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Charles O'Bannon leads Bruins' celebration [updated]

Charles O’Bannon leads Bruins’ celebration [updated]

Mar. 11, 1995: The Bruins’ Charles O’Bannon celebrates after UCLA beats Oregon and wins the Pacific Conference crown with a 16-2 record. [A previous version identified Ed O’Bannon in the photo, when in fact it was his brother Charles.]

Los Angeles Times staff writer Tim Kawakami reported the next day:

The floor got a kiss, the nets came down, 13,037 enveloped the court, and the UCLA Bruins ended the Pauley Pavilion careers of three seniors pointing toward even large celebrations.

Ed O’Bannon, Tyus Edney and George Zidek said goodbye to the largest crowd in Pauley Pavilion history Saturday night and, in a sidelight, the top-ranked Bruins defeated No. 25 Oregon, 94-78.

Ed O’Bannon, who suffered a career-theatening knee injury five years ago but now is a top candidate for national player of the year, scored 24 points and had the sweetest moments.

With 4:48 to play and the game in hand, Coach Jim Harrick sent Omm’A Givens in for O’Bannon, who took a bow to the student section, then bent to give center court a kiss.

Los Angeles Staff photographer Gina Ferazzi writes about her photo:

As the buzzer sounded to end the game, the fans began swarming the court. I was on the end line with other photographers. The fans came onto the court in such a rush they knocked many of us down. I started to run into the swarm with the fans, but soon realized it might be better to shoot the scene at a higher angle.

I ran up into the stands and began shooting with my long lens. When Charles O’Bannon climbed the ladder to cut part of the net, he turned toward the sea of fans on the court and raised his arms. The fans responded by raising theirs.

It was late, way past deadline. I was shooting film back then. I drove back to the office in downtown Los Angeles from Westwood to process the film. I was the only photographer in the lab at that late hour.

After processing the 35mm color film, I laid the long strands of negatives on the light table. While looking at each frame with a loupe,  I came upon this particular frame, stopped,  froze and smiled. I looked at the frame again. At that moment, I knew this frame was special.

I made a couple of prints and put one on my photo editor’s desk and the other on the sports editor’s desk. I attached a note to the sports editor’s copy asking if he might be able to use it in the upcoming days.

The photo was published big on the Sports section on front on March 13 and has been published many times since. It has won many awards, but to me it is one of those memorable sports images I will never forget.

The 1994-95 UCLA Bruins went on the win the NCAA tournament championship, beating defending champ Arkansas, 89-78, in the final.

2 Comments

  1. March 11, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks like Charles, and not Ed?

    By: Guest
  2. March 11, 2011, 7:14 pm

    that's not Ed… it's Charles!

    By: guest

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