Feb. 21, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- Pauley Pavilion isn't content to leave visitors with a strong first impression. It insists on making 11 of them, in the form of the stately NCAA championship banners that drape the facility's upper reaches.
Across campus, at UCLA's renowned film school, they teach the value of elegance, preaching that sometimes what gets left out of a movie is more important than what gets put in. Consider the standards in the school's latter-day basketball mecca as Exhibit A: There isn't a single conference title or a mere Final Four appearance commemorated in the bunch, and the impact of the championship banners is all the more powerful for it.
There are lessons to learned everywhere at UCLA, and they don't all come inside the classrooms.
The basketball team's media guide practically doubles as an NCAA tournament record book. A walk through the school's athletic Hall of Fame is like taking a course in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Over at the school's bookstore, just steps from Pauley, a local author of note has his own section, and the available titles that include "They Call Me Coach," "Victory, Values and Peace of Mind" and "Be Quick, But Don't Hurry" are virtually textbooks for aspiring coaches.
The scribe, of course, is John Wooden, more famous for hanging 10 of those 11 NCAA titles across the way at Pauley Pavilion. A dozen books chronicling that unparalleled success, either written by or about Wooden, are available here on the campus he turned into a basketball think tank. Buy one of those tomes, which range from memoir to motivational, and you'll take it home in a plastic bag adorned with the image of a youthful Bill Walton during his glory days as a UCLA undergrad. It's not the first time the two men have teamed up to bag a title.
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