John Wooden

Uploaded by CSULBCBA on 11.09.2009

For John Wooden, a farm boy from Indiana, life was about
hard work, discipline, and learning lessons. But it was also
about, basketball. Young Johnny Wooden played the sport
shooting into a hoop his father forged out of iron.
He would go on to become a star player for
Martinsville High school and three-time All-American for
Purdue University, earning a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Some might say Wooden’s greatest chance came in 1932,
when he was offered the opportunity to play professionally
for the Boston Celtics. But John Wooden was on a different path,
he decided to become a teacher. After coaching high school and
college basketball in Indiana, in 1948 he accepted the challenge
to coach the weakest team in the Pacific Conference,
the UCLA Bruins. Under his leadership and through
years of persistence, he would transform the Bruins into
the most accomplished college team in history, with an
undefeated 88 game winning streak, 10 NCAA championships
in 12 years, and 885 victories with only 203 loses.
Never before had any team achieved such victory and
never before had any one coach been so successful.
John Wooden was the first person in history to be inducted
into the Basketball Hall of Fame twice, first as a player
and then as a coach. He was named coach of the
20th century by ESPN and awarded the Presidential
Medal of Freedom, the highest level of honor
the president can bestow on an American. But for John Wooden,
success is not about medals or career wins.
Success is about peace of mind, knowing you did your best
to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
As a coach he never talked about winning and losing,
instead he talked about character, being
considerate of others, and personal preparation.
Somehow, with all his victories and awards,
John Wooden has never forgotten the life lessons
he learned as a boy on the farm and over the years
has passed these lessons on to his players and
other people preparing in life who have a chance to listen.