6-9 power forward Wanaah Bail was one of the top prospects in the 2012 class in Texas, with his athleticism and ability on the defensive end making him a very intriguing player for then-Texas Tech head coach Billy Gillispie.
But things didn’t work out for Bail in Lubbock, resulting in his departure from the program within weeks of his arrival on campus. Gillispie would be relieved of his duties soon thereafter for issues regarding his treatment of players, with Chris Walker taking over as interim head coach.
After leaving Texas Tech Bail spent some time at the Canarias Basketball Academy, and he also worked out with John Lucas for part of the spring.
And nearly one year after his first, albeit brief, college basketball experience Bail is officially headed to UCLA as announced by the school. It was reported last Friday that Bail verbally committed to attend UCLA.
“Today, I signed my financial aid agreement declaring my intent to attend UCLA,” Bail said in the release. “In the coming weeks, I will be arriving on campus to being summer classes in pursuit of my degree. In addition, I look forward to joining my teammates and Coach Alford and his staff to begin preparing for the upcoming season.
“UCLA has a long history of excellence on and off the basketball court. I am excited to join the Bruin family, get in school and get to work.”
The addition of Bail, who would become the fourth newcomer headed to UCLA (two, Noah Allen and Zach Levine, committed while Ben Howland was the head coach), gives the Bruins added depth inside if he’s eligible to play. According to the school it is still working through the process to see whether or not Bail will be able to play this season.
UCLA went through much of last season with a three-man rotation in the paint, with the Wear twins (David and Travis) and Kyle Anderson receiving the majority of the minutes and freshman Tony Parker dealing with injuries and inconsistency for much of the year.
Adding Bail gives UCLA an athletic piece who can help them on the defensive end of the floor if cleared to play. He’s a bit raw offensively, but head coach Steve Alford and his staff (which includes Ed Schilling, who is highly respected for his skill development work) can bring Bail along in that area.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.