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Pro Bruin Rundown: Megan Montefusco joins Orlando Pride, former men’s basketball players score high

Former UCLA women’s soccer defender Megan Montefusco (right) celebrates. Montefusco was traded to the NWSL’s Orlando Pride on Jan. 28, joining a group of former Bruins. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Diego Farinha

Jan. 31, 2022 5:33 p.m.

Sports are in full swing all year long – from the prep level to the professional ranks. Each Monday, Daily Bruin Sports will highlight a few moments from former UCLA greats over the past week.

Women’s Soccer: Megan Montefusco, Orlando Pride

Another former Bruin will be joining the Pride.

Former Bruin defender Megan Montefusco was traded from the Houston Dash to the Orlando Pride on Jan 28, joining a group of former UCLA women’s soccer players with midfielder Viviana Villacorta and forwards Darian Jenkins and Sydney Leroux. Montefusco will again be coached by coach Amanda Cromwell, who she Montefusco won UCLA’s lone national championship with in 2013.

After appearing in 90 matches across four years for the blue and gold, the defender turned pro and was drafted by the Washington Spirit in 2015. As a rookie, Montefusco played every minute of the 2015-2016 season and was selected as the Washington Spirit Defender of the Year.

Since then, the Illinois native has played for five total NWSL teams and had a two-year spell in Australia playing for the Newcastle Jets.

Men’s Basketball: Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers; Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls; Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors

Thirty was just a number for multiple former Bruins on the hardwood.

Former UCLA guard Russell Westbrook poured in a season-high 35 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ defeat to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday evening, while guard Zach LaVine – who was a Bruin in 2013-2014 – notched 30 points in the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs on the same night

Westbrook, the 2007-2008 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, put up his highest scoring total of the season while shooting 52.2% from the field and was a missed 3-pointer away from lifting his team to a win, sans perennial All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

LaVine’s performance was his third straight game of 23 or more points following a five-game absence for his No. 2 seed Bulls. The former UCLA guard also came just shy of being named an All-Star starter for the Eastern Conference, as he finished third in voting among guards, meaning a second consecutive All-Star selection for the two-time Slam Dunk Champion is likely.

Elsewhere in the league, former Bruin forward Kevon Looney has been putting up impressive numbers not in the scoring column, but instead in the rebounding category.

Looney’s 15-rebound night helped in Golden State’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets on NBA’s Saturday Primetime contest. The center has now grabbed double-digit rebounds in six of his last nine outings en route to averaging a career high 7.4 rebounds a game on the campaign.

The 2014-2015 Second Team All-Pac-12 selection has started 50 games for the Warriors this season while playing 21 minutes per game.

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Diego Farinha | Sports staff
Farinha is currently a Sports staffer on the softball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat.
Farinha is currently a Sports staffer on the softball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat.
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