LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former UCLA basketball player Reeves Nelson is now officially named Sophaur One, after a judge approved his request for a name change Tuesday.

“My life has led me to know that this is my true name,” the power forward stated in petition filed Jan. 25 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Borenstein. He also stated the switch was a “fresh start.”
The Modesto-born athlete played for the Bruins from 2009 until 2011, when he was dismissed from the team. He has played internationally and also for a pre-season with the Lakers in 2012.

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He said outside the courtroom that he is content with his new name.

“I’m happy and at peace with what I did,” he said.

He said he was not influenced to change his name by similar decisions made by players such as the former Ron Artest, who became Metta World Peace in 2011.

He said he has taken time off from playing overseas, but may return in the near future. He said he does not want to compete in the NBA Development League.

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He was briefly a teammate of Kobe Bryant and said he at one time “borderline idolized” the retiring Laker guard.

“He treated me like a friend,” he said. “He was really down-to-earth.”

He said Bryant’s mind is as sharp as ever, but that his body is not letting him do what he once could on the court.

He said Bryant could have kept competing if he wanted to be an ordinary player, but added that would not have fit the longtime star’s makeup.

“He wants to be ‘the man’ like he always was,” he said.

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