UCLA basketball coach John Wooden in 'grave' condition

Mercer 4227

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Former UCLA college basketball coach John Wooden looks on during the John R. Wooden Classic match between the UCLA Bruins and the De Paul Blue Demons at Honda Center on December 13, 2008 in Anaheim, California.

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is in "grave" condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Reports say Wooden is gravely ill, but UCLA sports information director Marc Dellins declined to comment per the family's wishes.

A university spokesman could not immediately confirm the report.

Wooden is 99-years-old, and is considered by many to be the greatest college basketball coach of all time.

Under his guidance, the Bruins won 10 national titles in his 12 years as head coach, and an unprecedented 88 consecutive games from 1971 to 1974 which are still records today.

Wooden Wooden was born Oct. 14, 1910, in Hall, Ind., moving with his family to a small farm in Centerton, Ind, in 1918 and then to Martinsville, Ind., when he was 14. He helped lead Martinsville High School to Indiana's state championship finals three consecutive years and the state championship in 1927.

Wooden was a three-time All-American and helped lead the Boilermakers to two Big Ten championships and the 1932 national championship.

Wooden began his coaching career in 1932 at Dayton (Ky.) High School, spending two years there, coaching a variety of sports. He spent the next nine years at South Bend (Ind.) Central High School, coaching basketball, baseball and tennis and teaching English.

Wooden served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46. He resumed his coaching career at Indiana State Teacher's College, now Indiana State University, coaching basketball and baseball and serving as athletic director for two years before coming to UCLA in 1948.

Wooden's long list of honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, being named by ESPN as the greatest coach of the 20th century and having a post office and high school named for him in Reseda. He was the first person selected for the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach.

Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," Wooden was known for more than just his winning ways. He continually tried to instill strong values in his players as people. Wooden has been a motivational speaker internationally since retiring as a coach, and has written a number of books on building strong character values.

More in Local


blog comments powered by Disqus