Sept. 14, 2004
Gail Goodrich, whose basketball career included a Los Angeles City title at Sun Valley Poly High School (1961), two NCAA Championships at UCLA (1964/1965), an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers (1972) and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1996), will have his Bruin jersey number (25) retired during halftime ceremonies when UCLA hosts Michigan on Dec. 18 at Pauley Pavilion (2 p.m./CBS).
Goodrich becomes only the seventh Bruin men's basketball standout to have his jersey number retired, joining - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor) (#33) and Bill Walton (#32) in 1990 and Ed O'Bannon (#31), Sidney Wicks (#35), Walt Hazzard (#42) and Marques Johnson (#54) in 1996. Goodrich (1996), Abdul-Jabbar (1995), Walton (1993) and their coach, John Wooden (1960-player/1972-coach), are all in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Goodrich, Abdul-Jabbar, Hazzard, Walton and Coach Wooden are also all charter members (1984) of the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame.
This will be the third jersey number in Goodrich's basketball career to be retired. In addition to his UCLA jersey (#25), Poly HS retired his No. 12 in 2003 and the Lakers retired his No. 25 in 1996, joining Elgin Baylor (#22), Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Jerry West (#44), Abdul-Jabbar (#33), Earvin "Magic" Johnson (#32) and James Worthy (#42) as the only Lakers to ever have their jersey numbers retired. "This is just a wonderful and tremendous honor to have my UCLA jersey number retired," said Goodrich, 61, now an analyst for NBA TV and living in Greenwich, CN. "I want to share this with all my coaches and teammates from the 1964 and '65 NCAA Championship teams. I'm so proud to be a part of those teams - UCLA's first two NCAA Championships under Coach Wooden."
Goodrich, a 6-1 left-handed sharp shooter, was the senior leader, All-American and co-captain (with Keith Erickson) on UCLA's 1965 NCAA Championship team, the school's second consecutive national title. He was the squad's leading scorer (24.8) and led the Bruins to a 28-2 overall record. In the NCAA Championship final, No. 2 UCLA defeated No. 1 Michigan and Cazzie Russell 91-80. Goodrich scored a then-school and NCAA Championship game record 42 points (broken when Walton scored 44 points in UCLA's 87-66 victory over Memphis State in the 1973 NCAA Final). For the second straight season, he was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team. At the end of his Bruin career, Goodrich was the school's career leading scorer (1,690 points, now No. 13/a career average of 19.0 points a game). His 24.8 single season scoring average (1965) is still tops among guards in Bruin history (No. 3 overall in UCLA single season history, trailing only Abdul-! Jabbar's 29.0 in 1967 and Reggie Miller's 25.9 in 1986).
As a junior All-Conference performer in 1964, he teamed with backcourt mate Hazzard, the 1964 NCAA Player of the Year, to lead the Bruins to their first NCAA Championship and the school's first perfect 30-0 record. Goodrich was again the team's leading scorer, pacing UCLA with a 21.5 average. In the NCAA Championship 98-83 win over Duke, Goodrich led the Bruins with a game-high 27 points.
In 1963 as a sophomore, Goodrich started 16 of 29 games and was the team's fourth leading scorer (10.4). UCLA was 20-9 overall, co-champions of the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) and lost in the NCAA Western Regional first round to Arizona State.
On the freshman team in 1962, Goodrich was the leading scorer (24.4) and led the Bruin frosh to their first unbeaten season (20-0).
"Gail Goodrich deserves being in the elite group of UCLA basketball players who have had their numbers retired," said Wooden, who will turn 94 on Oct. 14. "Who can forget his spirited performance in the national championship game vs. Michigan in 1965. To see the smallest man on the floor score 42 points and dominate a powerful Michigan team was something to behold."
Following his Bruin career, Goodrich was a first round draft choice of the Los Angeles Lakers. He played 14 seasons in the NBA, with the Lakers (1966-68/1971-76), Phoenix (1969-70) and New Orleans (1977-79). In 1972, under head coach Bill Sharman, a recent inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Goodrich was the leading scorer (25.9) on a Laker team (with West, Baylor and Chamberlain) that won the NBA title and during the regular season, set an NBA record 33 consecutive victories.
A five-time NBA All-Star, Goodrich during his professional career averaged 18.6 points (1,031 games) and in six different seasons, he averaged over 20.0 points a game.
High School Career
As a senior in 1961, Goodrich led Poly High School to the Los Angeles City Championship, averaging 23.2 points a game (Poly became the first Valley school to win the City title). In the City final, a 52-37 victory over Manual Arts, Goodrich broke an ankle in the third quarter (had it taped) and came back into the game to lead Poly with 29 points.
"Gail Goodrich is one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of the Los Angeles area, as well as one of the best to ever wear a UCLA uniform," said Bruin head coach Ben Howland. "As a member of UCLA's first two NCAA Championship teams, Goodrich and his teammates helped shape what is today known as the Bruin Tradition. This is an honor that is richly deserved. "