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A Legend Lost: John Wooden, a Great Coach and Human Being, Passes at 99

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 28:  John Wooden the former coach at UCLA is pictured after the boys game at the McDonald's All American High School Basketball Games on March 28, 2007 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Rachel MarcusCorrespondent IJune 4, 2010

I may be the least qualified person to talk about John Wooden. I was not yet born when he coached, and by the time I was born, he was already in his 80s.

But the fact that I am able to sit down and write an article about Wooden, who passed away Friday night at 99 years of age, says something about the man.

When you think of the best coaches of all time, you put everyone in a list. And everyone on that list fights for second place, because Wooden is always first.

He is a legend, a coach always used as an example as one you want to emulate.

Wooden led one of the first dynasties in any sport at UCLA. He coached Hall-of-Famers like Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton and won an unheard of amount of championships.

You can't talk about college basketball without mentioning UCLA and Wooden's teams. Sure, there is Kansas, UNC, Kentucky, and Duke. But UCLA basketball is still so powerful today because of the foundation that Wooden built.

I always say that someone is the "Michael Jordan of _____." Well MJ was the Wooden of basketball for his time.

Without knowing the man, I can say that he deserved every one of those 99 years of his life, and I'm sure he used all of them to change the lives of many.

I'll keep this short and sweet because this is one of many articles you will read on the legendary coach.

With that being said, throw on your black-rimmed glasses and pay tribute to the most legendary coach of all time.

Because the world lost a great coach, a great man, and a great source of inspiration. There will never be someone like him ever again.


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