Colleges: Top UCI player opts out

September 26, 2011

Mikah Maly-Karros, the best women's basketball player UC Irvine has had in more than a decade, has quit the team, UCI officials confirmed Monday.

Maly-Karros, a 6-foot-1 forward, led the Big West Conference in scoring as a junior last season at 19.5 per game. She also averaged 9.7 rebounds and shot 51.3% from the field.

Maly-Karros missed the final eight games of last season for unspecified reasons, but had been granted an opportunity to rejoin the program for her senior season.


Instead, she has elected not to resume her playing career.

Maly-Karros earned first-team all-conference recognition as a sophomore, when she averaged 20.5 points and 11.1 rebounds in 22 games. She tied the school single-game record with 41 points in a first-round Big West Tournament loss to Cal State Fullerton in March of 2010.

Maly-Karros transferred to UCI from Loyola Marymount.

UCI Coach Molly Goodenbour did not immediately return a phone message Monday.

Add movie star Brad Pitt to the list of those UCI baseball coach Mike Gillespie has impressed with his wit.

Gillespie, who played then-Oakland A's Coach Ken Macha in "Moneyball," which opened Friday, said Pitt, who plays A's General Manager Billy Beane, credited Gillespie with providing one of his biggest on-set laughs.

It came during filming of a scene with Philip Seymour-Hoffman, who plays then-manager Art Howe.

The scene takes place in the clubhouse (at Blair Field in Long Beach) and involves Seymour Hoffman's character soliciting an opinion from Gillespie's character.

After several takes, and a subsequent break, Seymour-Hoffman decided to try to unnerve Gillespie.

"He completely changed his line and it fully baffled me," Gillespie said. "I didn't know what to say, so I said 'I don't know what the hell you're talking about.' The director yells cut and comes running in and I thought he was really mad because I had screwed the deal up. I was really embarrassed and the other guys on the set were chuckling."

Gillespie said during the next break, Pitt approached him and tried to add to the rouse.

"[Pitt] comes up to me all serious and says 'You really screwed us up in there,' Gillespie said. "Now, I'm really embarrassed and I'm starting to sweat and feeling really stupid. Then, [Pitt] starts laughing and tells me he was only kidding. He also said he had never seen anyone react to a nonsensical improv line that way. He said it was one of the funniest thing he's ever seen in all the movies he had done. He said my reaction was awesome."

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