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Jordan Farmar, who has been called the "Jewish Jordan," was a superstar at UCLA. Now, he's competing for NBA minutes on the Los Angeles Lakers.
After being drafted 26th overall last June amid criticism of leaving college too early, he's making a name for himself in the world's top professional league.
He's not putting up huge numbers, but his basketball IQ is what's getting noticed.
"It's like having a veteran head on a young body," said Paul Westphal, former NBA player and coach now working as a TV analyst. "He's going to be around this league for a long time."
Born to a Jewish mother and an African-American father who played professional baseball, Farmar grew up in Los Angeles, went to college there and now plays for the Lakers. His stepfather, Yehudah, is Israeli and Jordan was raised Jewish.
"That is part of me, of who I am," said the 2004 Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame High School Athlete of the Year. "People are watching the game, the way I carry myself on and off the court, and I know that all reflects on my community and my people," Farmar told the Jewish Journal last year.
In his sophomore year, Farmar led UCLA to the 2006 NCAA men's basketball national championship game, where they lost to the Florida Gators. He led all scorers with 18 points, and also finished with two rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
After his first week playing professional basketball, the 20 year old is averaging 6.2 points, 1.4 rebounds and two assists per game. Five games into his NBA career, a "We want Farmar" chant could be heard in the first quarter during a game at the Staples Center.
The Lakers have had point guard problems since the departure of Derek Fisher to Utah. Smush Parker showed he couldn't cut it in the playoffs last year and Sash Vujacic has already been relegated to the bench. It looks like Farmar might be the answer to another basketball team's needs in the Los Angeles area.
The LA Times contributed to this story.