Best UCLA basketball players ever: Bruins all-time starting 5

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Best UCLA basketball players

Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

The best UCLA basketball players ever, including Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton make up 2/5’s of the all-time Bruins starting lineup.

In the history of college basketball, there are few schools as institutionalized into the lexicon as the UCLA Bruins. Dating back to the John Wooden era, the school in Los Angeles has had multiple All-Americans and a parade of great collegiate players have taken their talents to Westwood at one time or another. If the Pac 12 is known as the “conference of champions” then UCLA should be considered the “school of champions” based on their history and lineage.

The school holds the record for most national championships in college basketball with 11 titles (10 of which were won when Wooden was the coach). From 1971 to 1974 the Bruins won 88 consecutive games, which was an NCAA-record at the time — later bested by the University of Connecticut’s women basketball team in 2010 who won 90 straight games. During their historic win streak, the school had some of the greatest players to ever set foot on an NCAA court.

Playing for UCLA was once considered as a golden ticket to the basketball equivalent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. They’ve also had some of their more recent players go on to achieve great success at the NBA level. They have champions and former Most Valuable Player recipients up and down their list of alumni.

In order to give a full scope of the players who have called Westwood home, we also put together a list of the players who just missed out on being part of this make-believe lineup. There are several names that are tough cuts as you’ll see shortly but that just goes to show how deep their all-time roster would be if this fantasy scenario were to play out.

Honorable Mention: Lucius Allen, Baron Davis, Walt Hazzard, Jrue Holiday, Kevin Love, Marques Johnson, Don MacLean, Ed O’Bannon, Kiki Vandeweghe, Sidney Wicks

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