Kobe Bryant to Attend UCSD

    The last couple of years, the UCSD men’s basketball team has had seasons that can be best described as forgettable.

    Jack Nicholson
    Guardian

    They are soon to get some major help. NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, currently with the Los Angeles Lakers, has announced that he plans on continuing his education at UCSD this fall and has the intention of taking the hardcourt as a Triton.

    “”Obviously, if what I hear is true, we would be thrilled to have him,”” said UCSD men’s basketball coach Greg Lanthier. “”He is, to say the least, an outstanding player.””

    Bryant jumped straight to the pros after graduating from Lower Marion High School in Pennsylvania, never having attended college.

    He has taken some courses at UCLA during the offseason, but still has many quarters yet to complete before he can receive a degree.

    NCAA rules state that a player who has gone to the professional ranks cannot return to play Division I college basketball. It does not say, however, that a player cannot return to college to play at the Division II level.

    “”I feel that UCSD would be a perfect fit for me,”” Bryant said. “”It’s in a beautiful part of the country, near L.A. but not actually in that cesspool, and I think that the basketball team has a lot of potential. I look forward to working under coach Lanthier.””

    Bryant will double major, working for degrees in general biology and computer engineering.

    He will be attending Marshall College, since it is the college closest to RIMAC Arena.

    “”My mother and father always wanted me to get an education,”” Bryant said. “”I guess they were disappointed when I didn’t go [to college] right out of high school. I hope this makes up for that mistake.””

    Bryant, 23, will be leaving the Lakers after the season is over. He has had a successful pro career, playing a key role in the Lakers championship last year and has averaged 29.1 points a game this year.

    “”He will be missed,”” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. “”I really don’t know how we can replace him. Hopefully Derek [Fisher] will be able to step up or we can get a knee transplant for Ron [Harper].””

    Speculation is that Kobe is leaving the Lakers to get away from fellow superstar Shaquille O’Neal, with whom Kobe has had an ongoing feud over team leadership.

    “”The big dog now prowls alone, but the big dog is still hungry,”” O’Neal babbled. “”Aristotle knows what a big dog is like. The little pup has left the house, but I’ll toss a bone for him when the big dog gets full.””

    The Tritons have nowhere to go but up after posting a record of 4-23 for the 2000-2001 season.

    “”Assuming he makes the team, we’ll probably bring Bryant off the bench during his first year, being that he is only a freshman,”” Lanthier said. “”He’ll probably play the two [shooting guard] and the three [small forward] positions.””

    Bryant and his family will be visiting the campus sometime in May, playoffs pending, for a family tour.

    Tryouts and practice for the team start in October.

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