Signed in black sharpie on an official NCAA Indoor/Outdoor basketball
John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented seven in a row. Within this period, his teams won a men's basketball-record 88 consecutive games. Wooden's streak of seven consecutive NCAA Championships is even more remarkable and impressive because to this day no other coach or school has won the tournament more than two consecutive years.
Wooden was named national coach of the year six times.
As a 5' 10" guard, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and the 1932 Purdue team on which he played as a senior was retroactively recognized as the pre-NCAA Tournament national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Wooden was named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Only Lenny Wilkens, Bill Sharman and Tommy Heinsohn have since been accorded the same honors.
One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (originally Lew Alcindor) and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success". These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball.