My friend was looking at a photo of UCLA's freshman All-American center Kevin Love, who will be playing in the basketball Final Four this weekend. I explained that Love may have the potential to be the first American white basketball star since John Stockton retired. He replied, "Are you sure he's all white?"
So, I looked into his background a little and discovered that Kevin Love is the nephew of Mike Love, lead singer of the Beach Boys, so Kevin Love's cousin-once-removed is all-American tragic genius Brian Wilson.
Kurt Streeter writes in the LA Times:
For generations, the Loves and their extended family have been at the center of much that makes Los Angeles what it is, for better or worse.
This is a clan that was part of the vast, Depression-era migration that helped give the culture here a Midwestern flavor, witnessing first hand the waves of racial change that roiled South L.A. in the '50s and '60s.
It's the family -- Stan's brother, Mike, and three of their first cousins -- that formed the nucleus of the Beach Boys: the band that helped convince the world every Los Angeles neighborhood was bordered by a sandy beach stuffed with surfboards and bikinis. It's a family, with Stan Love stuck in the middle, that struggled against something deep in the fabric of this place -- excess, indulgence and the madness that can come with fame in L.A.