John Wooden, UCLA Legend, Dies at 99
The Wizard of Westwood has passed away. John Wooden, who built an enduring basketball dynasty at UCLA, died after more than a week of hospitalization at the UCLA Medical Center. He was 99.
Wooden, who was brought to the hospital on May 26, died of natural causes, UCLA said in a statement released on Friday. Wooden’s children, Jim and Nancy, confirmed their father’s death through a statement, saying that the “love, guidance and support he has given us will never be forgotten.”
Wooden built a sport dynasty at UCLA that eventually became the highest, and unachievable standard, throughout the years. He brought ten NCAA championships to UCLA from 1964 to 1975, a record that still stands today. The UCLA Bruins were champions for seventh-straight seasons from 1967 to 1973. Wooden is also the architect of the longest winning streak in NCCA history–88 games from 1971 to 1974.
Wooden ended a long coaching career at UCLA in 1975 after the Bruins defeated the Kentucky Wildcats. Among Wooden’s players at UCLA were two of the best centers in NBA history, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.
In 1973, he was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, becoming the first person to get the honor as both a mentor and a player. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1961.