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Japanese dean of UCLA hopes WNBA team will take a chance

No. 1, the transfer from Texas Tech was “a gym rat,” said the UCLA coach. And number 2, Dean had “that asshole in her.” It was enough to convince Close that she needed Dean at Westwood.

Three years and 1,074 points later, Dean hopes to convince another team that it deserves to be chosen. She is trying to fulfill her dream of always playing in the WNBA, even after the coronavirus epidemic ended her university career early.

“I am a winner and a competitor and I love to improve my teammates,” said Dean of his presentation to the WNBA teams. “I love to compete. I love to win. “

The leader, who is registered at 5 foot 7 but does not seem to measure more than 5 to 4, hopes that she will hear her name called in the WNBA draft on Friday, but there is nothing certain beyond the virtual event.

WNBA training camps have been postponed indefinitely. The overseas players have returned, so when the WNBA season begins, all players should be available, making it even more difficult for recruits to break through.

There is more uncertainty than ever, said Close. But the coach is certain: “Japreece Dean is going to be a great pro. Period.”

Dean, screened as a third round pickin a fake ESPN project last week, she earned her first All-Pac-12 honor this season, scoring 13.6 points and 5.5 assists per game for the No. 10 Bruins. She recorded the eighth triple-double in history of the program with 20 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in a game against Yale.

But the dynamic guard felt that the best was ahead of them. She has averaged 14.1 points at NCAA tournaments in her first two years at UCLA and knows that the sudden end of her senior season has given her the opportunity to prove herself on a big stage. .

“This is what hurts the most,” said Dean. “Anyone who does well in the NCAA tournament in these great moments against these great teams sees their draft inventory increase significantly.”

With Dean orchestrating the offense this season, UCLA achieved its fifth consecutive season of 20 victories, was the country’s last undefeated team to 16-0 and finished second in the Pac-12 tournament, the highest in the term. from Close.

The Bruins were thrilled to prove themselves in the NCAA tournament, said Dean.

It stopped on March 12 when the NCAA announced the cancellation of winter and spring sports.

A broken-hearted dean went almost immediately to his next adventure, returning home to Texas that day. Having already completed her sociology degree, she trains at her home in Austin, lifting weights in her uncle’s garage every other day, running and shooting a hoop alone in a local playground. She doesn’t know when the WNBA will resume, but she wants to stay ready, she said.

There have not been five people close to Close encountered during his 27 years of coaching who enjoy the game more than Dean, said the coach.

Dean’s passion for the game may have overturned the guard this season when he set a career record of 32.3% overall and 25.9% three-point. Dean attributed the difficulties to get in the head. She was worried about having to play a certain way.

Close said it was one of the late timing attempts that Dean was forced to make. For those who have done their research, they will not be afraid of Dean’s woes, said Close.

“She has a fighting mentality,” said Close. “She is not afraid to dream big. She is also not afraid to work even more. “

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