UCLA basketball-playing brother and sister reflect on family story: It’s ‘pretty special’


He is a 6’7 senior on UCLA’s men’s basketball team. She’s 5’11 and her first year on the girls’ team. Both represent the UCLA Bruins and their families in his NCAA Tournament this year.

Brothers Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Gabriela Jaquez are both at UCLA. Their parents, Jaime Sr. and Angela Jacquez, also played in college, perhaps proving that track and field is in their blood.

Jaquez, Jaquez Jr., and his brother Marco all grew up playing multiple sports. Jaquez and Jaquez Jr. dreamed of playing basketball at UCLA, just 45 minutes from where they were born and raised, no matter what else they did.

Jaquez Jr., a top recruit out of high school, said he still remembers how it felt the first time he stepped onto the Bruins’ court.

Brother of Dana Jacobson.

CBS Saturday Morning

“I was nervous. I was just hooked on the whole thing,” he told CBS News’ Dana Jacobson. And they were rooting for my name, I didn’t know what they were rooting for.”

During his first three seasons with the Bruins, he started all but six games and was recognized nationally as the team advanced to the NCAA Final Four. But before his senior year, he had to think about his future. Either he will return to UCLA, or he will declare himself eligible for the NBA Draft and make a bid to become a pro.

Jaquez said he wanted his brother to do “whatever was best for him” but thought it would be “really, really cool” if he stayed at UCLA and overlapped for a year.

“I was like, ‘I’ll do what’s best for me,’ and I thought it would all work out in the end,” Jaquez said. “But when he decided to come back, I thought, ‘This is going to be fun.

Jaquez Jr. said it’s “pretty special” to overlap with his sister.

Jaquez Sr. shared this photo of his son showing an affinity for basketball from an early age.

Jaquez family

For parents, that means spending a lot of time watching their kids’ games.

“I’m going to the Pauley Pavilion four times this week,” said Jaquez Sr. “The kids play back to back. I think the usher knows our family and knows who I am.”

He said it takes a lot of organization, including Excel spreadsheets, to keep everything straight. But it’s worth it, he said.

“I have a dream that my kids play basketball, but I don’t know at what level they’ll play,” Jaquez Sr. said. “And it’s incredible that we only see two of him at UCLA.”

The brothers faced off in a friendly shootout.

CBS Saturday Morning

Sharing courts also allows siblings to continue learning from each other. They share some skills and say they learned from each other.Jaquez Jr. has taken on his sister’s relentlessness.Jaquez has performed some of his older brother’s favorite plays. I said I got it.

“I think it’s going to be sweet for sure,” Jacquez Jr. said. “I think my experience here was great before she was here, and you know, her experience now… I think it’s great that I’m here. But after I left, I think she still had a great time, too.”

“It’s really a big plus that we’re here together,” Jaquez added. But it’s really great to be able to share this experience together.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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