John Wooden (1910-2010) was an inspiring teacher, coach, family man, and the list goes on. Not only did he achieve success in the game of basketball, but he was an all around “wizard” in all else. There’s a reason they call him the Wizard of Westwood.
For the past couple years, I’ve attended the Wooden Classic in Anaheim where Wooden watched on as the Bruins played and came down to center court to present the award to the winning teams (usually UCLA). A standing ovation is always in line for when he makes an appearance because he is such a revered man. Not only this, but he’s made numerous appearances at UCLA basketball games at Pauley Pavilion, as the Bruins played on the Nell and John Wooden Court.
I love reading his quotes because they are inspiring and great words to live my life by. Sure he coached at my alma mater, bringing UCLA to basketball dominance decades ago, but what stands out to me most is what I’ve learned and heard in years past about how he lived his life. When I found out today that he passed away, I was saddened, but comforted by the amazing 99 years of life that he lived and the reunion with his wife of 53 years, Nell, whom he still wrote love letters to for years and years after her death.
Thanks, Coach. You’ve truly been an inspiration to me.
Some of my favorite Wooden quotes:
“There is no substitute for hard work. If you’re looking for the easy way, if you’re looking for the trick, you might get by for a while, but you will not be developing the talents that lie within you. There is simply no substitute for work.”
“Be quick, but don’t hurry.”
“Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”