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If you like John Wooden's story, you might also like:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Julius Erving,
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John Wooden
John Wooden
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John Wooden Profile

Basketball's Coaching Legend

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  John Wooden

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."

John Wooden coined his own definition of success. By the standards of the Basketball Hall of Fame, his own success was unprecedented. He was the first person in history to be enshrined there twice, once as a player for Purdue University, and again for his performance as coach of the Bruins of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In Coach Wooden's last twelve years as coach, UCLA won ten National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships. In the 27 years he led the Bruins, they never had a losing season. Their record of 88 consecutive winning games will probably never be surpassed.

Among Wooden's players at UCLA were two titans of the game: six-foot-ten Bill Walton, and seven-foot-plus Lew Alcindor, who later became one of the great stars of the NBA under his Muslim name, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Despite the presence on his squad of such towering superstars, Coach Wooden always credited his team's success to the spirit of selfless teamwork he inculcated in all his players. "Always think of passing the ball before shooting it," he told them.

Despite the unparalleled success of his teams in the NCAA tournament, Wooden said his greatest satisfaction came from seeing his players go on to be productive members of society off the court.

This page last revised on Mar 17, 2016 12:52 EDT
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