If you want to be a deep person, you study two things: The Bible and Shakespeare. That’s what Lincoln did, and it gave him the ability and depth to write the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural.
John Wooden, the great, unmatched basketball coach, had the same idea:
Politicians, religious leaders and educators from around the nation spoke of Wooden’s determination to teach his players — along with countless fans who read his books or heard him talk — about how to conduct themselves in a decent and considered way.
“He was as conversant with Shakespeare and the Bible as he was with basketball,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said in a statement. “He could and did quote poetry and biblical verse from memory until his dying day.”
Jim Isch, the NCAA’s interim president, called Wooden the type of individual who comes along “once in a lifetime.” Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski said: “Many have called Coach Wooden the ‘gold standard’ of coaches. I believe he was the ‘gold standard’ of people.”
Wooden amassed a 620-147 record over 27 seasons at UCLA. Yet he might be remembered just as well for his “Pyramid of Success,” with its building blocks and catchphrases seeking to provide a blueprint for life.
“Through basketball, he taught generations of players and fans the values of love, friendship, responsibility and humility,” Cardinal Roger Mahony said. ” ‘Make friendship a true art’ and ‘Give thanks for your blessings and ask for guidance every day’ were among his favorite maxims
Wooden was a presence on campus until the final months of his life, regularly attending games through the 2008-09 season and speaking to classes.
“His values are still taught here as a way of life,” said Kelsey Louder, a 20-year-old sophomore
Former UCLA star Jamaal Wilkes said, “You listened, but it wasn’t until years later, after college, after the NBA, when my life focus began to change on marriage, divorce, children, the business world, that I began to sense how special a man he was,” Wilkes said.
Read those two sources, understand them, and they will make you special.
Here is Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. If things like this were taught in our schools, most of our problems would disappear, in a few short years.
Today, we believe that winning is the only thing. But that is definitely NOT how the nation was made great in the first place. A sense of honor used to be important. It infused everything. It is gone now. The values that made the nation great have been stripped away, ignored and abused over the last 40 years or so. They can be restored.
Here, Wooden talks about Pursuing Victory with Honor.
And then, there is this: