Spanish prodigy Aday Mara officially moves to UCLA

2023-08-03T20:46:20+00:00 2023-08-03T20:50:13+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

03/Aug/23 20:46

Completing the complicated exit from Casademont Zaragoza, Spanish center Aday Mara is set for UCLA

By Johnny Askounis/

Aday Mara is officially a member of UCLA. The Bruins announced his addition Thursday.

Mara, 18, has been going through a complicated breakup with Casademont Zaragoza. Beyond potential aftermath, he can focus on development and the NCAA.

Debuting in Liga Endesa, he tallied 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest over 22 appearances in the 2022-23 edition of Spain’s top-tier division, widely considered the most competitive domestic league in Europe. In his most recent showings, he helped Spain rank second in the 2023 FIBA U18 European championship and earn a spot in the All-Tournament team.

Per the press release: “The UCLA men’s basketball program has received a signed grant-in-aid from Aday Mara, as announced on Thursday by Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach.

Mara, a 7-foot-3 center from Zaragoza, Spain, has flourished on the international basketball scene, playing a central role for Spain in FIBA competition. This summer, he averaged 14.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.7 blocks in seven games for Spain at the FIBA U18 European Championships, hosted in Serbia.

“We are excited to announce the addition of Aday to UCLA,” Cronin said. “Throughout this process with Aday, he and his family have stood firm on one thing – that they want a great education for Aday, and to see him grow as a young man at UCLA. He has tremendous size and skill and has developed a great understanding of the game of basketball. He’s a humble young man with great parents, and he’s blessed to stand at 7-foot-3 with such talent and a strong work ethic. Aday has great FIBA experience, having played within the Spanish basketball federation program while winning awards and championships at different levels. We can’t wait to have him here with us in Westwood.”

Mara helped guide Spain to a second-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships in July 2023. He shot 61.3 percent in Spain’s seven games, connecting on 38 of 62 shots.

In the summer of 2022, Mara averaged 12.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.9 blocks for Spain in seven games at the FIBA U17 World Cup, hosted in Spain. He totaled a team-leading 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five blocks in the championship contest, as Spain dropped a 79-67 decision to the United States. Mara had 14 points, five rebounds and a team-leading five blocks in a Round of 16 victory against Canada at the FIBA U17 World Cup last year.

Mara becomes the seventh incoming player to join the Bruins’ program for the 2023-24 season – in all, the incoming class now features six freshmen and one junior. UCLA signed Devin Williams from Riverside, Calif., Brandon Williams (no relation) from Queens, N.Y., and Sebastian Mack from Las Vegas during the early signing period in Nov. 2022. Earlier this summer, UCLA added incoming transfer Lazar Stefanovic, a rising junior who was previously at the University of Utah, and freshmen Ilane Fibleuil (from Massy, France) and Jan Vide (from Domžale, Slovenia).”


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