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Briefs: Brooks coaching NBA All-Stars

Former UCI standout and head coach of the Thunder will be in charge of Western Conference team.

February 23, 2012
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

UC Irvine alumnus Scott Brooks, head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will coach the Western Conference in theNBAAll-Star Game Sunday in Orlando, Fla.

Brooks earned the honor as the Thunder clinched the best record in the conference through Feb. 15.

Brooks played for UCI from 1985-87, averaging 23.8 points as a senior in 1986-87. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, including 1994 with the NBA-champion Houston Rockets. He still holds the UCI record for career free-throw percentage at .859.

On the night that the Bren Events Center opened, Jan. 8, 1987, Brooks scored 43 points as UCI defeated Utah State, 118-96. He scored 41 points in a win at Pacific later that season.

As a senior, he was named first team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now Big West Conference), All-District and honorable mention All-America.

Brooks was inducted into UCI's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

— From staff reports

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Shaeffer up for baseball honor

Catcher Ronnie Shaeffer has been selected to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award initial list. Shaeffer is one of 30 baseball student-athletes to be named a candidate for the award that recognizes achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character and competition.

Shaeffer, who will receive a degree in business economics this June, is a two-time Big West scholar-athlete and has been voted to the Big West Academic All-Conference team. Planning to pursue an MBA following his baseball career, Shaeffer has volunteered with the Orleans Firebirds of the Cape Cod League, and spoken to children about the importance of staying in school. He has also been "adopted" by an elementary class in his hometown of Garden Grove and volunteers as a teacher's aide in the off-season.

On the field, he has played in three consecutive postseasons for UCI and was named the 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association Gold Glove winner. Shaeffer is a two-time All-Big West selection and was the NCAA Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament Most Outstanding Player last season. He was also one of the top defensive catchers in the nation, holding opposing teams to a .430 average in steals.

The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

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