- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said the school is “extremely disappointed” that the original round center section of basketball court at Pauley Pavilion is to be auctioned.

The 12-foot jump circle was used from 1965-82 by the men’s teams that won eight national championships and the women’s team that won the 1978 national title.

Guerrero said Wednesday the school learned about the impending online auction a day earlier.

He said the school has tried for more than 10 years to reacquire the center circle from the current owner, a UCLA alum, and had a donor ready to contribute to a charity of the owner’s choice.

Since it was replaced in 1982, the jump circle has been in storage. In 1998, it was signed by former UCLA coach John Wooden and some of his greatest players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard.

SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel says the alum wishes to remain anonymous. Online bidding runs April 15-30. It says “a large portion” of the proceeds will be donated to funding medical research.

Guerrero says the center circle belongs on display after Pauley Pavilion’s current renovation is complete and the arena reopens for the 2012-13 season. He hopes the school can work out an arrangement with the winning bidder to bring the court back to its campus home.

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