What could be better? Los Angeles's own Jewish Jordan -- Jordan Farmar -- is here to stay.
The Los Angeles Lakers has drafted Farmar, who made headlines as a sophomore point guard at UCLA, in the first round and as the No. 26 overall pick. Thus, though the Bruin bear must wave his paw goodbye to Farmar, L.A. fans can rejoice in the up-and-comer's continued presence here.
The 19-year-old Farmar is a native Angeleno; he grew up in Van Nuys and graduated from Taft High School, where, as a senior, he averaged 27 points per game and became a Valley superstar by leading the school to its first Los Angeles City title. As a freshman at UCLA, he averaged 13.2 points and 5.3 assists and earned the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honor. In his sophomore year Farmar averaged 13.5 points and 5.1 assists, led the Bruins to their NCAA championship game against the Florida Gators and was named a first-team All Pac-10 performer.
A self-described non-religious Jew, Farmar told The Journal's Carin Davis in a prior interview that he is proud of his Jewish heritage. His mother and stepfather, Melinda and Yehuda Kolani, raised him in a Jewish home, and his upbringing was complemented by both a bar mitzvah at Temple Judea in Tarzana and trips to Israel. Farmar's biological father, Damon Farmar, a former minor league baseball player, is not Jewish.
Farmar stands a natural leader at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds and has been extensively covered in the Daily Bruin since before his entrance into UCLA in fall 2004. A psychology major with a 3.0 grade point average, he has been described in the Daily Bruin as having innate leadership skills, a competitive spirit and a dedicated work ethic. He has also commanded a hometown fan following since his high school days.
"I love it," Farmar told The Journal in March. "To always have some people behind you is a great thing. It helps you out defensively, with intensity, and gives you that extra edge."