Monday, November 27, 2006

Success In The Teachings Of A Lifetime

By Andrew Hill

One of a four part tribute to UCLA Head Coach John Wooden

My senior year as a high school basketball player in Los Angeles far exceeded my hopes. I averaged over 27 points, 12 assists and five rebounds a game as our team went undefeated in league play. I was named to the All City team and was clearly one of the top players in Southern California. Dozens of colleges came after me during that winter of 1968, but they were all a blur when it became clear that a scholarship to UCLA was in the cards. Sitting at training table between Coach Wooden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (still Lew Alcindor at this point) was so thrilling that I felt like I was living a dream.

I understand now that this dreamlike state set in motion by the recruiting process is probably at the root of much of the pain and disappointment that young ballplayers experience when their dreams of starring in college never come to pass.

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