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FUTURE AT A CROSSROADS : DAVIS GROWS UP QUICKLY FOLLOWING UCLA CONTROVERSY.



Byline: Jon Wilner Daily News Staff Writer

Baron Davis Baron Walter Louis Davis (born April 13 1979, in Los Angeles, California) is an American professional basketball player currently starting at point guard for the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He began playing basketball at the age of five.  had it planned neat as hospital corners.

He'd become a star guard at Santa Monica Santa Monica (săn`tə mŏn`ĭkə), city (1990 pop. 86,905), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1886. Tourism and retailing are important, and the city has motion-picture, biotechnology, and software industries.  Crossroads School Crossroads School may mean:
  • Crossroads School (Hoover), in Hoover, Alabama
  • Crossroads School (Santa Monica), in Santa Monica, California
  • Crossroads School (St. Louis), a college preparatory school, founded in 1974, for 7th to 12th grade in St.
, commit to his favorite hometown college, UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX
, and lead the Bruins to glory before embarking on a successful pro career.

Then his sister bought a car.

And a coach got fired.

Suddenly, Davis realized UCLA may not be the best place for him, after all, even with Steve Lavin Steve Lavin (born September 4,1964), a San Francisco, California native is a former college basketball coach and current ABC and ESPN TV analyst. As UCLA head basketball coach from 1996-2003, Lavin compiled a record of 145-78.  as its permanent coach.

``Am I sorry it all happened? Not really, because things happen for a reason,'' Davis said. ``I rushed into my decision to attend UCLA. I thought it was the right place for me, because it was close to my family and I knew people there.

``I came to UCLA every day during the summer. I played (pick-up games) with the NBA NBA
abbr.
1. National Basketball Association

2. National Boxing Association

NBA (US) n abbr (= National Basketball Association) → Basketball-Dachverband (=
 guys at the Wooden Center. I listened to them. I listened to the UCLA players. All that stuff influenced me into a fast decision.

``All the things that have happened have given me a chance to do what I was going to do before - wait and explore my options.''

Now the senior point guard, hailed as the future of UCLA basketball by some and the lynchpin lynch·pin  
n.
Variant of linchpin.


lynchpin
Noun

same as linchpin

Noun 1.
 to a critical recruiting class by others, is adrift in a muddled future. To the question he is asked dozens of times each day - ``Hey Baron, where you gonna go?'' - his standard answer is this:

``I'm going to take everything slow. I have no thoughts on my mind whatsoever. I'll make a decision after the season.''

The Bruins believe they'll get Davis' autograph on a letter of intent in April - his sister Lisa Hodoh still works for UCLA's food service department - but the competition is closing fast. Davis says he'll choose among UCLA, Kansas, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Connecticut, Clemson, Georgetown and Duke, which plays at UCLA on Sunday.

``Baron made his decision based on factors like family and friends and everything seeming right with UCLA,'' said Crossroads coach Daryl Roper, whose team plays Village Christian tonight in a Southern Section Division IV-A playoff game Noun 1. playoff game - one game in the series of games constituting a playoff
game - a single play of a sport or other contest; "the game lasted two hours"

playoff - any final competition to determine a championship
 at West L.A. College.

``I think he was just tired of being recruited. He was tired of trying to figure out where to go. But he didn't look at the places he needed to see to make a sound decision and get a better perspective. Now he knows he has to do what's best for Baron.''

When asked if there was truth to speculation he's considering a jump to the NBA, Davis laughed.

``No truth to it at all,'' he said. ``I need to go to college.''

Not only did Davis' future change when Hodoh purchased a 1991 Chevy Blazer from the son of former Bruins coach Jim Harrick Jim Harrick (born July 25, 1938 in Charleston, West Virginia) is a former college basketball head coach who coached at Pepperdine University, UCLA, the University of Rhode Island and the University of Georgia. , so did his present.

