Beaming with Bruin pride and matching sweatshirts, Lucy and Jesse Perez made their way to UD Arena to watch their alma mater UCLA play St. Bonaventure in the second #FirstFour game Tuesday. Next week marks the couple’s 53rd wedding anniversary.
The couple met as students at UCLA while living in the newly established coed dorm on campus in the early 1960s. After graduation, they stayed in Los Angeles along the beach, until they moved to Dayton 40 years ago.
“Once our friends heard we left the beach to live in Dayton, they sent us sympathy cards in the mail,” laughed Lucy. “We absolutely love Dayton, we refuse to leave.”
After they settled in Dayton and Jesse began his job with National Cash Register, the duo made it a priority to see their basketball team live in action as much as possible. The last time the Perezes saw UCLA live in the NCAA tournament live was when they played Missouri in 1995 in Boise, Idaho. UCLA went on to win the national title that year.
This year marks the first time UCLA has played in Dayton, so it was almost meant to be, despite the final score. St. Bonaventure beat UCLA in a 65-58 win.