla men's basketball | ARTICLE LINK
Ball, Hands, Hill and Riley will enroll at UCLA in 2017 and begin their freshman seasons in Westwood in the 2017-18 academic year. The four players are all currently in their senior seasons at high schools in Southern California – Ball at Chino Hills High School, Hands at Foothills Christian High School (El Cajon, Calif.), Hill at Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.) and Riley at Sierra Canyon High School (Chatsworth, Calif.).
Hands has been ranked as high as the No. 26 player, nationally, by Rivals.com and is listed as the No. 27 player by Scout.com. The 6-foot-3 guard from San Diego is currently a senior at Foothills Christian High School. Over the summer, he was named MVP of the 2016 adidas Nations tournament, leading his team to the tournament title with an 18-point performance.
"Jaylen is an elite point guard who brings great speed to our backcourt," Coach Alford said. "He has the ability to change the tempo of a game. Jaylen is a terrific athlete who thrives in transition and can make good decisions at full speed."
Riley, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Chatsworth, Calif., has excelled the last three seasons at Sierra Canyon High School. He has been ranked as the No. 30 player, nationally, in his high school class by Scout.com and No. 34 by Rivals.com. Riley has been a three-time CIF Southern Section Division V John Wooden Award winner as the division's player of the year. Last season, Riley led Sierra Canyon to a 26-5 record, averaging 12.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.
In three seasons at Sierra Canyon, Riley has guided his high school team to a perfect 30-0 mark in league games. As a sophomore, he logged 18 points, 22 rebound and three blocks in a 25-point victory in the CIF Division V state title game.
"Cody gives us a physical presence inside," Coach Alford said. "He has tremendous size and explosiveness and can play both in the post and also out on the floor. His versatility and strength with that elite skill set makes him a special player."
Hill, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Corona, Calif., has been ranked as high as No. 50, nationally, in his high school class by ESPN.com. He has also been tabbed No. 61by Rivals.com. Hill played alongside current UCLA freshman Ike Anigbogu last season at Centennial High School, averaging 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. As a sophomore in 2014-15, Hill helped Centennial compile a 26-6 record as his team won the CIF Southern Section Regional title.
"Jalen has a very bright future," Coach Alford said. "He's a young player who is long and athletic and takes great pride in rebounding the basketball. He runs the floor very well and has the potential to be an elite shot blocker."
Ball, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound guard from Chino Hills, Calif., led his high school team in scoring last season (27.4 ppg). Playing alongside his older brother and current UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball in 2015-16, Li'Angelo helped Chino Hills High School post a perfect 35-0 record, culminating in the 2016 CIF State Open Division Championship. His high school team defeated De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), 70-50, in the state title game. Following his junior season, Li'Angelo Ball was named to the Los Angeles Times' all-star basketball team.
"Gelo can flat-out shoot the basketball," Coach Alford said. "At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, he brings size, strength and a guy who knows how to make shots. We love his physical approach to the game and his ability to post as well as play on the perimeter."