I keep meeting people who knew John Wooden! John Wooden is the legendary basketball coach who led UCLA to 10 NCAA championships in 12 years (including 7 in a row). He died at just a few months short of his 100th birthday.
First, it was Bill Walton. Bill Walton played for John Wooden at UCLA and led the Portland Trailblazers to their one and only world championship. Bill and I aren’t close, though we did once take a shower together. (And I’m happy to tell you the rest of that story some time, if you’re interested.)
Then it was our bishop, Grant Hagiya. Coach Wooden helped at a charity event at a church he was serving in Los Angeles and Bishop Hagiya later had the opportunity to interview him, one-on-one. You’ll be hearing more about that interview in a future sermon. (And yes, that shower story is one that could be shared in worship as well!)
Finally, just recently I’ve been in touch with someone who, like me, runs every day. Woody Woodburn is a sports writer in Los Angeles. He recently reached 10 years without missing a day. He has a written a book, hot off the press, that he calls Wooden and Me. It turns out he and Coach Wooden were close friends and he shares his many memories in this book. I can’t wait to read it.
John Wooden was a devout Christian and also a man of great wisdom. I just thought I’d leave you with a few of my favorite Coach Wooden sayings.
Be quick, but don’t hurry.
Good things take time, usually a lot of time.
Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.
And my favorite:
Make each day your masterpiece.