Women's Basketball Team Begins Practice Saturday

Oct. 11, 2002

The UCLA women's basketball team begins practice for the new season on Saturday morning, October 12, in Pauley Pavilion. Coach Kathy Olivier welcomes back 10 letter-winners from last season's team and adds five talented newcomers for the 2002-03 season which begins with a game at Hawaii on November 23.

Senior Michelle Greco, who sat out last season after leading the Pac-10 in scoring in 2000, returns, along with four starters from a year ago. Seniors Natalie Nakase (5.1 assists per game) and Jalina Bradley return after starting last season at the guard positions. Juniors Whitney Jones (9.5 points, 5.2 rebounds per game) and Jamila Veasley are also back after starting at the forward slots.

Freshman guard Nikki Blue (No. 3 in state high school career scoring, McDonald's All-American), Lisa Willis (member of Narbonne HS state title teams in 2000 and 2001) and Ortal Oren (member of Israeli Junior National team) will bring their talents to the Bruin perimeter. Freshman frontcourt performers Julia Pitts (Cal-Hi Sports' State Female Athlete of the Year) and Emma Tautolo (daughter of former Bruin footballer, John Tautolo, 1977-80) round out the list of newcomers.

The first chance to see the Bruins in person will be in a pair of exhibition games in Pauley Pavilion. On Saturday, Nov. 9, UCLA will host Love and Basketball (2 p.m. in Pauley), and on Sunday, Nov. 17, the West Coast All-Stars will provide the opposition (2 p.m. in Pauley). The regular season home opener will be played on Tuesday night, December 3 against St. Mary's at 7 p.m.

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