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Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden Turns 99

Legendary former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden turns 99 today. To honor him, the Los Angeles Times lists 99 things you may not know about Wooden. Here are 9 of our favorites:

10. Wooden was captain of Purdue's basketball teams in 1931 and 1932 and led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten titles and the 1932 national championship.

22. In 1947, Wooden's basketball team won the Indiana Collegiate Conference title and received an invitation to the NAIB tournament in Kansas City. Wooden refused the invitation, citing the NAIB's policy banning African American players. A member of the Sycamores' team was Clarence Walker, an African American from East Chicago, Ind.

27. Wooden turned down an offer to coach the Lakers from owner Jack Kent Cooke that may have been 10 times what UCLA was paying him.

30. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player (class of 1961) and as a coach (1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories, later joined by Bill Sharman and Lenny Wilkens.

33. He gained lasting fame with UCLA by winning 664 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles during his last 12 seasons.

43. Inclement weather in Minnesota prevented Wooden from receiving the scheduled phone offer from the Golden Gophers (his first coaching choice, in 1948). Thinking they had lost interest, Wooden accepted UCLA's offer instead. (When Minnesota reached him and made an offer, Wooden declined, saying he had already given UCLA his word.)

70. UCLA's record 88-game winning streak under Wooden started on Jan. 30, 1971, with a 74-61 victory over UC Santa Barbara.

78. Wooden's teams went 149-2 at Pauley Pavilion (UCLA's home court).

85. In 1999, ESPN elected Wooden the "Coach of the 20th Century."


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