Lane matches up against big-name athletes at UCLA

Former Rocklin basketball star has battled against Ron Artest, Terrell Owens and other star athletes this summer
By: Russ Edmondson The Placer Herald
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Former Rocklin High basketball star Brendan Lane is learning quite a bit about being physical during his first summer at UCLA. The 6-foot-10 freshman recently found himself guarding San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman. Merriman, 6-4 and 265 pounds and very physical, is regarded as one of the top defensive players in the NFL. “Shawne Merriman makes (former Rocklin High teammate) Matt Stover seem pretty small,” Lane said. Two of Merriman’s teammates in that particular game were NFL wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson. Lane and his future UCLA freshmen teammates have also played against lots of NBA guys throughout the summer. Lane rattled off a list that included Ron Artest, Jalen Rose, Earl Watson, Kevin Love, Craig Smith, Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings and James Harden, among others. “We can’t actually practice with the coaches in the gym yet (per NCAA regulations), so we can just workout with the weight coaches and everyday we do weights for an hour,” Lane said. “And then we play (games) in the men’s gym for two hours. Not Pauley (Pavilion), but a rec center gym.” Lane says Artest played with them for five weeks and the former Thunder star was impressed with the newest Los Angeles Lakers’ strength. “Just learning how to be physical all the time,” said Lane about what he has learned so far from Artest and others. “Ways to play defense, more ways to play defense . . . When I first started out it was kind of crazy (playing against big-name, stronger, NBA players) but now we just got used to playing their style . . . It’s kind of tough now because it’s right after weights . . . but I’ve been playing pretty good.” Lane began taking classes at UCLA in June and he has completed a six-week summer session and is now taking courses in the freshmen summer program. “It’s going pretty good,” said Lane, who lives in the dorms. “(UCLA) is nice. It’s a lot of fun.”