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Aaron Holiday, younger brother of Jrue Holiday, commits to UCLA

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UCLA picked up a huge commitment in the junior class on Sunday when guard Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of former Bruin and NBA star Jrue Holiday, committed to head coach Steve Alford during an unofficial visit.

The news of the commitment was first reported on Monday by Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times

Holiday is regarded as the No. 40 prospect in Rivals’ 2015 national rankings and the 6-foot-1 guard from Campbell Hall High School in North Hollywood, California is the first commitment for UCLA in the 2015 class.

Alford watched Holiday go for 43 points on Friday night in the CIF Playoffs and Holiday’s unofficial visit to UCLA on Sunday was yet another time that he had taken in campus on an unofficial visit.

With Holiday, UCLA gets an athletic guard that can play both backcourt spots and put points on the board in a hurry.

After facing initial questions about his ability to recruit in Southern California, Alford has picked up commitments from 2014 center Thomas Welsh, a Los Angeles native and McDonald’s All-American, as well as Holiday and 2016 guard Lonzo Ball a native of Chino Hills.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.

Albany’s Peter Hooley accepts Inspiration Award

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Last week, Albany senior Peter Hooley accepted the Inspiration Award at the Coaches vs Cancer Basket Ball in Troy, New York. The Albany athletic department uploaded his entire speech on Monday afternoon.

Hooley had one of the most uplifting moments of March after months and months of heartache.

The junior guard missed three weeks of the season to travel back home to Australia to be with his mother, who was battling colon cancer. She passed away in January. Hooley returned to the team in February and the following month, the Great Danes had a shot at an NCAA tournament berth. In the America East Tournament championship, Hooley sunk a game-winning shot with 1.6 seconds to go.

Hooley, who graduated in May, was selected to give the commencement speech.