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No college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and '70s, capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his "Pyramid of Success."
Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports has written the definitive biography of Wooden, an unflinching portrait that draws on archival research and more than two hundred interviews with players, opponents, coaches, and even Wooden himself. Davis shows how hard Wooden strove for success, from his All-American playing days at Purdue through his early years as a high school and college coach to the glory days at UCLA, only to discover that reaching new heights brought new burdens and frustrations. Davis also reveals how at the pinnacle of his career Wooden found himself on questionable ground with alumni, referees, assistants, and even some of his players. His was a life not only of lessons taught, but also of lessons learned.
Woven into the story as well are the players who powered Wooden's championship teams - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard, and others - many of whom speak frankly about their coach. The portrait that emerges from Davis's remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today.
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By Rob - Audible on 08-20-14
Wooden: A Man Who Transcends Sports
As a sports fanatic, I was intrigued by the premise of learning more about one of the most prolific sports figures of all time. Sure, I knew who John Wooden was, but Wooden: A Coach’s Life provides a full perspective on the man who grew from humble beginnings in Hall, Indiana to the coach who won ten NCAA basketball championships in the course of 12 years – seven of which were in a row. What I liked most about this book, however, is that the author compiled chapters into smaller narratives that focused on significant moments in Wooden’s life, as well as some moments that lead to his UCLA success, such as the recruitment of Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton. The book also calls to attention and debunks common myths about John Wooden. I highly recommend Wooden: A Coach’s Life for any sports fan intrigued by one of the most revered coaches of all time and by a life’s story few will ever come close to replicating.
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