Saturday, June 5, 2010

John Wooden Dies

John Wooden died yesterday at the age of 99 (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010). He was, perhaps, the greatest basketball coach of all time. He was the first person ever enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (class of 1973). His ten NCAA  national championships at UCLA in a 12-year period are unmatched by any other college basketball coach.

His beloved wife, Nellie, died on March 21, 1985 from cancer.

It has been reported that on the 21st of ever month Wooden would visited his wife’s grave, writing a love letter to her which he would later place in an envelope and add to the other letters that amassed over the years on the pillow she slept on during their life together.

Wooden was a devout Christian. He read the Bible daily and attended the First Christian Church. But, his wife’s death forced him to confront and question his faith.

He has been quoted as saying that basketball "is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior.”

Upon graduating from grammer school Wooden’s father gave him a Seven Point Creed to which he tried to lived by for the rest of his life:
Be true to yourself

Make each day your masterpiece

Help others

Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible

Make friendship a fine art

Build a shelter against a rainy day

Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day
Wooden is also the author of The Pyramid of Success, a philosophy for winning at basketball and at life:

In an interview I once watched, John Wooden described himself politically as a "liberal Democrat," though he admitted to voting for a few Republican presidential candidates.

1 comment:

mythopolis said...

What a great guy!!