This Saturday the Final Four of the NCAA, the university basketball league in the United States, will get underway. The four teams that will face each other in search of the title are Baylor Bears, Houston Cougars, Gonzaga Bulldogs and the UCLA Bruins. Precisely the latter, if he has reason to dream, is because among his ranks he is Jaime Jaquez Jr., 20-year-old Mexican who shines in the March Madness.
Jaquez Jr. was born in California, plays as a shooting guard, and grew up in a family deeply rooted in basketball. His father, Jaime Jaquez, played at Concordia University, while his mother, Angela, also has a past with the orange ball. Although he grew up in another country, his family ancestry from Sinaloa, Durango and Jalisco tipped the balance and led Jaime to represent Mexico.
The young man even wore the Los 12 Guerreros jacket at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. Due to his high level, long-distance shooting and personality, Jaquez has already caught all eyes and the specialists project his future in the NBA. In the current season, his numbers surprise: 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 48.6 percent from the field, after having had an average of 8.9 points, 4.8 boards and a 45.4 percent of the court as a rookie.
THE BEGINNINGS OF JAIME JAQUEZ JR. IN BASKETBALL
He was born on February 18, 2001 in Irvine, California. When he was very young he became interested in basketball Interested and entered Caramillo High School to start earning your place. In those years he also played baseball, he did it as a pitcher, but his passion for the rim was stronger.
So outstanding was high school performance that At just 18 years old, and before joining the Bruins, he had the chance to make his debut with the Mexican National Team in Lima 2019. There he played four games. His first presentations were without much shine: 2 points and 3 rebounds in the premiere against the Dominican Republic and 2 points and 2 rebounds against Uruguay. After that, it exploded.
He scored 10 points in 26 minutes to Argentina, which weeks later would be runner-up in the world at the World Cup in China. Later he redoubled the bet and scored 17 points and 4 rebounds in the win against the Virgin Islands. Now he dreams of being at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
THE ARRIVAL OF JAIME JAQUEZ JR. TO THE UCLA BRUINS
Jaquez came to the NCAA in 2019 through UCLA. When he joined the Bruins, he made history by becoming the first Latino to join the team since 2008. The last one had just been another Mexican: Lorenzo Mata, who was at UCLA between 2004 and 2008.
In his first season alone, in which he alternated as a starter and substitute, he averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds. In addition, he received an ‘honorable mention’ in the dream team of freshman of the Pac-12 Conference.
For this season, he began to add more minutes and did not stop. He is the player with the most minutes on the squad, with an average of 34.8, and stands out mainly for being a defensive pillar. So far this contest, he averages 1.2 steals, 0.7 caps and 6.1 rebounds. For that reason already he was named to the best defensive team in the conference and was also chosen for the Pac-12 Second All-Round Team.
As for the attack, this year saw a clear improvement in their shots from outside the line of three. He went from a 31 percent effective shooting of three to an excellent 39. Even because of his performances won the recognition of a figure like Kevin Love, famous exUCLA, Cleveland Cavaliers figure and teammate of Lorenzo Mata in 2008, who chose it via social networks.
Now Jaquez Jr. will try to lead his people to a new title. UCLA is the top collegiate championship winner with 11, two more than Kentucky. However, he has not celebrated since 1995. Will Jaquez Jr. be the one to give them back the glory?