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.