“I decided to head to UCLA and I feel like it translates directly from Sierra Canyon to UCLA, academically,” Riley said. “It’s a great academic institution. On the basketball side it’s a powerhouse. It’s legendary with John Wooden coaching there. It’s going to be easy to transfer my game and my personality to that culture.”
Riley took his official visit to UCLA this past weekend. He also considered USC, Kansas, Oklahoma and Connecticut.
“After going through it with the family and my coach and everyone that is close to me in my circle, it was a tough decision,” he said.
“It was tough talking to Bill Self and letting him know,” he added. “That’s a great program, but we kind of knew. We would have conversations with Duane Broussard and [Steve] Alford and it was like talking to family and that’s what I was looking for, a family atmosphere.”
During the beginning of Riley’s junior high school season, he was open about the fact that UCLA was the leader in his recruitment. He said as time wore on, his relationship strengthened and ultimately that led him to be a Bruin.
“With the more time came a stronger relationship,” Riley said. “That’s the only thing that was holding me back. I also met with the AD. That was a great conversation and it went well.”
A 6-foot-7, 250-pound power forward, Riley played for Phoenix Phamily on the Nike EYBL circuit this past spring and summer. Riley averaged 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds through 21 games.
“I see myself fitting in perfect,” Riley said. “I’m not a selfish guy. I respect the game of basketball. Having conversations with Duane about Jalen, he says we will fit together perfectly. I feel like I can play with anyone in the country. I just love winning. I’m just going to make sure we do that.”
Riley is regarded as the No. 30 overall recruit and the No. 6 power forward prospect.
UCLA moves to No. 3 in Scout’s 2017 class rankings with the addition of Cody Riley. Riley joins a class that also includes Jaylen Hands, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball.
“It’s going to be great,” he said about going to UCLA. “The goal is to win a national championship at UCLA. You have to do historic things in order to leave your stamp there. So the goal is to win a national championship.”