The late John Wooden’s family, grandson Tyler Trapani, granddaughter Cathleen Trapani and daughter Nan Wooden at VIPs Cafe in Tarzana, Calif., on Thursday, March 13, 2014. (Photo by Dean Musgrove/Los Angeles Daily News)
By Marion Algier – AskMarion
Today, Friday March 21st 2014, was the 50th anniversary of the start of John Wooden’s famous string of 10 National Hoops Championships over 12-seasons at UCLA. Coach John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins men’s basketball teams won 10 national championships in 12 season between 1963-64 to 1974-75. They won their first 50-years ago today.
I was a UCLA student during that era, but was not a basketball fan. I was, however, a John Wooden fan and the legacy Wooden left goes far beyond the court. The “Wizard of Westwood” as he was nicknamed affected the men he couched and many others that were in his sphere of influence in life-changing ways. Wooden ultimately became viewed as a kind of sage for both basketball and life, a symbol of both excellence and simpler times.
Wooden’s key players include basketball greats like Lew Alcindor (Karim Abdul Jabbar), Lucius Allen, Henry Bibby, Keith Erickson, Gail Goodrich, Walt Hazzard, Marques Johnson, Dave Meyers, Kiki Vanderweghe, Bill Walton, Richard Washington, Sidney Wicks and Jamaal (Keith) Wilkes.
The Bruin’s final title under Wooden’s tutelage came in 1975. Wooden was 64-years-old and retired soon thereafter. Read more at “The Coach” – Coach John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood.
Rich Clarkson/Sports Illustrated, via Getty Images
John Wooden is generally considered the greatest coach in college basketball history.