Yup, there’s another Gasol brother, and he’ll be playing ball for head coach Ben Howland at UCLA this fall.
Adria Gasol is the younger brother of NBA superstars Pau and Marc. He’s a 6-foot-10 center who is raw and seen as somewhat of a project. Still, it’s good for UCLA basketball, because the storied program could use some positive developments following reports of players and coaches bringing shame to the institution.
From a basketball standpoint, Gasol is not expected to contribute to the team right away, and he may not materialize into a great college player, let alone NBA prospect.
The younger Gasol has been described as “lost on the court” and “shows serious lack of basic fundamentals.”
But that’s all OK when it comes to what he can bring to Westwood — he has much more to offer the program than playing ability. First, his name alone will draw fans who have been disenchanted by disappointing seasons and the scandal back to Pauley Pavilion. Because he is walking on and not utilizing a scholarship, the move is virtually without risk.
If he can get either one of his brothers to lend a hand with the program in any capacity, it will be a win-win.
Though his NBA potential is limited, there is no way to be certain that he will not be a contributor to his college team. He’s got the pedigree, and if he has a desire and work ethic to match, then the possibility remains that he could be suiting up alongside his brothers in the pros.
We’re a long way off from that, however, and for now, Bruin fans will have a new reason to follow their once-sacred basketball program. Adria Gasol may not be the savior — and it’s completely unfair to ask an 18-year-old to be — but he is a step in the right direction for the program.
Right now, that’s all any fan could ask for.
Michael C. Jones is the Editor of Sports Out West. For more insight, follow him on Twitter.