He is considered the top point guard in California, perhaps in the nation. He is 6-foot-2 and athletic, a gifted offensive player with a solid jumper and a knack for the spectacular. He knows how to run an offense. He knows how to make teammates better.

But the controversy, which broke in early October, and its indirect role in Harrick's Nov. 6 dismissal elevated Davis to legend in the eyes of many UCLA fans and officials. He became the savior of a program that could lose its entire starting lineup For the line of action figures, see .
A starting lineup in sports refers to the set of players actively participating in the event when the game begins. The players in the starting lineup are commonly referred to as starters, whereas the others are substitutes
 after this season. His skills weren't good, they were great. The best guard in L.A. this year? He was the best guard in L.A. in L.A. In is a compilation of studio recording by Various Artists. It was originally released in 1979 as an LP by Rhino Records. Track listing

 
Side One
The Kats
 a decade.

UCLA's pursuit has become so intense that at a recent game the student section began chanting, ``We want Baron! We want Baron'' - and Davis wasn't in Pauley Pavilion Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, informally and commonly known as Pauley Pavilion, is an indoor arena located on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California. It is home to the UCLA Bruins men's and women's basketball teams. The men's and women's volleyball teams also play here.  at the time.

Ladies and gentlemen, Baron has left the building!

``No question, he has been put on an unfair pedestal because of all this,'' Roper said. ``He's a good guard, but he has a lot to learn. He's no Jason Kidd.''

He's no kid anymore, either. By all accounts, Davis is gregarious and affable, respectful of elders and a tireless worker. The Blazer incident was the end of his innocence, however. Today he drives a new Ford Explorer, the subject of a Pacific-10 Conference investigation (with no link to UCLA). And, along with a giant smile, he carries a real-world edge and sunglasses to deflect the intense media spotlight.

``It was all new to me, having the media at my house and cameras hiding at my school,'' he said. ``I was in awe. I was young, just a kid from 81st Street.

``It taught me who my friends are and that I can only trust a certain few. I've grown up a lot in the last few months. I take things more seriously. I look before I pass judgment on who to trust - on and off the court. But other than that, I try to be the same guy I was, a high school senior who likes to joke around.''

It's one of the few things in his life that hasn't changed.

NEXT YEAR'S LOOK

The Bruins have a slew of scholarships to give and may lose their entire starting lineup if underclassmen Toby Bailey, J.R. Henderson and Jelani McCoy bolt for the NBA.

On Board for '97-98:

Earl Watson: A 6-foot-1 combination guard from Kansas City (Kan.) who may be the Bruins' starting point guard.

Rico Hines: Originally committed to UCLA last year but couldn't enroll because of an eligibility glitch A temporary or random hardware malfunction. It is possible that a bug in a program may cause the hardware to appear as if it had a glitch in it and vice versa. At times it can be extremely difficult to determine whether a problem lies within the hardware or the software. See glitch attack. . He's been cleared and will matriculate ma·tric·u·late  
tr. & intr.v. ma·tric·u·lat·ed, ma·tric·u·lat·ing, ma·tric·u·lates
To admit or be admitted into a group, especially a college or university.

n.
 in April.

Billy Knight: What the 6-foot-4 guard from Westchester High School Westchester High School can refer to:
  • Westchester High School (Los Angeles)
  • Westchester Academy for International Studies, formerly Westchester High School (Houston)
 lacks in athletic ability, he makes up for in smarts and shooting skills.

Still Waiting:

Baron Davis: The big one. He'll decide in April. UCLA and Kansas lead, but watch for Georgia Tech.

Kaspars Kambala: The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder from Homestead H.S. in Mequon, Wis., could be the Bruins' starting center next year.

CAPTION(S):

Photo, Box

Photo: (Color) no caption (Baron Davis)

David Sprague/Daily News

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Daily News

Box: NEXT YEAR'S LOOK (See Text)
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 21, 1997
Words:1000
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