Jules Bernard cried a lot as a newborn, earning his family nickname. He was called Noni by his mother after one restless night bouncing him, staring into his brown eyes, trying anything that might relieve his colic.
“I’m like, ‘No, no, no, ni, no, ni, no,’ ” Kristene Bernard said, recalling her weary state.
UCLA fans had a similar reaction after watching Jules barrel into the paint during his first two seasons. He would often run into a wall of defenders and lose the ball, fall down or take too many steps. The size and strength that had allowed the 6-foot-6 guard to score on almost anybody in high school couldn’t provide the same advantage at the major college level.