Trevor Ariza searched far and wide for a college this fall, but the talented 6-7 forward from Westchester H.S. in Los Angeles wound up just down the road from his Southern California home.
Ariza orally committed to UCLA within the past week and a half, after seriously considering overtures from Indiana, UNLV, Georgia and Florida. His mom Lola confirmed the oral commitment with Rivalshoops.com over the weekend.
"It's a great marriage that is mutually beneficial for UCLA and Trevor," Mrs. Ariza explained. "A great opportunity was presented when Evan Burns didn't qualify -- a lot of doors were opened, and Trevor hopes to go in there and make an immediate impact."
Burns, a McDonald's All-American who signed with UCLA last fall, did not meet university academic standards. He was unable to enroll at UCLA this fall and instead wound up down the coast at San Diego State.
Ariza's early lists back in the spring were peppered with Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East and Southeastern Conference programs. And he took four official visits to Florida, Indiana, Georgia and UNLV this fall.
But in the end, Mrs. Ariza said that Trevor wanted to be close to his family and younger siblings. Going to UCLA will afford him such an opportunity.
Ariza is now focusing on getting qualified academically. He is in the process of making up some old core classes by retaking a pair of classes he didn't do well in previously as a sophomore, Mrs. Ariza said.
And although his first ACT test score was not a qualifying one, Ariza is expected to take the test several more times this winter and into the spring, if necessary.
Rivalshoops.com plans on catching Westchester in action during the high school basketball season, and we will keep you updated on his play this winter.