March 8, 2008
I am the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Encino, the church which Coach John Wooden regularly attends. I speak here on my own behalf, and not on behalf of Coach Wooden, Nan Muehlhausen, or any other member of the Wooden family. Thank you for attempting to lay out the facts of what transpired the day that Coach Wooden suffered his injury and was hospitalized. I hope that your article has defused any misunderstanding. At the same time, I am deeply troubled that this matter has been aired publicly at all. As a pastor, I deal every day with families who are facing the very difficult questions surrounding the care of elderly persons.
June 3, 2010
1910: Born the third of six children to Joshua and Roxie Wooden on Oct. 14, in Hall, Ind. His father, a rural mail carrier, takes care of the family farm, which has no running water or electricity. Like many farm families, the Woodens go bankrupt and lose their farm, shortly after moving to Martinsville, Ind. 1924-28: Wooden is a star athlete at Martinsville High. A four-year letterwinner, he leads his team to the state championship in 1927 and is runner-up twice (1926 and 1928)
June 10, 2010 |
If all who were touched by John Wooden could attend his memorial, the Rose Bowl wouldn't be big enough. … The principled, Indiana-bred Wooden was "so square," Jim Murray once wrote, "he was divisible by four." … Wooden was a smoker — he picked up the habit while serving in the Navy during World War II — but never smoked during the season and had quit altogether by the time he retired in 1975. … He did not drink. … His musical tastes ran to Lawrence Welk and the Mills Brothers, the latter of whom he saw perform on his wedding night.
March 30, 2002
The caption under the photograph of Luke Walton on the front page of the March 21 sports section seems to have accidentally switched a key capital letter. In reference to Bill Walton, instead of reading "My dad is like a Wooden freak," it should have read "My dad is like a wooden freak." Josh Clark San Marino
June 13, 2010 |
I have so many memories of Coach Wooden, but the one that's most vivid for me came in 1964 when we were playing Duke for the national championship — the first UCLA championship. We're 29-0 at the time and the No. 1 team in the country, but Duke is still favored. In the locker room before the game, Coach gets up for his pregame talk. He says, "We got here playing a certain way — making this a 94-foot game. How many of you remember who finished second last year?" No one raised their hand.
June 6, 2010 |
Every generation needs its Socrates, and now ours is gone. John Wooden coached us through life, and we learned a few things about basketball along the way too. As he got older of body, he got younger of mind. He never yelled, but when he spoke, the room fell silent. He told us things that didn't slap us in the face, but crept slowly into our hearts and minds until, fully absorbed, we understood. In life, he was both an inspiration and a crutch. As rotten as things could get, as much as evil and cheating and laziness prevailed, there was always Wooden to look to for hope and guidance.