Greatest Coach Of All Time Ailing

In saddening news today, former UCLA coach John Wooden, has been reported to be in “grave condition”. At 99, Wooden has been in and out of the hospital the past couple years from minor setbacks, and been limited by the use of a wheelchair recently. This doesn’t sound so minor.

Family members and UCLA staff did not comment on the situation, hinting that this may be the end of the road.

Under Wooden, the Bruins won 10 national championships, winning seven in a row from 1967-1973. They had four undefeated seasons, going 30-0 in ’64, ’67, ’72, and ’73. In his final season, they once again hoisted up the trophy, beating Kentucky in the final of ’75.

Wooden is one of only three people to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a coach and a player. Some of the greatest players in college basketball have been coached by him, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcinder) and Bill Walton.

Alcinder thanks Wooden after one of 10 championships

He has been one of the most influential people in southern California, leading a movement of basketball greatness and ripening the talent from the area. Although he stopped coaching 35 years ago, his influence can be seen throughout the region, and in basketball in general.

The NCAA has honored him by naming the Most Outstanding Player the “Wooden Award”, easily one of the highest honors in the game today.

Prayers go out to him and his family, as the basketball world has lost one of the greatest coaches and person that we have been blessed with having.

Although he is “resting in the hospital” “recovering from dehydration”, signs point to it coming to an end. As the legend rests, let us remind ourselves the true greatness in the realm in which he ruled for almost twenty years.

He is a great coach, and a great man. Let us thank him for all he has done.

Today is a sad day.

-KP

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