June 4, 2013
Beginning with the upcoming 2013-14 men's basketball season, the former John R. Wooden Classic and the Anaheim Classic will combine to create an eight-team, three-day, 12-game bracketed event, The Wooden Legacy, televised nationally across ESPN's family of networks.
The expansion to a multi-day, multi-team tournament format now in place for the Wooden Legacy prohibits schools from participating in the tournament more than once in a four year period. In addition, no more than one school from each conference can compete in the event in any given year.
UCLA, which has competed in 16 of the 19 Wooden Classics, including the last 10, will make their first appearance in the Wooden Legacy in 2016, competing in other exempt events from 2013-15.
"UCLA will continue to have a presence in the Wooden Legacy, much as it did in the Wooden Classic," said Nan and Jim Wooden, John Wooden's children. "Our father would have wanted UCLA to remain tied to the event, though their participation is limited to every four years, as is allowed by NCAA rules. The Wooden Legacy will remain loyal to the initial concept of the event, while also allowing it to grow in stature to include more universities. UCLA has been a wonderful partner with our family throughout the history of the Wooden Classic and we are grateful that an expanded event carrying our father's name will continue."
In 2013, UCLA will take part in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, which includes Missouri, Nevada and Northwestern as the four marquee teams in the eight-team field. Each team will play four games, with the first two hosted at on-campus venues and the final two rounds at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
The Bruins will play in the Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas in 2014 and make a return trip to the EA Sports Maui Invitational in 2015 in Hawaii.
ESPN already has commitments in place from Pac-12 schools for the Anaheim Classic from 2013-15, and those agreements will be honored in the first three editions of the Wooden Legacy.
"At UCLA, we have certainly been very honored to participate in the Wooden Classic over the years," said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. "With the desire to grow the event into an exempt tournament, we are no longer allowed to participate every year, but vow to take part every four years, as allowed by NCAA scheduling rules."
The 2013 Wooden Legacy will be held at two sites. The opening two rounds will be played at Titan Gym on the campus of Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29. The games then move to the Honda Center with four placement contests, including the championship game between the remaining unbeaten schools on Sunday, Dec. 1.
Arizona State will represent the Pac-12 in the 2013 field also featuring Creighton, Marquette, Miami (Fla.), San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton, College of Charleston and George Washington. The Wooden Legacy is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. ERT owns and operates collegiate sporting events worldwide, including two Labor Day Kickoff college football games, seven college bowl games and eight college basketball events.
While the Anaheim Classic started in 2007, the John R. Wooden Classic was established in 1994 as an annual tribute to the legendary UCLA coach who passed away in 2010 at the age of 99 and to the excellence that Coach Wooden personified. Wooden had an 885-203 overall career record (81.3 percent) in 11 seasons as a high school coach and 29 seasons on the college sidelines.
The legend of Coach Wooden will live on in the Wooden Legacy and its increased presence on the national stage
"The creation of the Wooden Legacy and the new television partnership with ESPN means that there will be much-deserved increased national exposure for the event and for Coach Wooden's incredible body of work, which is certainly a wonderful thing," Guerrero said. "UCLA will always be honored by the fact that the groundwork for the new, exempt event was laid in the Wooden Classic, in which we have historically played a large role."
"UCLA has been a wonderful partner with our family throughout the history of the Wooden Classic. We wish to thank everyone at UCLA for playing a big role in the success of this event each year," said Nan and Jim Wooden.
2013-14 UCLA basketball season tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets today, please call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310.UCLA.WIN (825-2946) for more information or to purchase tickets today.