I remember as a UCLA freshman walking into Pauley Pavillion for the first time and looking across the court from the student section and seeing this little old man sitting against the railing next to his wife with his UCLA blue sweater on…it was John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood. For four years while I was at UCLA, Mr. & Mrs. Wooden would come to every home game, cheering on our Bruins, and occasionally giving some words of advice to the players, the fans and the students.
Once in a while, I would walk over to that railing and just hang around the crowd that usually formed around Mr. Wooden before games, just to listen to this wisdom he was giving to the onlookers. I would ask questions, talk politics or sometimes ask for advice from Mr. Wooden, and what was remarkable was that he was always so generous with his time. For many people, you may never know how great Mr. Wooden was, so I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite quotes as well as some of the great UCLA ballplayers that give us Bruins so much pride and joy to call ourselves graduates of this amazing university. We will miss John Wooden. All of us. But, his words will live with us forever.
If you want to be truly inspired, take a look at Mr. Wooden’s Pyramid of Success
Lew Alcindow (later Kareem Abdul Jabaar)
‘Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.’
‘It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.’
‘Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.’
‘Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.’
‘Ability is a poor man’s wealth.’
‘Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.’
‘f you’re not making