In honor of the family of standout UCLA basketball players Jaime Jaquez Jr. and his sister Gabriela, the UCLA Latino Alumni Association and UCLA Alumni Association have launched the Jaquez Family Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial support for incoming freshman and transfer students at UCLA.
The new fund was announced at an April 13 fundraising event at UCLA’s Pavilion Club that paid tribute to Jaime and Gabriela and their parents and grandparents, all of whom have been strong proponents of public education, academic achievement and personal excellence.
“The family is exemplary and really represents what the Bruin family is all about — education, dignity, hard work and corazón,” said Sylvia Robledo, a member of the Latino Alumni Association’s board of directors and organizer of the event. “For those of us who struggled, we’re here to help the next generation. Money makes a difference. We want our Latino children to come to UCLA. It is attainable for all of them.”
Proceeds from the launch event will help benefit the scholarship fund endowment, which is also accessible for donations through the UCLA Giving site. The scholarships are intended to provide multiyear support to students during their undergraduate education.
“I want to thank the Jaquez family for creating an opportunity to help students in the future,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “For many families, that extra few thousand dollars can make a difference between going to UCLA and not going to UCLA. We have to make certain that students with these extraordinary capabilities can be here and that financial considerations will not get in the way.”
Jaime Jaquez Jr. played four years with UCLA’s men’s basketball team and in 2023, his final season, earned both the Pac-12 Player of the Year award and the Lute Olson Award as the most outstanding men’s player in NCAA Division 1. He now aims to become only the sixth player of Mexican descent to join the NBA. Gabriela Jaquez, who just completed her first season on UCLA’s women’s team, earned all-CIF honors during her senior year at Camarillo High School and was inducted into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame. Their younger brother, Marcos, is a multisport high school athlete.
Education and sports have been guiding forces for generations in the Jaquez family. Jaime and Gabriela’s paternal grandfather, Ezequiel — the son of Mexican immigrants to Oxnard, California — played basketball at Ventura Community College and Northern Arizona University. The duo’s mother and father, Angela and Jaime Sr., were both student–athletes at Concordia University in Irvine. Angela is a public middle-school teacher, and Ezequiel and his brother were coaches and educators.
“It truly means a lot to my family and me,” Gabriela said in thanking the nearly 300 attendees supporting the fund. “I’m happy that we have the opportunity to help someone else achieve their dreams of attending UCLA.”
Both she and her brother expressed appreciation for their extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and other relatives who have dedicated countless hours in support of younger family members’ educational, athletic and personal pursuits. Jaime gave special acknowledgement to his grandmother, who had emigrated from Guadalajara and built a successful business, before reflecting on what the Jaquez Family Scholarship Fund means to him.
“What do I want to be remembered for?” he asked. “I’ve played in Final Fours, I’ve played in Sweet Sixteens — but to be associated with this scholarship right here takes it all.”