John Wooden, college basketball’s gentlemanly Wizard of Westwood who built one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports at UCLA and became one of the most revered coaches ever, has died. He was 99.
The university said Wooden died Friday night of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized since May 26.
Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden is spending time in a Los Angeles hospital. Reports will not comment on Wooden’s condition, but the overall outlook for the 99-year-old coach has been described as ‘grave’.
Wooden separated himself from the rest of the college basketball universe by achieving unmatched success – 10 national championships and an 88-game win streak. But, coach Wooden’s “x-factor” lied in his ability to connect on the deepest level possible with his players, intertwining lessons learned on the court with how to become a better man in all walks of life.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said
“We decided that we would not declare his obituary now, other than to say that he’s the winningest coach in our history, four 30-0 seasons, and the ultimate aficionado of our game,” Stern said. “We hope he’s in peace right now, and we’ll wait on events.”
Wooden’s UCLA teams of the early 1970s will forever be linked to NC State based on the extreme high level of competition in which the two programs engaged. NC State ended Wooden’s string of seven consecutive National Championships en route to the 1974 National Title in Greensboro.
We will try to get the inside scoop of what is going on from Wooden’s hospital room from NC State’s very own, Bob Kennel.