John Wooden Honored at Coliseum

May 20, 2008

Coach Wooden's speech | Vin Scully's speech
Keith Erickson's speech | Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's speech

Photo Gallery

Legendary coach John Wooden on Tuesday became the first basketball figure inducted into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum's Court of Honor.

Local dignitaries and sports figures lauded Coach Wooden, making his first public appearance since a fall at home sent him to the hospital earlier this year. UCLA alumnus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bruins' coach Ben Howland and Dodgers announcer Vin Scully were among the speakers.

Though the 97-year-old Coach Wooden arrived in a wheelchair, he was in good humor. "You think I'll be able to fly out of here when I leave?" he joked, referring to all the praise directed his way.

Coach Wooden entertained the gathering with poetry and with his humor. He said he was honored that his plaque was being added alongside Scully's and those of athletes who starred in the Coliseum and adjacent Sports Arena. "I can't understand why a basketball guy would be here ... [but] that's fine."

Coliseum Commission president David Israel called it appropriate that Coach Wooden became the first "basketball guy" in the Court of honor. "He's John Wooden," Israel said.

UCLA played at the Sports Arena from 1959 until 1965 then moved to Pauley Pavilion.

Scully called Coach Wooden "a genius in his ability to inspire." Abdul-Jabbar summed up the feelings of those present to honor Wooden: "We love you, coach."

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said, "Of everyone at UCLA, John Wooden's name is the best known nationwide. He produced not just good players but good people."

Israel opened the program by introducing members of the Coliseum Commission in attendance. Coliseum Commission Vice-President Zev Zaroslavsky made some remarks, and then introduced Scully. The longtime Dodger announcer related a story about his first meeting with Coach Wooden, when the Bruin coach opened a gate at an apartment complex for Scully, his arms full of groceries.

Howland followed Scully to the podium and talk about the honor he feels being the caretaker of Coach Wooden's program. Next came Chancellor Block, followed by UCLA Athletic director Dan Guerrero and former Bruin players Abdul-Jabbar and Keith Erickson.

Others in attendance included UCLA alumnus Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon winner who lit the Olympic torch at the Coliseum for the 1984 Opening Ceremonies, and coach Wooden's daughter, Nan Muehlhausen.


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
TBA
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
TBA
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
TBA
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
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