Brother and sister both playing UCLA basketball reflect on family story: It’s “pretty special”
He is a 6’7 senior on the men’s basketball team at UCLA. She is a 5’11 freshman on the women’s team. Both are representing the UCLA Bruins in this year’s NCAA tournament — and their family.
Siblings Jamie Jacquez Jr. and Gabriella Jacquez are both enrolled at UCLA. His parents, Jamie and Angela Jockeys, both also played in college, proving that athletics may run in their blood.
Jaquez, Jaquez Jr. and his younger brother Marco all grew up playing more than one sport. No matter what else they played, Jaquez and Jaquez Jr. dreamed of playing hoops at UCLA, just 45 minutes from where they grew up.
Jacquez Jr., a top recruit coming out of high school, said he still remembers the feeling of stepping onto the Bruins’ court for the first time.
“I was nervous. I was just, overwhelmed by everything,” she told CBS News’ Dana Jacobson. “And then I remember the UCLA student section cheering everybody’s name.” started, and then they were celebrating my name. I didn’t realize what they were cheering for.”
During his first three seasons with the Bruins, he started all but six games, earning national recognition as the team advanced to the NCAA Final Four. Before his senior year, though, he had to think about his future: He could return to UCLA, or he could declare eligibility for the NBA draft and bid to go pro.
Jacquez said that while she wanted her brother to “do whatever was best for him,” she thought it would be “really, really cool” if he stayed at UCLA.
“I was just like, you know, ‘Do what’s best for you,’ and I knew it would all work out in the end,” Jacquez said. “But when he decided to come back, I was like, ‘This is going to be fun.’
Jaquez Jr. said overlapping with his younger sister has been “very special.”
For their parents, that means watching their kids play.
“This week, I’m going to Pauley Pavilion four times,” Jamie Jacquez Sr. said. “The (kids) are playing back to back. I think the starters know our family and they know who I am.”
Keeping it all straight, he said, requires a lot of organization — including Excel spreadsheets. It’s all worth it, though, he said.
“You have these dreams of your kids playing basketball and you don’t know what level they’re going to play at,” Jaquez Sr. said. “And then to see just two of them at UCLA is pretty incredible.”
Court sharing allows siblings to learn from each other. They share some skills, and both say they’ve learned from each other: Jaquez Jr. has adopted his sister’s relentless attitude, and Jaquez said he’s picked up some of his brother’s favorite plays.
“I think it definitely makes it sweeter,” Jacquez Jr. said. “I think I’ve had a great experience here even before I got here. And I think that, you know, the experience right now… it’s great that I’m here. But once I left Go, I think he’ll still have a good time.”
“It’s just a huge plus that we’re both here together,” Jacquez added. “I think we’re still doing our thing, you know, on different teams, chasing our own dreams. But it’s really cool that we can share that experience together.”