UCLA to honor Wooden

Home court to be named for former coach

Posted: Tuesday, August 05, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) Former UCLA coach John Wooden and his late wife will be honored Dec. 20 when the basketball floor at Pauley Pavilion will be named ''John and Nell Wooden Court.''

The 92-year-old Wooden was UCLA's coach for 27 seasons before retiring in 1975. He coached the Bruins to a record 10 NCAA championships in his last 12 years on the job.

The Woodens were married shortly after the former coach's graduation from Purdue in 1932. Nell Wooden died in Los Angeles on March 21, 1985.

Wooden has two children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

''Saturday, Dec. 20, will be remembered as one of the great days in the history of the UCLA athletic department,'' athletic director Dan Guerrero said Monday. ''It is appropriate that the dedication of 'John and Nell Wooden Court ' in Pauley Pavilion coincide with the 40th anniversary of Coach Wooden's first NCAA championship team.

''John and Nell are synonymous with UCLA basketball and now they will forever be enshrined in the arena that Coach Wooden made famous.''

Wooden's teams at UCLA went 620-147 for an .808 winning percentage. He was the first person to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (1960) and coach (1972).

''Although I deeply appreciate the sentiment of having the basketball floor in Pauley Pavilion named after me and my dear Nellie, I will always be grateful to Edwin Pauley, who provided the impetus for making a dream become a reality and for the many young men who were under my supervision before and after Pauley Pavilion,'' Wooden said. ''Thank you so much to everyone involved.''

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