UCLA’s student-athletes break records — and barriers of color, class, and gender. Michael Price ’83 has spent decades admiring their athletic prowess and their commitment to social justice.
“As a young boy, I was awed and inspired by the broader accomplishments of so many great UCLA student-athletes,” says Price, listing Jackie Robinson, Rafer Johnson, Arthur Ashe, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Bill Walton, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among his heroes. “They truly personified excellence and egalitarianism through their actions as student-athletes and in their subsequent influence in society.”
A Bounce for Basketball
To honor these leaders and UCLA’s legacy in fighting for equality, Price and his wife, Jodi, gave $6.5 million to create The Michael Price Family UCLA Basketball Excellence Program. The first effort of its kind at UCLA, the program supports men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes and nurtures their leadership in the classroom, on the court, and in the community.
In its first year, the program has provided new personal and professional development services, state-of-the-art athletic training and recovery devices and software, and unique team-building activities — all of which enhance the student-athlete experience.
To recognize the gift, UCLA has named its women’s and men’s head coaching positions — currently held by Cori Close and Steve Alford — The Michael Price Family UCLA Head Basketball Coaches for the next two decades.
“I am so grateful for the Price Family Excellence Program,” Close says. “I believe deeply in the ‘why’ behind this gift, and I am committed to stewarding it well.”
Says Alford: “This unprecedented pledge to UCLA basketball will help us establish new programs that can really support the development of our student-athletes, both as players and as people.”
As UCLA shoots for a successful basketball season, the Prices’ generosity is helping Bruins set their sights on even higher goals.
Published December 2018