A true non-conformist

June 5, 2010


ESPN has a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of John Wooden, who died Friday at 99. He was the legendary UCLA basketball coach who, among other great accomplishments, led the team to 10 national championships in 12 seasons. He was also a deeply Christian person who insisted on teaching his players—among them Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—that being successful in life is more important than being successful on the court. Given his success on the court, he knew from whence he spoke.

From his Wikipedia entry:

He was a Christian for many years and his beliefs were more important to him than basketball, “I have always tried to make it clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live. There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior.” Wooden’s faith strongly influenced his life. He read the Bible daily and attended the First Christian Church. He said that he hopes his faith is apparent to others, “If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.”

3 Responses to “A true non-conformist”

  1. Lisa M Says:

    This is a perfect clip for my upcoming Sunday School session. Thanks for posting.


  2. […] On Friday the world lost someone who was better at living this centered life than most: John Wooden, the former UCLA basketball coach who won 10 national championships in the space of 12 years between 1964 and 1975. He had an 88-game winning streak. He coached Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among other great players. He was a deeply Christian man—and not surprisingly there was something that seemed to the world’s eyes a little bit crazy about him. […]


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