UW Men to Compete in Wooden Classic

May 18, 2005

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Washington is one of four of the nation's premier men's college basketball teams that will appear in the 12th-annual John R. Wooden Classic on Dec. 10 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. That will mark the Huskies' first visit to Los Angeles since winning the 2005 Pac-10 Tournament en route to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a Sweet 16 berth.

The Huskies are scheduled to open the doubleheader with a meeting against Mountain West Conference champion New Mexico. The Lobos make their second Wooden Classic appearance. In 1997, New Mexico fell to UCLA, 69-58.

UW senior forward Jamaal Williams will play against his former teammates as he was a standout for two seasons for the Lobos in 2002 and 2003. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds as a sophomore during his final season at UNM.

The Lobos are coached by former Washington assistant Ritchie McKay who served under Bob Bender in 1994 and 1995. Another former Husky, Scott Didrickson, is an assistant coach on the New Mexico staff. The Mercer Island High School graduate lettered at Washington from 1992-95.

UCLA makes its ninth Wooden Classic appearance overall and the third in a row. This year, they will face Nevada in Game 2 of the doubleheader. This is the first time in Wooden Classic history that the Western Athletic Conference regular season champions have been to Anaheim. It is also the first time the two teams have faced each other since the 1947-48 season; UCLA is 3-0 against Nevada.

Tickets for the Wooden Classic will go on sale to the public in October; one ticket allows admission to both games of the afternoon doubleheader. Visit www.woodenclassic.com for more information on the Wooden Classic and the annual golf tournament and banquet benefiting Special Olympics Southern California and Orangewood Children's Foundation.

Living up to the promise of showcasing the best in college basketball, the 2004 Wooden Classic featured UCLA against Boston College and Arizona against Mississippi State.

Established in 1994, the Wooden Classic is an annual tribute to the legendary former coach and the excellence he personifies. The event, co-produced by Pantheon International, LLC and Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, has a tradition of bringing the nation's finest college programs to Southern California.

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