Arizona Wildcats walk on Jacob Hazzard has high career aspirations
The next in the long line of Wildcats working in the media could be Arizona men’s basketball walk-on guard Jacob Hazzard.
The pre-journalism sophomore played 11 minutes last year in six appearances. He grabbed a rebound against Texas Tech and had an assist against NAU.
Jacob Hazzard is a grandson of the famous UCLA basketball player Walt Hazzard, who was the starting point guard on John Wooden’s first national championship team in 1964. Walt Hazzard, who died in 2011, served as the Bruins’ head coach from 1984 to 1988.
The Daily Wildcat caught up with Jacob Hazzard before the Wildcats start the season with the McDonald’s Red-Blue Game on Saturday.
Ryan Revock/The Daily Wildcat
Why did you pick the UA?
The coaches here, the student support and the fans here supporting you is great. It felt like a family; it felt like I was at home, not too far away from home. I wanted to get away from home, away from LA, as well. It was a good option.
How much of an influence did your grandfather have on your game?
He had a big influence. He was my idol in basketball and I miss him today. But he’s looking down and I’m sure he’s smiling and he’s proud. And I just try to make my game better every day and hope to be like him someday.
What’s it like having such a famous relative?
It’s a lot to live up to, but I mean, not really. Also, I like the challenge and it just pushes me a little more. I like it.
I found an old newspaper story about you where you were deciding between being a sports writer and a broadcaster. Have you nailed what you want to do when you graduate yet?
Not really. I’m going to keep my options open, see where school takes me. But we’ll see. I want to do a little bit of both, but we’ll see.
There’s been a lot of former Wildcats working in broadcast. Why do you think there are so many?
It’s a great network here and I feel like people who went here, like Steve Kerr, he’s an NBA broadcaster, I kind of like to network with them to help me get a step ahead. So we’ll see what happens when I graduate, but I’m just looking forward to the season right now.
Have you talked to him or Tom Tolbert or any of those guys?
I talked to Steve Kerr a couple times, but not really, not a lot.
About the season in general, how good do you think the team is this year?
We’ll be good. I’m just looking forward to it, working hard, getting ready.
How big of an impact do you think the newcomers will have?
[Junior transfer] T.J.’s [McConnell] going to have a huge impact. He’s a great player at point guard and the new guys that are coming in, they’re hungry and we’re just looking for guys to compete and try to win.
What are your thoughts on the schedule?
Yeah, we take it one game at a time, though, not try and get ahead of ourselves. Right now, we just try and worry about practice and getting ready for the season, with that Red-Blue game coming up.
— Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520